Archive for March, 2015

11106286_10203916584380505_1917450945_nBehold! 

Yes, Vermilion is very nearly out. I’m so excited! People responded very well to the reading I did at AnomalyCon last weekend, which was lovely. Thank you to all who attended, and as for the two attendees who walked away with ARCs, I hope you enjoy the full story!

So, yeah! Keep your eyes peeled for copies in the wild over the next few weeks (and I’d be very grateful if you would ask for the book and Word Horde titles by name at your favorite local bookseller or library if you don’t see it on the shelf). The book is also imminently on Amazon and other online retailers, if you don’t have a favorite local spot to shop.

Inevitably I’m having a few first-novel jitters, but I’m cautiously optimistic about Vermilion. After all, two of my favorite authors had very nice things to say about the novel, which is lovely:

Vermillion is fresh and strange—a dark and sparkling story of magic, monsters, and mystery in the Old Weird West. Gloriously weird and heartfelt, it’s a credit to the genre from start to finish.”

—Cherie Priest, Award-Winning Author of Boneshaker and Maplecroft

Cherie is an amazing writer, and an amazing person, too! Maplecroft was one of the best books I read last year. I’m beyond tickled she enjoyed Vermilion.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, another of my must-read authors also found the book to his taste…

“Tanzer’s debut novel is extraordinary, portraying a world that is engagingly curious and curiously engaging. One doesn’t realise how much one’s life has been missing a story about a Chinese/English buster of violent ghosts out in the wilder end of the Wild West until one reads this. Plus, talking bears.”

—Jonathan L. Howard, author of the Johannes Cabal novels and the forthcoming Carter & Lovecraft 

Any regular reader of my blog knows how much I admire Jonathan Howard’s work, so it means an awful lot to me that he enjoyed the book.

Finally, The Monitor reviewed Vermilion a few weeks ago, for their Top Shelf column, and had exceedingly nice things to say about it:

“Tanzer’s writing, as always, is a delightful meld of period-authentic language and modern sensibilities. Snappy, often hilarious dialogue is embedded in a deftly written narrative thread that gives plenty of room for characters to breathe and evolve. The world-building is fantastic and leaves many opportunities for follow-ups: I for one really hope this is the beginning of a series, as I want desperately to see Lou — an amazingly round and compelling protagonist — back in San Francisco, doing what she does best.

Vermilion abounds with relatable, human characters of various genders and sexual orientations. LGBTQ issues are folded into the supernatural plot with respect and care, focusing on the emotional and interpersonal repercussions in a refreshingly gentle but frank manner.

An amazing debut novel from an author to be reckoned with, Vermilion is most definitely Top Shelf.”

Top Shelf? More like Top That!

You can read the full review at the above link, which sums up the novel better than I’ve ever managed—so, if you still have questions about the book, that’s a great place to check it out!

You can still order Vermilion directly from Word Horde, but as I said, it should be showing up elsewhere very soon. Oh, and as for those of you who pre-ordered, thank you! I confess my signature is awful, so I tried to spice up your bookplates a little. I hope you enjoy!

Lots of news for Vermilion of late, but that will have to wait, because this weekend I’ll be a guest (!) at AnomalyCon, down in Denver. AnomalyCon is historically a Steampunk-focused convention, and many of the panels reflect that. If you’d like to come say hi, please do! Day passes range between $15-20, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The programming is extensive, you can check out a full schedule at the link, but here’s where you’ll find me, with descriptions of what stuff is:

Friday, 5 PM. The Future of Steampunk. “Steampunk isn’t dead, or even plateauing. New fiction, exciting ideas and where the genre is going beyond the world of written words.”

Friday, 6 PM. Sexuality and Gender Identity in Fiction. “A discussion of the good and bad ways that mainstream fiction is exploring gender identity and sexuality, and how we can do better.”

Saturday, 12 PM. The Science of Steampunk. “Steampunk might be considered “fantasy” to some hardcore scientists today, but the science of Steampunk looks a lot like hard science when examined through a Victorian lens.”

Saturday, 1 PM: Author Free for All. “Don’t miss this wild answer to every question you never thought to ask your favorite authors! Twitter meets steroids.”

Saturday, 5 PM: Steampunk World Interview with S.J. Chambers and Molly Tanzer. “Beyond the Tropes talks Steampunk with S.J. Chambers and Molly Tanzer.”

Saturday, 9 PM. Pornography and Underground Sexuality in the Victorian Era. “Later generations would have you believe the Victorians were prudes, but the truth is something much stranger. Examine the progression of the world’s favorite pastime (sex) from the perspective of the Victorians.”

Sunday, 2 PM: Beyond the 19th Century. “Steampunk Fiction is often categorized as analyzing the future by looking to the past. Explore works that go beyond this past concept and apply Steampunk ideals to other timelines.”

Sunday, 3 PM: New Fiction Now. “Writers Reading Cool Stuff that just came out.” (I’ll be reading from Vermilion, spoiler alert!)

I’ll also be checking out the dealer room, which should be full of fun treats, and seeing what libations the con bar has to offer. My books will also be in the dealer room—A Pretty Mouth, and maybe an extra-special copy of Rumbullion, but not Vermilion, sadly. I will, however, have some fun little promotional giveaways, including physical ARCs! So, come on over and say hi if you like, and make sure to check out the rest of the programming. There will be a lot of great guests, and fun stuff to do and see!

VermillionFrontCover_030415Wow, last week was a whirlwind when it came to my weird little debut novel!

I finally put Vermilion in the bag (good thing, too–as it’s out next month!). I have confidence it’s as good as I can make it, which is a wonderful feeling, moving forward with the project.

Also, the cover was revealed… and what a cover it is! Gaze upon the glory. The majesty. The font! I’ve seen a draft of the back, and it’s astonishing as well. That’s still being worked on, however. I’m really grateful to the time and attention put into this fabulous piece of art by Dalton Rose, the artist, and Osiel Gomez, the designer.

Finally… okay, I’m still kind of jittery and excitable about this… but Vermilion got a STARRED review in Publishers Weekly!

Tanzer’s first novel is a splendid page-turner of a Weird West adventure. Elouise Merriwether is a psychopomp, tasked with escorting newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Half Chinese and half English, with a bizarre job that few people understand, she struggles to find a place for herself in 1870s San Francisco, often vacillating between pluck and self-effacement. When her mother asks her to investigate why young Chinese men are going missing after being offered jobs in Colorado, Lou agrees to turn detective, but she’s bitten off way more than she can chew, especially once she runs up against the mysterious Dr. Panacea and his possibly fraudulent Elixir of Life. This hugely entertaining mixture of American steampunk and ghost story is a wonderful yarn with some of the best dialogue around.

Vermilion has been a long time coming, but I’m very proud of it, and I’m really glad the first review in the world is so enthusiastic. It seems like the reviewer “got” Lou and the project itself, which is wonderful, and hearing that the novel is a “page-turner” ain’t bad.

So! Vermilion is off to a pretty good start, I think it’s safe to say. If you’re interested in helping keep things going that way, consider pre-ordering. Pre-orders count towards crucial first week sales, so it’s a lovely way to show your enthusiasm for an author and his/her work. Plus, the bundle via Word Horde includes a signed copy, and an ebook in the format of your choice! You can keep one for yourself and give one as a gift!

You can also keep the enthusiasm in the air by adding the book to your “want to read” pile on Goodreads (and reviewing it there, and on Amazon of course, once it’s out).

So! I’m off to do weekend things. Starred review means I get to treat myself to breakfast at Dot’s Diner. Mushroom gravy slathered breakfast burrito… here I come!