I am really excited to share this with you!
For a long time, I’ve been thinking about doing some official merchandise because I love art and also things. And then Worldbuilders came to me and wanted to partner on the very thing I’d been dreaming of doing!
Here’s the first wave of merchandise — shirts! In time for the holidays! One has a quote from the Modern Faerie Tale series, designed by the fabulous Kathleen Jennings. The second is of the Dead Last Rest Stop from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, designed by Tyson Smith of Maiden Voyage Clothing.
I love both a whole lot.
Here’s a link to the STORE. There’s also one in the menu bar, under “Merchandise.”
I am currently in the process of commissioning some more merchandise, so if there’s something you really wish I had in the store, please let me know!
(You will notice that on the same page are signed books of mine. Those were donated separately to Worldbuilders and no portion of any of those sales goes to me.)
I am in New York, having meetings, but I also have two, TWO things out this week.
One, the paperback edition of DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST!
(If, by chance, you’re looking for a signed copy, I am doing some stock signings tomorrow, so there should be some at Barnes & Noble 5th Avenue, Barnes & Noble Upper East Side, Barnes & Noble Union Square, McNally Jackson, and WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn.)
Two, the second issue of LUCIFER!
(No signed copies of this yet, but lots of signed copies of issue one at Midtown Comics.)
Also, I went to the fairy tale exhibit at The Fashion Institute and it was GORGEOUS. I posted a bunch of photos on my Instagram. The whole thing was incredibly inspirational.
Here are two examples:
And if you aren’t in New York, there’s a book, Fairy Tale Fashion, coming out in April with everything in the show and some other stuff besides:
I also got a chance to hear Delia Sherman and Illana C. Meyer read at KGB — and to hang out with Delia and Ellen Kushner, plus lots of other lovely sfnal people, which was an unexpected delight.
I’ve got my game face on for more meetings tomorrow.
As I look back over 2015, it seems like a bit of a blur. Definitely an odd year.
Last year at this time, I was looking forward to the release of my first new faerie novel. The Darkest Part of the Forest came out in January. I am incredibly grateful to everyone who picked up a copy and everyone who came out to see me on tour.
It hit the New York Times bestseller list, won the American Booksellers Association’s Indies Choice Book Award in YA, and reminded me how much I missed writing about faeries.
Me, with cosplayers in Vancouver dressed up as characters from my books, including Cassel, night/knight Hazel, and Val. I can’t remember if I posted this before, but I totally should have.
Then, I sold a new series to Alvina Ling at Little, Brown books, who’s published both The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and The Darkest Part of the Forest. After so many stand-alones, I am having fun hunkering down with a big cast of characters and an epic multi-book story. Okay, I am having some fun, which for me is a red letter event, because my drafting process is usually agonizingly painful and slow.
I’ve been trying to write differently this year, trying to cultivate flow by doing some timed writing sprints of thirty to forty minutes. At first I was doing them to just be away from the internet and other distractions, but it turns out that they’re useful in distracting myself from the dispiriting feeling that I have to write all day long. No, I only have to write for forty minutes. And then, later, another forty minutes. And so on.
I am over halfway done with the first book — The Cruel Prince — so I should be able to give you a snippet from it:
The princess Elaine is dancing at the center of a circle of revelers. There’s a young human playing a fiddle — at least he looks young, although he may have been that young for a very long time. In Faerie, it’s sometimes hard to know, and Ivy says that not a lot of modern people play the fiddle. Two humans accompany him less skillfully, but more joyfully, on ukuleles.
Out of a pocket, Taryn brings a handkerchief, onto which she places a wedge of blue-veined cheese along with a bit of bread and a green apple. I break off a piece of the cheese and take out the little knife Madoc insists I fit into my shoe to cut up the apple.
Words drift up to me, shouted out by dozens of mouths, the beginning of a ballad, “Of all the sons King William had, Prince Jaimie was the worst,” they sing. “And what made the sorrow even greater, Prince Jamie was the first.”
“They’re here,” Taryn says, pointing.
Appropriately enough, Prince Cardan, sixth in line to the throne and the absolute worst, is striding across the floor beneath us. Valerian, Nicasia, and Bran — his three meanest, fanciest, and most loyal friends — follow him. The crowd parts and hushes as they pass. From here, I can see that Cardan is wearing his usual glower, accessorized with kohl under his eyes and a circlet of gold in his midnight hair. He has on a long black coat with a high jagged collar, the whole thing stitched with a pattern of constellations. Valerian and Nicasia are both in deep red. She’s wearing a diadem of rubies, each like a drop of frozen blood. A glittering cobweb net covers her hair. Bran brings up the rear, looking bored, his hair the color of fox fur.
“They’re ridiculous,” I say, but I cannot deny that they’re also beautiful. Fairy lords and ladies, just like in the songs. If we didn’t see them at the palace school, if I didn’t know first-hand what a scourge they were, I’d probably be as in love with them as everyone else.
“I’ve heard Cardan has a tail,” Taryn says and then giggles at her own daring.
All things subject to change, of course, but hopefully those paragraphs will persist to the final version.
This year, I did a bunch of traveling. I went to Monte Carlo and saw the famous casino. I even lost a hundred bucks there.
And I went to Australia, where I got to meet a lot of readers, swim in the sea, and hang out with kangaroos!
The second book of the Magisterium series, The Copper Gauntlet, came out. Cassie and I did a short US tour and got to see some of you. And we’ve been hard at work editing The Bronze Key.
And I went to FaerieCon in Baltimore. It was great to see old friends and also buy some excellent faerie accessories.
But my most recent news is that the first book in my new comic series, a reboot of the original Lucifer, just came out this month. I loved the character of Lucifer when he was written by Neil Gaiman and then again when he was written by Mike Carey, so it has been an honor to get to tell a little more of his story.
The beautiful illustrations that Lee Garbett is doing are a delight, not to mention the amazing covers by Dave Johnson. It’s really been a dream project. Not one without a learning curve and certainly intimidating, but I am so glad that I let myself accept the challenge of it.
Look, they’re signed! And real!
Personally, I am the mom of a toddler, who is talking and singing, truck obsessed (“Old MacDonald had a farm and on that farm he had a … steamroller!”), in love with lightsaber battles and messy painting and jumping on the couch. That’s been really, really, really great. The greatest, really.
So, a pretty good year, right? In many ways, for me, it was, although I’ve been struggling with a lot of free-floating anxiety. Anxiety about big stuff — 2015 has been a rough, heartbreaking year for the world and for many people I care about — as well as other more personal, less clearly defined anxiety. I was really inspired by Gwenda Bond’s end-of-the-year roundup and how she made excellent anxiety-reducing changes in her own life. And I was inspired by Scalzi’s post about 2015 and how he’s managed to stop worrying so much.
So, welcome 2016. May we all figure out how to be good to one another and also to ourselves. May we figure out how to work toward a better world. And may I, personally, figure out some other stuff too.
I am prepping for a vampire-themed New Year’s party, so I leave you with this picture of my front door.
WELCOME 2016! Doesn’t that look welcoming?
This coming Wednesday, I am going to be doing a Twitter chat mainly focused on the new issues of the new Lucifer, but I am also happy to talk about writing generally, publishing, anxiety, insomnia, my cats, fairy tales, other books I’ve written, books I’ve read but haven’t written and anything else that strikes your fancy.
(Also, I feel very fancy to have a graphic for a chat. Also, also, do you like my horns in that picture?)
I apologize for not having posted in a while. I have been writing like the devil, working on Magisterium 3, Cruel Prince and the the first six issues of Lucifer pretty much nonstop.
I’ve also been sleeping on a really weird schedule and rethinking my office set up to try and get myself out of that really weird schedule. I am ready for January and new New Year’s resolutions and a more organized life and, hopefully, some good news.
Also, I have set up newsletter technology! Or at least I think I have; i’m still figuring it out. Anyway, if you’d like to get updates on tour dates, plus special strange things and occasional ramblings, well look no further: http://blackholly.com/about/contact-holly/
OH! And the first issue of the new Lucifer comes out next Wednesday! If this is the kind of thing that you’re into, I hope you like it.
For more information, go here: https://www.92y.org/Event/Baldacci-Clare-and-Black.aspx
I was totally flummoxed and very very happy when Darkest Part of the Forest received the Indies’ Choice Book Award for Young Adult Book of the Year. Thursday, I went to BEA to accept it.
I was supposed to go on stage and speak for two minutes.
A very intimidating two minutes!
But an incredible honor.
I was happy to get to spend some time with my editor, the incomparable Alvina Ling, and talk about some exciting things that I cannot yet reveal. I am in possession of SEVERAL SECRETS.
I completely forgot to take any photographs all day, so these are all stolen from my editor, from Hannah at Odyssey Books, and from whoever finally took the photo of all of us below, maybe it with Margie’s phone? I am not sure. All I know is that none of these photos belong to me and also that I had a whirlwind of a great time at BEA this year.
The best part (other than the award) was getting to see people that I don’t always get to see: sleeping over at Robin Wasserman’s house, getting to eat Pinkberry with Carrie Ryan, talking about writing processes with Marie Lu, hugging Gwenda Bond before being driven out of her giant signing line, and hanging out for a much too short time with Leigh Bardugo. Margie Stohl let us crash her dinner — and even gave me the food off her plate!
(Pictured here: Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, Alex London, me, Margie Stohl, Aaron Hartzler, and Carrie Ryan.)
I also got to see some Copper Gauntlet (Magisterium 2) ARCs in the wild!
So before it’s all holiday all the time, I wanted to post the final piece of the how-to-get-a-copy-of-Darkest-Part-of-the-Forest puzzle: my Book Tour dates. This time it’s mostly going to be East Coast (and Seattle!) and I will be in New Jersey where I haven’t been in a while.
If you’re in the area, you can come and I will personalize a copy of Darkest Part of the Forest just for you and we can talk about books, faeries, fairy tales. I will tell you secret things, sign with fancy pens, and give you presents. Come!
However, if you can’t come to an event and you want to pre-order the book, (a) you can pre-order from these indie bookstores and get a bookplate and a poster (some stores are willing to ship overseas should that be a thing you are interested in), (b) you can pre-order a signed book from Barnes & Noble, (c) you could pre-order a book from any one of the stores I am touring (these ones in this post) and I’ll sign it for you when I get there, or (d) you can pre-order a regular, unsigned book from anywhere books are sold.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
ODYSSEY BOOKSHOP – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM*
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
There’s been a lot of big talk from Odyssey about how they’re going to MAKE A GLASS COFFIN. I really want to see if they can pull this thing off. This is the launch event, so we’re going to be as weird as possible.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY OF BROOKLINE – 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
361 Washington St
Brookline, MA 02445
(Sales by the Children’s Book Shop)
Thursday, January 15, 2015
RJ JULIA BOOKSELLERS – 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Friday, January 16, 2015
WATCHUNG BOOKSELLERS – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
54 Fairfield St.
Montclair, NJ 07042
Saturday, January 17, 2015
WORDS BOOKSTORE – 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
179 Maplewood Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Sunday, January 18, 2015
RIVER ROAD BOOKS – 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
759 River Road
Fair Haven, NJ 07704
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
DOYLESTOWN BOOKSHOP – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
16 Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
TOWNE BOOK CENTER – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
220 Plaza Dr (at Providence Town Center)
Collegeville, PA 19426
Friday, February 20, 2015 through Sunday, February 22, 2015
Doubletree by Hilton, 18740 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98188
This is a convention put on by the same people who do FaerieCon and FaerieWorlds and will also be attended by Charles deLint, Laurel K. Hamilton, and many musicians and artists. It sounds like there will be panels, workshops and a lot of concerts.
Monday, February 23, 2015
UNIVERSITY PLACE LIBRARY (PIERCE COUNTY) – 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
3609 Market Place W., Suite 100
University Place, WA 98466
(Sales by King’s Books of Tacoma)
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BURIEN LIBRARY (KING COUNTY) – 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
400 SW 152nd Street
Burien, WA 98166
If you want to take a look at some of my new faerie book, The Darkest Part of the Forest, you can now download the first seven chapters for your eReader:
For Kindle, go here.
For iTunes, go here.
For Nook, go here.
For EPUB, go here.
For Google, go here.
And as a reminder, if you like what you read and decide to pre-order DPotF from these indie bookstores, you’ll get a free signed bookplate and poster.
I hope you like the book, now that you get to read a big chunk of it!
My new faerie book, The Darkest Part of the Forest, comes out on January 13th and to celebrate, we’re giving away signed bookplates and a limited-edition poster with every pre-order in participating stores.
For a lot of years, readers have been asking me for a new faerie book, so I am very excited to finally be able to give you one. I hope you fall in love with these characters the way that I did. If you’d like to read a little bit from the book, you can read this excerpt .
Note: Not all stores take online preorders. But when ordering online (or over the phone or in person) it’s always good to confirm that you’re going to receive your bookplate and poster!
165 Western Ave. N, #14
St. Paul, MN 55102
Email: addendumbooks [at] gmail [dot] com
Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville
123 W Jefferson Ave.,
Naperville, IL 60540
Direct link to DPotF: http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/book/9780316213073
Anderson’s Bookshop Downers Grove
5112 Main St.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Direct link to DPotF: http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/book/9780316213073
Blue Willow Books
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Direct link to DPotF: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/76322
603 North Lamar Blvd.,
Austin, TX 78703
Direct link to DPotF: http://www.bookpeople.com/book/9780316213073
Boswell Book Company
2559 N. Downer Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Direct link to DPotF: http://boswell.indiebound.com/book/9780316213073
Children’s Book World
17 Haverford Station Rd.,
Haverford, PA 19041
5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100,
San Diego, CA 92111
2810 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
INTERNATIONAL FOLKS: Blue Willow Books and Addendum Books both say that they’re willing to ship overseas if you’re willing to wait!
The Doctor Who story I wrote is out tomorrow!!! It takes place between the first and second episode of the new season and includes monsters, coffee, spaceships and my take on Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. It’s currently available in e-format and here’s where you can get it:
“Lights Out!” on iTunes
“Lights Out!” for Nook
“Lights Out!” for Kindle
“Lights Out!” in the UK
If you want to listen to me talk about it, here I am nattering on in an article in The Guardian and here’s a video of me looking very odd and gesturing wildly (my hair is silvery because I was swimming in the sea for a week and puffy for reasons beyond my ken — why didn’t anyone tell me I looked like that?).
I hope that all you Doctor Who fans think I did an okay job!
Go here to get one. There’s a limited quantity, so I don’t know if they will continue to be available after the book comes out in January or if they’re going to be all done in pre-orders.
Scholastic has put together some banners, icons, and backgrounds if you want to share your Iron Trial love.
The Coldtown paperback is coming out 8/12, which if you live where I live, means right now! It’s super pretty and has two fancy new blurbs on it.
This one on the front:
“No one writes like Holly Black. [Coldtown] is one of my all-time favorite fantasy novel settings.” – John Green
…and this one on the back:
“Written beautifully, with a really rich setting and complex characters.” – Veronica Roth
When I saw these, I went immediately to my publicist.
Holly: Uh, guys, I really appreciate you guys trying to make the book sell and all, but someone is going to notice that you MADE UP A BUNCH OF FANCY BLURBS.
Publicist (with vast, though beleaguered patience): Those blurbs are real, Holly.
And it turns out that they are really real! Thank you, John and Veronica!
Anyway, if you’d like to pick up a copy, there are links to places selling it on the Coldtown page of my site. So, if you’ve been waiting for paperback to try out The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, now is your time to strike!
I am super excited to find out tonight that Doll Bones was awarded the Mythopoeic Award for Children’s Literature! It’s been an award I’ve admired a lot, in part because of its celebration of my mythic and in part because it’s an award that has gone to some of my favorite books and favorite writers.
For example, here’s a photo of Neil Gaiman and Terri Windling with a Mythopoeic Award. I am not sure if Terri is giving it to Neil or Neil is awarding it to Terri in this picture, because they’ve both won one.
Other winners include: Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave, Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer, Delia Sherman’s The Porcelain Dove, Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series, Franny Billingsley’s The Folk Keeper, and Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose. So, yeah, basically everyone and everything I love.
Here’s a closer look at the statue. Look, it’s Aslan!
(This appears to be Lois McMaster Bujold’s Aslan. See what I mean about all my favorites?)
Anyway, I am overwhelmed and beside myself and babbling a little. But also super happy!
And CONGRATS to Helene Wecker whose THE GOLEM AND THE JINNI won the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Fiction.
Also, if you’re interested in mythic research, going back through the archives of winners of the Myth and Fantasy studies award is highly worthwhile. This year’s award recipient is G. Ronald Murphy for YGGDRASIL AND THE CROSS IN THE NORTH.
This is it! The new site, with updated content and a streamlined new look. I’m going to continue to add content, so check back. I am also going to be using this blog more for stuff that doesn’t quite fit on Tumblr.
Since a lot of people were asking for it, I have “Lila Zacharov in 13 Pieces” back up on the site and also have an updated Writing Advice page. Plus the Appearances page is a lot easier to update, so I vow to actually update it. 🙂
Still working out some content, so let me know if there’s something else you’d like to see and I will see what I can do.