Of The Essence, In the Flesh

 

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The author, with her precioussssss 

So. Last weekend at CanCon, I got to meet my book. As anyone present can attest, I could not stop hugging my book. ūüôā

Yes, that’s a hardcover, with a book jacket and everything! It’s also in trade paperback, ebook, and audiobook. I will be selling the print copies, signed, from this site…eventually. I won’t¬†put ordering info up until I have a box of them safely in my hands. This one? This one is mine!

Here’s a sampling of what people are saying so far:

  • “Harbowy[‘s] ability to create realistic portrayals of otherworldly lives is astounding.” -Lambda Literary
  • “Harbowy writes with the precision of an editor, and the sensibility and passion of a writer.” -Leah Petersen, author of the Physics of Falling series
  • “Can’t describe the radness of Gabrielle Harbowy’s Of the Essence in 140 characters. You’re gonna have to hear it to understand.” -Angela Dawe, voice actor; narrator of Of the Essence

Revision Purgatory

Revision Purgatory is a much better place than Revision Hell. I’m fortunate to be working with an editor who has a great¬†developmental eye and a lot of patience for “what if we…” emails, so I’m¬†definitely not in hell. If I were in Revision Heaven, I could just wave my hand and say “Let it be done,” and lo, it would be all done. So I’m definitely not there, either. But Purgatory is a good place to be. It’s neutral, it’s not distracting, there are no loud parties. Just a few loud cats, but that’s my own fault.

The down side of working from home is that every afternoon my office mates start yelling at me about how hungry they are, several hours before the cafeteria opens for dinner. They also walk across my keyboard and try to rename my characters with their feet.

Anyway. I’m about two-thirds through the big, substantial edits on my Pathfinder novel. I still have to go back and brush up a few things, but I’m trying to focus on the big picture first. I’m pleased with the shape it’s taking. Zae, Keren, and Appleslayer are a lot of fun to write, and I’ve had enough of a break from this story that I can see it with fresh eyes now. I’ve written a whole separate novel since I turned this one in, and having that extra¬†experience¬†at this is also helping me now.

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This sign (on Route 580 in Oakland), is my measure of how deeply into this novel I am, in my own head. If I read this out of the corner of my eye as “Zae and Coliseum” as I’m driving past, I know I’m thinking about the story.

There’s not much to say from Revision Purgatory. It’s hard to update when my updates would essentially be things like¬†“this scene you know nothing about? it now happens after this other scene you know nothing about, and I have to find another reason for them to be doing the thing I can’t tell you¬†so that this other thing I don’t want to spoil can happen.”

I took yesterday off to visit the SF Maker Faire, which was a lot of fun and a needed break, and was also inspiring on a tinkering / creating / inventing-weird-stuff level, which of course is a perfect thing to get me into Zae’s world.

Zae’s world, as it happens, is an interesting¬†place to visit. Check out some of the other Pathfinder Tales novels while I polish this one up. I’m looking forward to sharing more of her story with you!

Presenting Quills [Cover Reveal!]

Cover Reveal: OF THE ESSENCE at the Onder Librum website.

Meet Quills: she’s a daemon with an affinity for ink, and her medium is magical tattoos.

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When a¬†powerful daemon is killed on modern-day Earth, all signs point to his nemesis, a daemon named Tehru. But Tehru¬†knows that at least one other daemon has access to her unique power: Quills, who takes life essence in payment for her work. Now the murdered daemon’s followers are coming after Tehru for retribution. Quills has five days to find the murderer and clear Tehru’s name. If she doesn’t succeed in time,¬†Quills will be the one who takes the fall.

My debut novel will be on sale April 30, 2016. It will be in audio (narrated by the amazing Angela Dawe!), hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook formats. Some of those formats may take longer than others to propagate on Amazon and the Onder Librum site, so please be patient. I think the audio CD is the only thing up on Amazon for preorder at this point, but please keep checking back.

The art is by Hellmaw Art Director Eric Belisle. I saw this portrait and knew right away that this daemon had a story I could tell. I’m excited to be the first Hellmaw author with a Daemon of Color, the first story to take place outside of North America, and the first Hellmaw novel told through the daemon’s first person point of view.

Next Up…

My next novel-in-progress (working title: Hearts Are Jerks) is a big departure for me. It’s Contemporary Young Adult, which means the main characters are in high school and there are no science-fictional¬†or¬†fantastical elements. It’s kind of a non-traditional romance, in that it has LGBT main characters, gender fluidity, and positive,¬†realistic portrayals of polyamory.

It’s the first novel I’m writing that isn’t a tie-in to someone else’s world, and that isn’t already under contract. I’m trying to resist the urge to worry about what I’m going to do with it until it’s finished, but of course…worry is the one thing writers don’t procrastinate on, right?

Because this novel brings up a lot of questions for me.

Do I publish it under the same name I use for my genre work? Do I use a variant, like adding my middle initial or something? Do I use a new name entirely?

Do I try to¬†use this novel to get an agent? Is this the sort of novel a mainstream publisher would even want? If I get an agent for this book, would they want to represent my future works in other genres too? Would I want to seek out someone who would want that, or would I rather have an agent who wouldn’t want that? Who do I hire to edit this for me before I start submitting it around? Who do I ask to critique it for me before I’m ready for an editor?

What’s ironic¬†about this:¬†when I’m wearing my editor hat, these are questions I help other people answer ALL THE TIME. Seriously, all the time. Which is to say, I do know the answers because I know how I advise other people, and how I would advise them if they were me.

I’d use a variant name, I’d seek an agent who represents writers who write books like this, I’d refer¬†this colleague to edit and these two to critique/beta-read and ask these three if they’d be available to give me a blurb. I’d send it here, here, and here for review, and submit it to these three awards.

What’s amusing about this: I know all this stuff. But then¬†I feel like I don’t, all of a sudden. The tables turn when it’s my manuscript in the spotlight. I have become every writer I’ve ever worked with.

What’s fascinating about this: everything I go through as a writer makes me more sensitive as an editor.

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I Finished My Novel!

I debated over titles for this post, but I think this is the biggest thing I have to say. I finished my novel!

If you’re counting, that means I’ve turned in TWO original written-by-me novels this year. I’m still a little stunned, honestly. This isn’t something I would have thought I could do, but I did it and I even held on to my sanity and health. (Mostly.) It meant canceling on all but one convention for 2015 and missing Thanksgiving with my family, but I did it. Hopefully this will make a lot of travel opportunities happen over¬†the next two years. Including visits to my family.

The Hellmaw setting is still under a pretty tight Non Disclosure Agreement, so there isn’t much I can tell you about the book or the setting. However, I’ll tell you what I can:

  • My book title is OF THE ESSENCE.
  • It is a standalone novel. That is, there are no sequels planned at this time. It’s open-ended enough to entertain a sequel in the future, if it does well and readers clamor for more, but I had so many plates in the air already that I only wanted to commit to one book at a time.
  • It has chapters, but not chapter titles. Just chapter numbers.
  • It has characters.
  • It passes the Bechdel test.
  • It does not contain sexual violence.
  • If it were a movie, it would probably be rated R.
  • It will be available in May, 2016.
  • The moment it’s up on Goodreads and Amazon, I will let you know.
  • I’m really, really proud of it, and I hope everyone else enjoys it too. ūüôā

 

 

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Welcome to the Hellmaw !

…in which that which has been secret is now partway revealed.
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I’m pleased to be able to announce that my novel OF THE ESSENCE is going to be unleashed upon the world in May 2016, as part of The Ed Greenwood Group’s Hellmaw setting. For more info on the setting, and the other authors fortunate enough to get to play in it, please click the happy, friendly logo above. ūüôā

This will be my first published novel. (The second novel I sold, but the first one to be published. Because: publishing!)

And here, at last, is the catalog copy.

When a powerful daemon warlord is murdered¬†in modern-day England, all signs point in the same direction: to Tehru, his nemesis throughout the dynastic war on Araunt. But Tehru knows that someone else has access to her power: Quills, a back-alley magic dealer and tattooist who once received¬†a sample of Tehru’s essence as payment for her services. Now the murdered daemon’s followers are coming after Tehru for retribution, and Quills has to track down the real killer and clear her client’s name. If Quills¬†doesn’t solve the murder in time, she’ll be¬†the one to take the fall.¬†¬†

Impending Projects

I do plan to gradually reprint some of the content from my previous blog, especially the more popular entries, but it will take a bit for the dust to settle here.

In the meantime, before we get to the old, here’s what’s new:

  • My first novel is complete and turned in. It’s now in Paizo’s skilled hands, and I’ll share a title, some art, and a release date as soon as I can. Yes, it features Zae, Keren, and Appleslayer. If you’re already a fan from the web-fiction (my short story “Inheritance“), the novel will have more of everything you love about them.
  • My second novel is an urban fantasy endeavor, with¬†The Ed Greenwood Group. As I write this, it’s nearly halfway written, and it’s due in November. I’ll make it, really! It’s forthcoming in May 2016, and I can’t wait to tell you more. The veil lifts, at least partway, on October 19.
  • Women in Practical Armor, my next anthology with Ed Greenwood, had an amazing Kickstarter campaign. If you didn’t get in on the action as a backer, you’ll be able to pick up a copy in April, 2016. This one is hopefully the first of several anthologies that Ed and I are doing for¬†Evil Girlfriend Media.
  • I have a very short story called “575” that will be appearing in C is for Chimera, edited by Rhonda Parrish, also in 2016.
  • My story “Descent of the Wayward Sister” from Cthulhurotica has officially become my first reprint sale.
  • Two recent acquisitions for Dragon Moon Press are on their way to the printer, and another is close behind!
  • I’ve had to scale back on¬†editing because of the novel deadline, but there are still two novels in my editorial queue, one for Dragon Moon and one for a freelance client.
  • I will definitely be attending CanCon in Ottawa this October, and I’m confirmed to some degree for Norwescon (Seattle), GenCon (Indianapolis) and DragonCon (Atlanta) next year.
  • Despite the busy, I’m missing my daily slush fix. I’m looking forward to Apex Magazine re-opening for submissions.

Whew. So, that’s me. More details to come, on all of the above. But for now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a manuscript tugging at my sleeve.