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1. More Tour

Hey, all! I am in Mexico, starting a new project, but I thought I would go online and let you know where I am going to be as of NEXT WEEK. For more information on any of these, please go to the appearances section of my website:

February 20th - 22nd
Mythic Worlds Convention and Masquerades
Doubletree by Hilton
18740 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98188

There is a Special Guest Discount Code for my readers: MW15HB20
Use the Discount Code to get 20% off a Mythicworlds Ticket when you purchase from HERE.

February 23rd
Signing 7-9PM
University Place Library (Pierce County)
3609 Market Place W., Suite 100, University Place, WA 9846

February 24th
Signing 4-6PM
Burien Library (King County)
400 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA 98166

March 7th
Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable

March 20th
Reader’s Theater 7-8:30PM
Barnes & Noble (Union Square)
33 East 17th Street, New York, NY 10003 United States

March 27th - March 29th
Emerald City ComicCon
Washington State Convention Center, Seattle Washington

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2. Darkest Part of the Forest January Tour

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


361 Washington St.

Brookline, MA 02445

(Sales by the Children’s Book Shop)

Thursday, January 15, 2015


768 Boston Post Road

Madison, CT 06443

Friday, January 16, 2015


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


The Doylestown Bookshop

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


3609 Market Place W., Suite 100

University Place, WA 98466

(Sales by King’s Books of Tacoma)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


400 SW 152nd Street

Burien, WA 98166

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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.

Or if you'd just like a signed copy, you can pre-order one from Barnes & Noble or from any of the bookstores I'll be visiting on tour (tour dates/stores coming soon.)

I hope you like the book, now that you get to read a big chunk of it!

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4. Pre-order Campaign for Darkest Part of the Forest

Darkest Part Page Version 1

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!


Addendum Books

165 Western Ave. N, #14

St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone: 651.493.2791

Website: http://addendumbooks.blogspot.com


Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

123 W Jefferson Ave.,

Naperville, IL 60540

Phone: 630.355.2665

Website: http://www.andersonsbookshop.com

Direct link to DPotF:http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/book/9780316213073

Anderson’s Bookshop Downers Grove

5112 Main St.

Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phone: 630.963.2665

Website: http://www.andersonsbookshop.com

Direct link to DPotF:http://www.andersonsbookshop.com/book/9780316213073


Blue Willow Books

14532 Memorial Drive

Houston, TX 77079

Phone: 281.497.8675

Website: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com

Direct link to DPotF: http://www.bluewillowbookshop.com/node/76322

Book People

603 North Lamar Blvd.,

Austin, TX 78703

Phone: 512.472.5050

Website: http://www.bookpeople.com

Direct link to DPotF: http://www.bookpeople.com/book/9780316213073


Boswell Book Company

2559 N. Downer Ave.

Milwaukee, WI 53211

Phone: 414.332.1181

Website: http://boswell.indiebound.com

Direct link to DPotF:http://boswell.indiebound.com/book/9780316213073


Children’s Book World

17 Haverford Station Rd.,

Haverford, PA 19041

Phone: 610.642.6274

Website: http://www.childrensbookworld.net


Mysterious Galaxy

5943 Balboa Avenue, Suite #100,

San Diego, CA 92111

Phone: 858.268.4747

Website: http://www.mystgalaxy.com

Mysterious Galaxy

2810 Artesia Blvd.

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Phone: 310.542.6000

Website: http://www.mystgalaxy.com

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5. Where I Will Be Until the End of the Year (Maybe Near You)

So I have a couple of events before the end of 2013 and hope I'll see you at one of them.


Miami Book Festival
1:30-2:30 pm YA PANEL
Room 8201
I will be presenting The Coldest Girl in Coldtown on a YA panel alongside Kami Garcia, Lauren Oliver and Alex Flinn. Each of us will get about 20 minutes to speak about their own work, then there will be a joint Q&A.

2:30-3:30 pm YA PANEL SIGNING
After the presentation, all authors will be led to a nearby autographing area to sign books for readers.


Miami Book Festival
Room 1164
I will present Doll Bones on this panel with fellow panelists Conor McCreery and Amy Herrick.

After the presentation, authors will be led to a nearby autographing area to sign books.


ALAN Conference*
8:30-9:05 am ALAN Panel: Celebrating Fantasy
Hynes Convention Center
Ballroom B, Level 3 Laurie Renzi, ALAN Board Member, will moderate a discussion between Tamora Pierce (Battle Magic), A.G. Howard (Unhinged: Splintered Book Two), Nancy Werlin (Unthinkable), and me (Doll Bones). There will be a signing after the panel.

*This is a conference, so you have to be a conference attendee to come to this presentation.


Odyssey books in South Hadley, MA - this is not an event, but rather I will be helping out for Small Business Saturday (you can read about Sherman Alexie's call for authors to do some bookselling here), wandering around the store, giving recommendations and bugging them to let me shelve things. Want to ask me for some book recs? Want to buy some books locally? Want to help me slack off like a bad employee by chatting? Come on in.

Odyssey Books
9 College Street
South Hadley, MA


Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY - joint event with the lovely Robin Wasserman (which I nearly mistyped as Rovin' Wasserman), author of, among other things, the absolutely terrifying and wonderful, THE WAKING DARK.

Oblong Books and Music
6422 Montgomery St.
Rhinebeck, NY

(You can RSVP over at the site.)

Come see me if you get a chance! And happy start of the holiday season!

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At last, I am pleased to bring you the Sarah Rees Brennan and Holly Black UK Tour:

Thursday 31st October - Sunday 3rd November
World Fantasy Convention in Brighton

Monday 4th November
Dark Mirrors: Gothic Fiction with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan
Where: Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0EB
When: 6.30pm-7.30pm
Tickets: Free, but booking is essential. To book tickets, email events@foyles.co.uk or call 020 7437 5660
More info:

Tonight we journey to dark places with two of the biggest names in teen fantasy. The walled cities known as Coldtowns are the hellish creation of Holly Black, author of The Spiderwick Chronicles and now The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Within them, quarantined monsters mingle with humans in a neverending, decadently bloody party, which, in an all-too-recognisable twist, is shown on TV 24 hours a day.
Kami Glass’s hometown of Sorry-in-the-Vale, the setting for the new novel by Sarah Rees Brennan, Untold, plays host to an uneasy blend of natural and supernatural. Conflict threatens to bubble over at every turn between the non-magical townspeople and the sorcerers who yearn to rule over them - and seventeen-year-old Kami faces her own internal conflict, as the sorcerer she’s been bound to for her entire life is torn from her.

Join us to find out for yourself how these two inspirational authors create their magical worlds, unforgettable characters and breathtaking stories, and hear their tips for creating a gothic novel of your own.

Tuesday 5th November
An evening with Queens of Gothic fiction, Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan
Where: Waterstones 93-97 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AP
When: 6.30pm-7.30pm
Tickets: £4 / £3 for Waterstones Cardholders, available in-store or by calling 0113 2444

Join us at this Bonfire Night special with bestselling YA authors Sarah Rees Brennan & Holly Black, who will be discussing their new books, work, inspirations and top tips on becoming a writer! Sarah’s new novel Untold and Holly’s new novel The Coldest Girl in Coldtown will also be available on the night. The evening will include a talk, Q&A and signing session.

Wednesday 6th November
Gothic Fiction with Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan
Where: Seven Stories Children’s Book Centre, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2PQ
When: 6pm-7pm
Tickets: £3 per person (including admission to the centre). Call 0845 271 0777 ext 715 to book.
More info: http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/whats-on/events/117476/gothic-fiction-with-holly-b

Join teen authors Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan for a fun event talking about all things gothic fiction. Holly Black is the US author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books, including The Spiderwick Chronicles and her new book The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Sarah Rees Brennan is the Irish author of Unspoken, Untold, and her bestselling Demon’s Lexicon trilogy. Come along to hear all about their books, writing and inspirations – and find out their top tips on how to write a book of your own.

Thursday 7th November
Meet Teen Authors Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan
Where: Waterstone’s Liverpool One, 12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
When: 6pm-7pm

Tickets: Tickets are free, but booking is essential. Please call 0151 709 9820.

Join teen authors Holly Black (US author of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and the bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles series) and Sarah Rees-Brennan (Unspoken, Untold, The Demon’s Lexicon) as they talk about their books, their inspirations and their writing – and discover their top tips for writing stories of your own. Tickets are free but spaces are limited – get yours soon.

We're going to have SO MUCH FUN!

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Soooo, yesterday, I said I was going to post these and then I totally forgot, but here are the dates where I am going to be this September.

Come out and see me! This is a solo tour, so it’s just going to be me and you guys. We’ll hang out! We’ll tell stories! It should be a fine time! (These are US only, but there will be UK dates soon in November!)

September 3rd : SOUTH HADLEY, MA - Odyssey Books (7 PM) - LAUNCH PARTY!
September 5th : CAMBRIDGE, MA - Cambridge Public Library, presented by Porter Square Books (7 PM)
September 6th : MILFORD, NH - Toadstool Books (7 PM)
September 7th : BURLINGTON, MA - Barnes & Noble (2 PM)
September 8th : SKOKIE, IL - Barnes & Noble (1 PM)
September 9th : NAPERVILLE, IL - Anderson’s Bookshop (7 PM)
September 10th : MOUNT PROSPECT, IL - Bookstall at Mount Prospect Public Library (7 PM)             
September 11th : LANSING, MI - Barnes & Noble (7 PM)
September 12th : OKEMOS, MI - Schuler Books (7 PM)

September 21st : WASHINGTON, DC - National Book Festival (10 AM)
September 23rd : BETHESDA, MD - Bethesda Public Library, presented by Politics & Prose (7 PM)

September 28th : AUSTIN, TX - Austin Teen Book Festival (Closing Keynote)

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8. Want to Read the First 8 Chapters of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown?


Want to read an excerpt of my new novel? Coldest Girl in Coldtown is out on September 3, 2103, but you can read the first eight chapters NOW, by downloading the free Kindle preview, which is out as of TODAY.

Here’s the official description:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.

Go over to amazon and download it! You don’t need a Kindle to read it; it can be read on a computer, a phone, an iPad or the like. The FREE PREVIEW will only be up until the book’s release day, so go get it while the getting is good.

And let me know what you think! The book is coming out soon! I am starting to freak out about it!

OH! And I will be posting my tour dates later today too!

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9. My ComicCon Schedule, Which is Pretty Much Only Saturday and all Saturday

If you’re at ComicCon, this is where I am going to be and where you can get one of the 200 copies of the COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN that will be being GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE.



DESCRIPTION: From The Hunger Games’ Katniss to Divergent’s Tris, no one knows how to give a solid ass-kicking like a young adult novel heroine. But when these young ladies aren’t saving the world, overthrowing powerful regimes, or slaying everything from zombies to dragons, they still find time for romance. Panelists discuss the delicate balance between killing and kissing, and what it takes to properly woo a YA heroine

Panelists: Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments), Ally Condie (Matched), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Marissa Meyer (Scarlet), Lissa Price (Starters), Veronica Wolff (The Watchers), Moderator: Maryelizabeth Hart (Mysterious Galaxy)


LOCATION: Autographing Area (Table 9) – AA09

Mysterious Galaxy will distribute 50 ARCs of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown to the first 50 in line. They will also have my backlist, if you’d like to get some of that. :D



Little, Brown will distribute 100 ARCs of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. There will also be Glo-sticks.



Vera is a Russian-American artist working in comics and animation. By day she is a storyboard artist at Laika Entertainment in Portland, OR, where she has worked on the stop-motion films Coraline and ParaNorman. Her comics work includes several self-published minicomics and webcomics, as well as short stories in the Flight anthologies and Nursery Rhyme Comics. Her first graphic novel, Anya’s Ghost, was published by First Second in 2011 and won the Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens. Also, Vera is awesome.


LOCATION: Autographing Area (Table 5) – AA05

Mysterious Galaxy will distribute ANOTHER 50 ARCs of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown to the first 50 in line. They will also have my backlist.

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10. Coldest Girl in Coldtown Trailer up on EW!

It really is totally crazy gorgeous too.

When I first got the script, I all "can you do that?"

Apparently, they could.

Go look!!!

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11. All I Am Going To Say About This SFWA Stuff

1. Nora Jemisin is a goddess. Anyone who disagrees is wrong.

2. The reason that no one is willing to debate you about your views on women and/or POCs, Theodore Beale, is the same reason no one is interested in having a spirited discussion about whether or not the earth is flat.

3. Defending the rights of creepers to creep makes no one look good, Old Guard.

(And if you have no idea what I am talking about, that's probably all to the good. Ugh.)

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12. Thanks, Amazon!!


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13. Doll Bones comes out on May 7th!

And I just got my first printed copy in the mail!


If you like this kind of thing (and I hope you do), my spooky middle grade book comes out on May 7th.

And I have tour dates! Including a new one! And a SPIDERWICK one!

May 4th
18 W. 18th Street
New York, NY
1:00 PM

May 6th
123 West Jefferson
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

MAY 7th
3500 Library Drive (just south of Layton)
Cudahy, WI
6:30 PM

MAY 9th
165 Western Avenue. N #14
St. Paul, MN
7:00 PM

MAY 10th
2720 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN
6:30 PM

MAY 15th

with Tony DiTerlizzi in honor of SPIDERWICK’s 10 year anniversary!
184 Country Road
Barrington, RI
6:00 PM

As for the book itself, so far, some very nice people have said some nice things about it:

“A little bit scary and full of heart, this story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.”
--Rebecca Stead, Newbery Award winning author of When You Reach Me

“Nobody does spooky like Holly Black. Doll Bones is a book that will make you sleep with the lights on.”
--Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

“Tightly focused, realistic tale—bladed with a hint of fairy-tale darkness.... Stories about the importance of stories...don’t come much more forthright and affecting than this one.”
--Booklist, starred review

“Every encounter redraws the blurry lines between childishness and maturity, truth and lies, secrecy and honesty, magic and madness. Spooky, melancholy, elegiac and ultimately hopeful; a small gem.”
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

”A darn good adventure.”
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

If you'd like to read some of the first chapter, CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to pre-order, you can do so at bn.com, at amazon, or at your local independent bookstore.

If you'd like to re-blog, you will have my eternal gratitude.

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14. In NYC? Come See Me Tonight!

Wednesday. March 20 (42nd St NYPL, South Court room, 6-8):

Imagination: A Conversation

Description: It’s a given that authors’ minds are very strange, wonderful, twisted, illogical, inventive places. Here we talk to five rather imaginative authors about how they conjure the worlds in their books and the stories that they tell, along with glimpses of the strange and wonderful worlds they are creating at the present.

Holly Black

Lev Grossman

Michelle Hodkin

Alaya Johnson

Robin Wasserman

moderators: David Levithan and Chris Shoemaker

For more NYC Teen Author Festival events, click here.

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15. Cover for Coldest Girl in Coldtown, revealed!

I am super excited to be able to share with you the cover fo THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. I absolutely love it, especially the veins underneath the type which I think are perfect for the book and also gorgeous (in a creepy way, yes, but I am a creepy lady) and the blue brocade which almost looks composed of menacing faces. I was delighted when it was first shown to me and I love it even better now. I have put it as a background screen on my computer and each time I look at it, I am delighted all over again.

 photo Black_ColdestGirl_HC_zps819965b5.jpg

Want some ARC copy to tell you a little more about the book?


Tana lived in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

EEEEE! I am so happy to finally be able to show you the cover and talk a little bit more about the book. I very much hope you like the cover!

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16. Check Out the Gorgeous New Art for Spiderwick

Tony really outdid himself this time in redesigning the Spiderwick covers for their 10th anniversary (!!!) and a larger size for the hardcover. Here’s the first one Click over to EW.com to see an exclusive look the other five covers and read an interview ith Mr. DiTerlizzi about his inspiration for the repackage.

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17. New Hobbit-Based Resolutions

I finally saw the Hobbit, after feeling guilty about not seeing it for weeks and being about to have to turn in my nerd card. I got tickets to the midnight show on opening night, but was too sick to go and then kind of forgot about it in the madness of New Years - but, all that aside, it was kind of amazing to go back to Middle Earth. And I loved the scene where Saruman complains and complains and complains about Radagast's bad teeth and mushroom eating while Galadriel and Gandalf pretend to be listening, but are really talking to one another

But also, it has caused me to think about how I want to have a more hobbit-y kitchen. Like, earthenware mugs and more cheese and a better larder. Maybe lots of preserves. Like this:

Mugs by Etsy store ClayCrazePottery.

Mug by Etsy store SundanceClayworks.

Chokecherry Plum Jam and Crabapple Jelly by Etsy store BlueKittysCauldron.

Also, maybe I am crazy? Cassie seems to think I have gone a bit mad finishing our draft of The Iron Trial, but she supports me having more cheese in the house. What about you guys? What do you always keep in your larder?

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18. End of the Year Wrap-Up 2012

I'm not sure I've been very diligent about doing these, but I remember really liking having done round-up what-I-did-this-year-and-what's-coming posts. So here's what I did in 2012 and what you can expect from me in 2013.

2012 was an interesting year with a lot of big changes for me. I finished two and a half books, sold five more books, traveled a lot and, for once in a very long time, didn't tour. Right now, I know at least part of my schedule until 2017, which might freak out some people, but which makes me really happy. I love a plan! And I am working with two new* editors.

I wrote one short story this year, "Millcara" for Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt's Rags and Bones anthology. And I had one short story come out, "Little Gods" in Jonathan Strahan's Under My Hat anthology.

The final book in the Curse Workers series, Black Heart, came out, finishing up Cassel's story of con artistry, magic and mobsters. I know there are rumors of a fourth book, but for right now, there isn't one. They're just rumors. If that changes, I promise that I will be very clear and very loud about it!

This past year, I finished writing and editin Doll Bones, my first middle grade novel since the Spiderwick Chronicles (Doll Bones comes out in May, from Simon & Schuster, around the time when we're going to be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Spiderwick), and have nearly finished the first book of the five-book middle grade series I am writing with good friend Cassie Clare (The Iron Trial, out from Scholastic in 2014). In YA book news, I wrote The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, a stand-alone vampire novel that's as dark and decadent as I could make it (out with Little, Brown in September).

As you can see, most of 2012 was getting ready for 2013. And I do feel ready . . . and excited. I haven't had a new project to look forward to since Curse Workers launched in 2010 and now I have three. Doll Bones and Coldest Girl are books that scared me a lot to write and I really, really, really hope you guys will like them. I also have two tours in the US to look forward to -- so hopefully I will be coming to your city sometime soon. 

Until then, though, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I plan to spend the evening drinking champagne and tomorrow looking forward to the coming year and making resolutions. How about you? How will you be spending the last day of this year and the first day of 2013?

*Well. I worked with both editors before (and had lots of fun), but working with them on novels is new.

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19. Rats! Adorable Rats!

I don’t often post cute animal photos, but these pictures of adorable rats were impossible to resist. I used to keep rats and they were excellent pets — smart, friendly, and sweet.

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20. Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

I am going to a party and bringing these devil-faced deviled eggs.

Thanks for the recipe, Martha!

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21. YA for NJ

As some of you guys know, I grew up in New Jersey. My parents are still there as are many of my friends, so it's been crazy to see what's happened in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. My mom keeps giving me updates about how things are going and, sending me pictures of the devastation and telling me where they've moved everyone who's in temporary housing.

In fact, recently, she sent me this picture of the Long Branch boardwalk, the beach I pretty much grew up on. It took me a while to figure out what those wood things were -- maybe something they'd put in? And then I realized that was what had been underneath the slats of the boardwalk itself.


Anyway, that's why I have a personal connection to YA for NJ, which is bringing together YA and Middle Grade authors to auction stuff, 100% of the proceeds of which will go to The Food Bank of New Jersey. It's organized by Kieran Viola and she's done a great job -- there's some amazing stuff there.

My auctions are:

A signed ARC of my new middle grade, DOLL BONES.

A signed set of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

A signed copy of my dark faerie fantasy novel, TITHE.

But, really, you should go over and take a look at what's for grabs, because there's lots and lots and lots of good stuff -- tons of signed books, editorial critiques, school visits, personal phone calls, and much much more. And just in time for the holidays too!

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22. Figment Chat Tonight with Francesca Lia Block, Julie Kagawa, and ME!

We're going to talk about faeries and fairy tales and goodness knows what else tonight, so if you're around, come and talk with us! I haven't done a chat in a while and I am really looking forward to this one. I have loved Francesca's books for a loooong time and have long wanted to talk to Julie about faerie stuff.

Date: Sunday, December 2nd
Time: 7pm EST
Where: Online HERE

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23. How I Wrote THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN (the novel)

Now that the copyedits are in, I think it's safe to call COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN finished, which means it's time for a "How I Wrote" post breaking down the word count and how long it took to write this book.

Previous "How I Wrote" posts are: How I Wrote Black Heart and How I Wrote Doll Bones.

I started doing these to keep myself honest and to learn more about my process. Along the way, I realized that what might be the most helpful to other writers was seeing that finishing a book isn't about writing lots and lots of words every day. It's about the practice of just continuing to put words down, even if you're only writing 300 words at a time. And as I post more and more of these, its interesting how clear it is that every book is written a little differently and poses different challenges.

Please note that writing this book wasn't all I did with my time. Sometimes there were good reasons why I didn't write more or didn't write at all, such as other work. Sometimes there weren't such good reasons. If I remembered (or noted) what was going on on a particular day I tried to jot it down.

This book posed three fairly significant challenges: (1) It was based on a short story, which you can read here, so I had to decide how much of the short story went into the novel itself and whether any of the characters overlapped. (2) I had to decide how to get all the stuff I love about vampires in the book without making it feel derivative. (3) I had to introduce the rules of world in a way that wouldn't be confusing or slow the pace, but would be enough information for the reader to buy into it.

Oh, and there turned out to be one more challenge. This book is 110,000 words and thirty-nine chapters. So, basically, the longest thing I have ever written.

My average writing day was about 1,010, which is high for me and may be the result of the fact that much of this book was written on writing retreats. It would be even higher if I hadn't had to do so much rewriting, which dragged down the totals. There appeared to be 94 days of actual writing, which is kind of amazing. During that time, there were 36 days I didn't work on Coldtown. Of those days, 10 of them were spent working on another project, 10 were days off, 9 were travel or teaching, 3 I was sick and 4 were planning revisions. There is a lost bit of August and July not represented here where I was working on edits, teaching, writing a short story and other things.

Added together = 94 days of actual writing/revising @ 1,010 average.
If you add in the days of planning revisions, that gives us = 98 days of writing/revising @ 969 a day.


I started writing COLDEST GIRL in France, on a writing retreat with some friends. I wrote five thousand words in the first week. Unfortunately, they were the *wrong* five thousand words. For more, read on:

July 3 - START (300 words)

July 4 - 1,300 (1,000)

July 5 − 2,200 (900)

July 6 − 3,200 (1,000)

July 7 - 4,000 (800)

July 8 - 5,000 (1,000) - started over. <---This is the day that I realized I was going to have to start over with an entirely different beginning.

July 9 - 6,100 (1,100) <--See how I am in denial about that? I haven't adjusted the word count.

July 10 − MOVED LOTS OF STUFF - 3,100 (1,000) <---But now I did. And I managed to salvage some of it. Or at least I managed to pretend I wasn't going to have to throw all of it out.

July 11 - 3,800 (700)

July 12 − 5,000 (1,200) 

July 13 - 6,500 (1,500)

July 14 − 7,700 (1,200)

July 15 - 8,700 (1,000)

July 16 - 10,300 (1,600)

July 17 - 11,700 (1,400)

July 18 − 12,600 (900)

July 19 − 14,300 (1,700) 

July 20 − 15,600 (1,300)

July 21 - 17,200 (1,500)

July 22 - 18,900 (1,700)

July 23 - 19,500 (600)

July 24 - 0 <-- I worked on the proposal for a different project instead of Coldtown.

July 25 − 20,500 (1,000)

July 26 − 22,000 (1,500)

July 27 − 22,400 (400) <--- My word count is low here because I wrote up part of the actual proposal for Coldtown to send out to editors instead of writing the book.

July 28 - DAY OF FUN <--- We were in France! We had to spend at least one day visiting cute towns, drinking wine and swimming in the pool.

July 29 - 23,200 (800)

July 30 - FLY HOME

July 31 − 23,500 (300)

    JULY TOTAL = 23,500

August 1 − 24,400 (900)

August 2 − 25,600 (1,200)

August 3 − 26,100 (500)

Other edits = 29,600

    AUGUST TOTAL = 6,100

So at this point, I had to stop working on COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. I had to write DOLL BONES -- and you will can see how that started up in September (with a break where I was working on a couple of other things) here.

February 13 - 1,000 (30,600)

February 14 − 900 (31,500)

February 15 - 500 (32,000) <-- Edits on old chapters

February 16 - 1,500 (33,500)

February 17 - 0 <--wrote on a different book

February 18 − 1,300 (34,800)

February 19 − 1,000 (35,800)

February 20 − 1,100 (36,900)

February 21 - 1,100 (38,000)

February 22 - 1,700 (39,700)

February 23 - 1,300 (41,000)

February 24 - 400 (41,400) <-- also wrote part of a different book

February 25 − 1,000 (42,400)

February 26 − 1,100 (43,500)

February 27 − 2,100 (45,500)

February 28 - 1,300 (46,800) 

February 29 − 1,200 (48,000)

    FEBRUARY TOTAL = 24,800

March 1 - 1,000 (49,000)

March 2 - 0 <-- wrote part of a different book

March 3 − 1,000 (50,000)

March 4 − 1,500 (51,500)

March 5 − 1,200 (52,700)

March 6 − 1,500 (54,200)

March 7 − 1,000 (55,200)

March 8 − 1,300 (56,500)

March 9 - 0 <-- wrote part of a different book

March 10 - 0 <--DAY OFF

March 11 - 0 <--FLY HOME

    MARCH TOTAL = 8,500

When I got home I had DOLL BONES edits to do and did. Which meant that I couldn't get back to COLDTOWN unti the end of April. But after this, I got to write the rest straight through. There was only one problem. I realized that I'd made a big mistake in March. I needed to rewrite about half of what I'd written, so what follows are some very low word counts because I decided that no matter how much I cut, I would only count forward momentum. I'm not sure this was a good idea.

April 26 - Plan Revisions, which mean re-writing the first third significantly and gutting the second third before I write the third third.

April 27 - Plan Revisions

April 28 - Plan Revisions & Revisions 1,700 (58,200)

April 29 - some more revisions…

April 30 − 900 (59,100)


MAY 1 - 500 (59,600) REVISION

May 2 - 0  <--SICK DAY

May 3 - 200 (59,800) REVISION

May 4 − 500 (60,330) REVISION

May 5 − 200 (60,500) REVISION

May 6 − 500 (61,000) REVISION

May 7 - 500 (61,500) REVISION

May 8 − 400 (61,900) REVISION

May 9 − 500 (62,400) REVISION

May 10 − 600 (63,000) REVISION

May 11 - 0  <--Family stuff

May 12 - 0 <--Family stuff

May 13 - 0 <--Family stuff

May 14 − 1,400 (64,400)

May 15 - 0 <-- packing for a business trip to go to Doodle4Google and then on to SCBWI Nevada to teach.

May 16 - 0  <--NYC

May 17 - 0 <--NYC

May 18 - 0 <--NEVADA

May 19 - 0 <--NEVADA

May 20 - 0 <--NEVADA

May 21 - 0 <--NEVADA

May 22 − 750 (65,150)

May 23 − 750 (65,900)

May 24 - 1,400 (63,100) <-- This is where I started noting deletions. I cut almost 5K out of the book on this day, so even though I wrote a significant amount, the total word count went down not up.

May 25 − 1,300 (64,400)

May 26 - 0 <-- DAY OFF

May 27 − 1,600 (66,000)

May 28 - 1,500 (63,200) <-- Deleted another almost 5K from the book here.

May 29 − 900 (64,100)

May 30 - 500 (64,600)


    MAY TOTAL = 5,500






June 6 - NYC

June 7 - 600 (65,200)

June 8 - 2,200 (67,400) 

June 9 - 1,600 (69,000) 

June 10 - 1,200 (69,500) deleted 700 words (68,300)

June 11 − 1,600 (71,100) 

June 12 - Nada. I didn’t mean to take the day off, but I did. Stayed up too late on the 11th. Drove up to Vermont. Went to friend’s house. Had some wine.

June 13 - 500 (71,500) <-- spent most of the day helping a friend with her project

June 14 − 300 (71,800) <-- spent most of the day helping a friend with her project.

June 15 − 0 (71,800) <--spent the whole day drinking and talking to artists.

June 16 − 0 (71,800) <-- tried to install Lion and fucked up my computer, leading to day of total computer misery. Did manage to outline all of what goes into the rest of the book, though.

June 17 - 1,200 (73,300) <--deleted another 300 words.

June 18 − 600 (73,900) -  <--birthday dinner with friends, but on the whole just a dismal day.

June 19 − 1,300 (75,200)  <-- Robin and Maureen visit!

June 20 − 1,100 (76,300) <-- Robin and Maureen visit!

June 21 − 1,100 (77,400) - <-- Long business phone call in middle of day.

June 22 − 900 (78,300)

June 23 - Visting friend

June 24 - Visiting friend

June 25 - 800 (79,100) <--Dropped off friend at train station.

June 26 - 1,200 (82,100) 

June 27 - 0 <-- Medical leave.

June 28 - 0 <-- Medical leave.

June 29 - 1,000 (83,400) 

June 30 - 1,400 (84,600) Deleted 200 words.

JUNE TOTAL = 20,000

July 1 − 1,200 (85,800) 

July 2 - 1,000 (86,800) 

July 3 − 1,300 (88,100) 

July 4 - Fourth of July! Day off in celebration of writing the last line & now return to beginning.  500 (88,600)

July 5 − 700 (89,300) Went to river. Planned interstitials. Messed with ending.

July 6 − 800 (90,100) Interstitials. DONE!!!

Well, not really. Although that's when I wrote the last sentence and stopped recording, I spent the rest of the month restructuring the ending and turned it in on July 30th at 95,000 words. Subsequent editing and then copyedits added about 15K, during which there was a massive restructuring of a couple of chapters, but I didn't record that editing in this kind of detail.

    JULY TOTAL = 10,400

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24. Crafty Christmas

Spent this holiday with my family. My mom and mother-in-law helped me craft some crafty stuff to be sent out with a special DOLL BONES mailing.

What is that? CREEPY, that's what.


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