Posts Tagged ‘US’

Victorian Obsessions: Phrenology

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Welcome to the first day of the Traitor in the Tunnel blog tour! Did you know that the bumps on your head reveal your personality? At least, some Victorians thought so.

Read about the Victorian Obsession of Phrenology, my favourite pseudo-science, at I Swim for Oceans.

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This is the month!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Hello, friends. Is it just me, or was this the shortest January ever? I’d still be in denial about its passing, except that I’m so excited for the North American publication of The Traitor in the Tunnel. So it was utterly appropriate that yesterday, as I sat eating lunch, a chipper FedEx guy turned up at my door with this:

I wish this photo did justice to how exquisite this book really is. It could be the colour scheme (my favourite colour is red) but I think this is the most beautiful Candlewick edition yet. And in 27 days, it will be in bookstores everywhere! There’ll be a blog tour happening that week, involving some of my favourite YA book bloggers. And I’ve also begun planning a launch party in Kingston, so if you’re local, I hope you’ll plan to pop in on Saturday, March 3 for food, festivities, and general frippery.

Finally, here’s the bit of the cover that I always have trouble visualizing, even after seeing an electronic version of the cover: what the spine looks like, lined up with the others.

So, what do you think?

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This is when it feels real

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Hello, friends. Look at what turned up at my house recently!

Yes, these are ARCs of The Traitor in the Tunnel (publishing February ’12). That gorgeous cover is even better in real life (mitigated only by the knowledge that the finished copies will be even more stunning). As for its contents…

It’s a curious feeling, holding the book in my hands. You might expect that after having written, rewritten, and edited it, and having been edited, line-edited, copy-edited, and proofread, that it might feel, um, somewhat familiar (resorting to understatement). And it’s true: there are parts of it I’ve unintentionally commited to memory.

But seeing it bound is astonishing because it also distances me from the production of the book. After all, this is the part I know nothing about. It becomes less my book, and more like a strange and staggering miracle. The cover is lovely and intriguing and slightly nostalgic (because I have, after all, seen it before). And then I flip open the pages and the experience becomes terrifying because it feels like looking into part of my brain. From the outside.

It’s at this moment that the panic sets in. I’m about to send this out into the world? Without anyone to protect it? Or even an explanatory preface?

This is far from rational, of course. I know, at some level, that this is a strong book. Actually, I think it’s the best of the three Agency novels so far. But still. Still. This is the curious push-pull of the almost-published moment, for me.

Is it like this for you, fellow authors? And how about you, aspiring writers and fellow bloggers and readers? How do you feel when you’re about to send something Out There?

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Cover Story: The Traitor in the Tunnel

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Hello, friends! I’m so excited to share with you the behind-the-scenes photos from Candlewick Press’s recent photo shoot for the cover of The Traitor in the Tunnel. As you’ll see, it’s the same team as last time. The model, Amber Ahlquist, looks a wee bit older (I guess even models are subject to the passage of time) and we found the same stylist, Crystal Thompson, which particularly thrills me to pieces, because she’s an expert on nineteenth-century fashion. All photos are by designer Heather McGee.

The shoot took place in New York. The severe black gown is part of Mary’s uniform as a housemaid at Buckingham Palace. Her hairstyle is equally plain, to suit her assignment.

Oh, that vexing apron. Aprons are meant, in theory, to protect your dress from the muck and filth of housework (open fires, stone-flagged floors…). Yet white aprons show every bit of dirt and wear, so they’re incredibly difficult to keep clean and crisp. Yes, Mary finds this annoying.

The model is photographed against a white backdrop.

Afterwards, her image is placed into context: this time, it’s a drawing room at the Palace.

From these images, to this:

And that’s the cover story! What do you think?

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The Traitor in the Tunnel!

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Hello, friends! I’m so thrilled today to share with you the North American cover for The Traitor in the Tunnel:

Those of you with an editorial eye will now be wondering, “The Traitor and the Tunnel” or ” The Traitor in the Tunnel”? Why are you so inconsistent, Ying? Don’t you know the title of your own book? In fact, there are two slightly different titles. I originally chose “and” because I wanted the title to allude to different traitors and different tunnels, and that’s what we did at Walker Books for the UK edition. But the fine editors at Candlewick Press felt that “in” sounded better – faster, snappier, cleaner. And once it was pointed out to me, I agreed. So the North American edition is The Traitor in the Tunnel. Did you think it was possible to agonize this much over a simple conjunction or preposition? 😉

I also wanted to share with you an absolutely lovely review of Traitor by Niranjana Iyer of Brown Paper. Iyer says, “The richness of detail, the intelligent writing, the intricate plots, and superbly-drawn characters elevate this series miles above most YA offerings on the shelves today; I’m delighted to hear this trilogy now has a fourth installment in store for its many devotees.” Thank you so much, Nina!

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The Traitor, revealed

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Hello friends!

In just one month, the third Mary Quinn mystery, The Traitor and the Tunnel, will be published in the UK. Yes, there’s still a long-ish wait for us North Americans (spring ’12), but I hope you’ll find it worthwhile. Candlewick Press are busy shooting the cover, which I hope to get a peek at soon.

I recently heard from an Australian reader, gently ticking me off (in the most charming way possible) for not mentioning Australian pub dates. Mea culpa, Crystal, and I won’t forget again! Traitor will be published there in November. And I was delighted to hear this past week that The Body at the Tower has been long-listed for an Australian teen readers’ award, the Inky. Woot! (Or is there a more appropriately Australian noise of celebration?)

In the meantime, let’s countdown to the UK release (and tide over Americans and Canadians until spring 2012) with this excerpt from Traitor. Hope you enjoy it!

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The Traitor and the Tunnel

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

So there’s been a little hitch with the posting of the UK cover of Traitor. Lawyers, lawyers. But while they work, there’s no reason I can’t share with you MY summary of the third Mary Quinn novel!

Queen Victoria has a little problem: there’s a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Mary Quinn takes the simple case, going undercover as a domestic servant. But before long, a scandal threatens to tear apart the Royal Family.

One of the Prince of Wales’s irresponsible young friends is killed in disgraceful circumstances. Should the Queen hush things up or allow justice to take its course? Mary’s interest in this private matter soon becomes deeply personal: the killer, a drug-addicted Chinese sailor, shares a name with her long-lost father.

Meanwhile, James Easton’s engineering firm is repairing the sewers beneath Buckingham Palace. Trouble is, there’s a tunnel that’s not on the plans. Its purpose is unclear. But it seems to be very much in use.

These overlapping puzzles offer a perfect opportunity for Mary and James to work together again… if they can still trust one another. This is Mary’s most personal case yet and she has everything to lose.

And that’s The Traitor and The Tunnel, coming in spring 2011 from Walker Books UK and spring 2012 from Candlewick Press. [Edited to add: just had word from Walker that the UK pub date is now August 2011. I apologize for the misinformation!]

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One magickal winner, with more to come

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Thanks for entering the Magickal Agency contest and spreading the word, friends. In choosing a winner, I disqualified anyone who claimed not to like olives. Then I was consumed with pity for the misguided, olive-fearing people (because you can’t really claim to live a full and happy life without olives) and put you back in the contest. All right. So.

The randomly selected winner of the Stephanie Burgis prize pack, which includes the gorgeous UK edition of A Most Improper Magick and a set of bookmarks and postcards, is…

See what I mean by gorgeous?

Shel! Congratulations! Please send me your mailing address and I’ll get the book in the post.

I imagine the rest of you are saddened by this. You should be, because Steph’s book is absolutely wonderful and won’t be published in North America until April 2011. But if more conversation and prizes are what you’re after, there is some consolation…

Come to my online launch party for The Body at the Tower on Tuesday, where there shall be all manner of bookish chatter and prizes, oh yes. The lovely people at Candlewick Press and Walker Books UK will be there, refilling your virtual wineglasses. I’ll be giving away Agency t-shirts and stickers, and my publishers will be giving away books! Yes, I said books! The details, again:

UK/Europe: Tuesday, 28 September at 16.00 BST

US/Canada: Tuesday, September 28 at 4pm EST

The hashtag is #bodytower.

(Of course, you can attend whichever party you like. They’re just meant to be at convenient times.)

And there’s a traditional launch party, of course:

Wednesday, September 29 at 7.00pm

Novel Idea Books, 156 Princess St, Kingston

See you next week, at some point! And remember to click over to Steph’s blog to see if you won her contest.

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The blog tour begins

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Welcome to the first day of The Agency: A Spy in the House blog tour! My first stop, organized by  Traveling to Teens (T2T), is at Bookworming in the 21st Century, where Kristen reviews Spy and interviews me. Kristen says she was “entranced” by Spy, and says it “draws you in so well you wish it would go on forever”. I’m delighted to hear it. Thank you, Kristen!

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Pre-launch lunacy

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Well, hello. Are you coming to my launch party on March 9? I hope so. Details are here.

In the lead-up to the Big Day, I am doing my best to be omnipresent. (There is no hope of omniscience or omnipotence, but I do what I can.) What this means is, starting on February 28, I will be blogging. Every. Day. Specifically, I will be guest-posting or giving interviews here (don’t worry, I’ll come back each day and link to the correct post):

Sunday, Feb 28 – interview at Bookworming in the 21st Century
Monday, March 1 – guest post at GreenBeanTeenQueen
Tuesday, March 2 – interview at Steph Su Reads
Wednesday, March 3 – interview at Books are Life
Thursday, March 4 – guest post at Books by their Cover
Friday, March 5 – interview at That Chick That Reads & a guest post at
Saturday, March 6 – guest post at Reading in Color
Monday, March 8 – guest post at the Epic Rat
Tuesday, March 9 – guest post at Chick Lit Teens & at Book Chick City, & an interview at In To Views
Wednesday, March 10 – interview with the Catastrophizer
Thursday, March 11 – guest post at the Story Siren & an interview at Shades of Romance
Friday, March 12 – guest post at Rebecca’s Book Blog
Saturday, March 13 – guest post at Ticket to Anywhere

That’s a lot of me. But wait – you’re not off the hook yet. New reviews of Spy are cropping up everywhere!

BookPage says it’s “entirely true to the genre, full of thrills and danger and wonderfully sharp writing”.

Publisher’s Weekly calls it “richly described… Mary’s lively escapades… will hold readers’ attention and whet their interest for the next installment”.

Bookphilia got the metanarrative jokes (YAY!) and confesses, “I did absolutely no work on Friday because I was reading it and couldn’t put it down”.

Its sensibilities are a bit too modern for the BookWitch at first, but eventually she reckons, “if you want a female Alex Rider in Victorian London, then this is for you.”

Persephone Reads calls it “transporting”.

BookLoons loves the “rich setting in Victorian London”.

Heck, even Kirkus Reviews liked it, but I can’t link to the review without a subscription. Take my word for it?

Phew. I’ll see you on Sunday.

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