Posts Tagged ‘The Body at the Tower’

The Magickal Agency Contest

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Today is a glorious, big-news day. First, I’m so pleased to feature a double interview and contest with the delightful Stephanie Burgis. It’s a double contest because we’re each giving away a fantastic prize pack of each other’s books (details below). And it’s a double interview because I asked her 10 questions, which she twisted up and turned back on me. Plus, I can now share with you the details of my THREE launch parties: Kingston, North America online, and the UK/Europe online.

First of all, though, here are Steph and I in conversation:

Ying: What book do you wish you’d written, and why?
Steph: Any of Jane Austen’s novels. SO smart, so funny, and so full of layers!
Steph: Literary death-match among your favorite novels: Middlemarch, Emily of New Moon, or A Wrinkle in Time? WHO WILL WIN?
Ying: Middlemarch in a heartbeat, because I’m not 9 years old anymore. It would also win a literal death-match, as it’s physically the biggest book.

Ying: Black olives or green?
Steph: Green, stuffed with feta cheese!
Steph: Cornish pasty or Yorkshire pudding?
Ying: Cornish pasty FTW! Did you know that traditionally, Cornish pasties had a blob of jam in one corner for a dessert-like finish? This has always troubled me. I mean, what if you started at the wrong end?

Ying:  What are 3 things that make you laugh?
Steph: My crazy-sweet dog, my son, and Joan Bauer’s novel Squashed.
Steph: Which 3 literary heroines do you wish you could hang out with in real life?
Ying: Elizabeth Bennet, Harriet Vane (from Dorothy L. Sayers’s Peter Wimsey mysteries) and, like you, Amelia Peabody (from Elizabeth Peters’s Victorians-in-Egypt adventures). It would be a lively but dangerous gathering.

Ying: And are you a giggler or a cackler?
Steph: A giggler when reading, a cackler when writing. 😉
Steph: Are you a careful bookmark-er or a ruthless page-folder when you read?
Ying: Ack! Would you fold down the corner of your baby or puppy? I THOUGHT NOT.

Ying: What trait do you most admire in others?
Steph: Kindness.
Steph: What trait do you wish you had more of in yourself?
Ying: I’d like to be more disciplined – about writing, chores, time-management…

Ying: What’s the strangest place you’ve ever found your camera or keys?
Steph: In the refrigerator!
Steph: Confession time: which children’s TV show theme-songs have you memorized since having your son? (I know EVERY “In the Night Garden” song.)
Ying: This is going to sound so horribly smug, but we unplugged our TV 3 years ago and haven’t got round to setting it up again. (But it’s not because we think we’re better than everybody else! Promise!) But I’ve seen many, many more videos of tractors and fire engines on Youtube than I’d ever dreamed existed.

Steph: I am inherently great at _remembering historical trivia_. I am inherently terrible at _remembering to re-charge my mobile phone_.
Ying: I am inherently great at _remembering phone numbers_. I am inherently terrible at _remembering poems_.

Ying: What’s your favourite intersection?
Steph: The spot where the Kaerntnerstrasse runs into the Stefansplatz in the center of Vienna. Gorgeous!
Steph: What’s your favorite building in London?
Ying: The British Library. Yes, it looks like a giant primary school circa 1988, but it’s my spiritual home in London.

Ying: Do you have any reading rituals?
Steph: Curled up under the covers, drinking hot chocolate while reading is ideal!
Steph: Do you have any writing rituals?
Ying: Coffee. Glass of water. Email-check. Blog-check. Wander away. Herd myself back. Snack. Bathroom break. Really get started. Oops – reply to urgent email. Answer door. Back to desk. This is why I need more discipline.

Ying: If your mother had to describe you in 3 adjectives, they’d be:
Steph: Eek. Tempted to turn this over to Mom to answer, but at a hopeful guess: stubborn, smart, creative
Steph: If your husband had to describe you in 3 adjectives, they’d be:
Ying: Smart, funny, opinionated. Or maybe just opinionated, opinionated, opinionated.

(Seriously. My husband jokes that I should have a radio show called, “Strong Opinions”. I counter that there isn’t enough air-time in the world…)

And speaking of strong opinions, I thought that for the launch of Body, I should do more to reach readers who aren’t near the vast metropolis of Kingston, Ontario. To that end, I’m holding 3 different events.

UK/Europe online party: Tuesday, September 28 @ 16:00 BST

US/Canadian online party: Tuesday, September 28 @ 16:00 EST

Both online parties will take place on Twitter and the hashtag will be #body. Walker Books UK and Candlewick Press will be there! We’ll be giving away swag! If you’re not already using Twitter, it’s easy to register. And if any of this is confusing but intriguing, leave a comment or email me – I’m happy to answer your questions.

The Real Live launch party: Wednesday, September 29 at 7.00pm at Novel Idea Books. Click here for a map.

I hope you can make it to one of these events!

And now, the contest details

Here’s the deal: Steph and I are both offering a prize pack featuring each other’s books. I’ll be giving away the UK edition of Steph’s debut novel, A Most Improper Magick, along with an AMIM bookmark and postcard set! And over at her blog, Steph’s giving away a copy of The Agency 2: The Body at the Tower, plus an Agency sticker and bookmark.

Here are my contest rules. (You can, of course, enter both contests.)

– To enter, leave a comment answering any one of the interview questions above.

– You may have extra entries by sharing the contest on Twitter and/or Facebook (1 extra entry per site).

– The winner will be randomly selected.

– My contest closes on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.

Good luck, dear readers, and don’t forget to click over to Steph’s blog to enter her contest, too.

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Ready – set – LAUNCH!

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This week, Walker Books publishes The Body at the Tower in the UK! Here’s the gorgeous new cover.

Perfection, non? This is the UK/World edition so if you’re an Australian or New Zealand reader, this is the cover you’ll see in November when it’s released by Walker Books Australia.

Also, plans are taking shape for an actual, real-world, come-see-me-face-to-face-if-you-dare launch party. The details?

Wednesday, September 29

7 pm

Novel Idea Books

156 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

(click here for a map)

Shall I see you there?

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Notorious Victorians, farewell

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

This is it, the last post in the Body at the Tower blog tour, and it features the Edinburgh Seven. Sound like a group of revolutionaries of some sort, doesn’t it? And they were. They were rich, educated young ladies who had the nerve to decide that they wanted to study medicine. Obviously, trouble ensued. You can read more about their story at Booksmugglers.

Then, Booksmuggler Thea reviews Body, calling it “another winning, impeccably well-written historical mystery”. Huzzah!

Thanks so much for joining me on this blog tour. Regularly scheduled blogging returns on Thursday, when I continue my English adventures. See you then!

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Victorian rebels

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

The Notorious Victorians blog tour stops today at Laura’s Review Bookshelf to consider Victorian Rebels. Florence Nightingale was a lady who defied her parents, got her hands dirty during the Crimean War, and revolutionized modern nursing as a result. Not bad!

And over at Teenreads, I’m dispensing bad advice. Ever wondered How Not to Be a Writer? I’ve got tips for you!

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The whole Mary & James thing

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Okay, so the #1 question I get from readers – and this is by a long shot – is, “Will Mary and James get together?” Naturally, I don’t have a simple yes-or-no answer for you. James is back in The Body at the Tower but the path of true love is never entirely smooth, know what I mean? I go into a bit more detail in an interview with Cecilia at the Epic Rat, but it contains some spoilers for both Spy and Body. If you can’t stand spoilers, feel free to email/tweet me your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in a discreet and tantalizing manner.

Cecilia also reviews Body. It’s a great review but it, too, contains spoilers for Spy. It’s a cruel world out there for innocent readers.

I’ll see you tomorrow for more Notorious Victorians!

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Happy bookday, Body!

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I will refrain from gag-inducing metaphors of birth & infancy. Suffice it to say that today, the second Agency novel, The Body at the Tower, is published by Candlewick Press. I’m one-third disbelief, one-third out of my mind with excitement, and one-third “Stop it, Ying, you’re such a nerd”.

Fortunately, it’s not all about me. The Body at the Tower blog tour is at Steph Su Reads today, where I guest-post about Notorious Victorian Joseph Merrick – aka the Elephant Man – and the way he used celebrity as a survival strategy. His is a tragic but also smart and fascinating story.

Steph then reviews Body: “damn if the pages didn’t nearly catch on fire…” *evil cackle from smug author*

There is no real-world launch party today, but stay in touch: I’m planning an online launch party in September. Details to follow.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to celebrate.

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Notorious Victorians, celebrity edition

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Welcome to the second week of The Body at the Tower blog tour. My theme for the next 2 days is the idea of celebrity and today I’m guest-blogging at A Reader’s Adventure about one of the most notorious of Victorians: writer, dandy, aesthete, and scandal-magnet Oscar Wilde. Once again, the Victorians seem oddly contemporary in their adoration and hatred of the limelight.

Mariah also reviews Body. As she warns, you’re in for “slight spoilers for first book. And possibly some fangirling.”

I’ll see you tomorrow – which is, by the way, the OFFICIAL PUB DATE for Body! – at Steph Su Reads with part 2 of Victorian Celebrities.

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Notorious Victorians, days 2-5

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Hello, friends. On Tuesday, the Body at the Tower blog tour stops at Bookworming in the 21st Century. There, I talk favourite books and writing challenges in an interview with Kristen. And Body gets a 5-star review!

I’m going to have patchy internet access for the next few days, but the blog tour rolls on. Do check in at GreenBeanTeenQueen on Wednesday for my essay on Notorious Victorian activist Annie Besant and Sarah’s review of Body.

On Thursday, I’ll be talking about Charles Darwin as a Reluctant Revolutionary at Cornucopia of Reviews. There, Lizzy also gives Body a glowing review. Yay!

Friday’s guest post is about women’s rights campaigner Lady Caroline Norton, over at Reading in Color. Ari’s review is a beautiful one, but beware – it contains minor spoilers for Spy.

I’ll post next week from Vancouver, when the blog tour continues with four more Notorious Victorians and an interview. Can’t wait!

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Notorious Victorians

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Welcome to the first day of the Body at the Tower blog tour! My theme this time round is Notorious Victorians and today, I’m guest-posting over at the Story Siren about the scandalous Victoria Claflin Woodhull, aka the first woman to run for president of the United States. Woodhull’s life was even juicier than that sounds.

Kristi at the Story Siren also reviews Body, giving it 5 stars! She praises its “Spectacular characters… superb writing… awesome storyline. It’s easy to read, fun and just plain ole’ entertaining. I can’t wait for another adventure with Mary in book three!” I’m thrilled to hear it.

I’m also chatting with Sara at the Hiding Spot, where we discuss favourite scenes, novels, and words. Right now, mine’s “quiddity”. What’s yours?

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A deleted scene from Body

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Hello friends and readers! The second Agency novel, The Body at the Tower, hits stores in North America in just over a month. That really sneaked up on me. To celebrate, I thought I’d offer you a deleted scene from the novel.

Context: When James Easton goes to India, he catches a severe case of malaria. On the voyage home, still just recovering from his illness, he becomes acquainted with Jeremy and Sybil Alleyn, a brother-and-sister duo who were raised in India. Sadly, Body became very long and one of the things I had to cut was the Alleyns’s appearance. I do, however, have high hopes for them. This won’t be the last time you see them.

There’s nothing spoiler-ish here, so you can read with impunity. When you’re done with this scene, read the official excerpts from the finished novel, if you haven’t already!

Click here for the deleted scene from The Body at the Tower

Click here for an excerpt from Body

Download the prologue & first chapter from Candlewick Press

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