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I Can Haz Mystikul Kingdum?
prester john
catvalente
Filled with lyrical prose and fabled creatures, this languorous fairy tale is as captivating as Prester John's original letter.

--Publishers Weekly

Today is a Day. It is my wedding anniversary, and the anniversary of us moving to our wonderful island. It is All Saints' Day. It is autumn and sunlight and the last dregs of Halloween. And it is the birthday of a book. The Habitation of the Blessed, the first book of my first trilogy (though I keep sayin--it's not a trilogy, it's a trinity, yo) is out in the world in all its beauty and strangeness. My little book is all grown up and being academically dangerous. Attending angels are horrified by her lack of moral character and the doctors are sure she's a jezebel of the first order. So, cigars all around. So it's time for this post, which some of you know all too well and some of you don't. Everything you every wanted to know about Prester John and his motley world is here, and many things you probably didn't. Here we go!

The Basics

  • First off, thank you to everyone who was part of the publicity team and the behind the scenesness, including my posse, jlassen, johnjosephadams, Ross Lockhart, Marty Halpern, Jason Williams, whitecrow0 , glamour_junkie , fireriven , popelizbet , s00j , babymonkey , and justbeast . Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered copies throughout the last year and followed the LJ through this whole insane process, supported me, defended me, and helped this book see print. Thank you to deliasherman and Theodora Goss, two of my favorite humans, for publishing the short story that started this long road. Thank you to the members of the Rio Hondo writing workshop, most particularly bram452  and Melinda Snodgrass, who made this book a thing I could ever hope to sell. And to everyone who has helped in the smallest way and bore witness to the path that lead to the adventure of my writing life, which has included the blogosphere since before there was a blogosphere: thank you, thank you.
  • The Habitation of the Blessed is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, your local independent bookseller, and basically anywhere you care to look for books. You should be able to get it on the ground at all the big booksellers, too. It's available on the Kindle but also in a DRM-free version at Baen's.
  • For the first time EVER you can get the audiobook today, too! It's read by Ralph Lister in his raspy rich voice, and available everywhere you can get audiobooks--here's the Audible link.
  • If you want your copy signed, mail it to me with the cost of return postage and I will sign it for you. Email me for my address if you don't already know it. Or find me on the tour at any one of the readings and conventions I'll be doing in the future.
  • I know there are some of you who just can't afford it, but genuinely want to read it, even at Amazon's 30% off. If you really, really honestly can't afford it, I have a few spare copies and I'll consider trades. Good old bartering system.
How You Can Help (if, you know, you're inclined to do things like helping out young authors. And if you like the book, which is by no means certain.)

  • Buy the book. Obviously. I mean, this is the most direct way, and pretty important--if you haven't bought a copy already, snap one up. Sales mean I get to keep writing books and do not have to go work at Starbucks...er...have been fired from Starbucks in the past, so cannot even work there.This is a really important book for me--if it does well, I get to keep working. If not, life gets a lot harder. If you never buy another of my books, please give a thought to buying this one.
  • Link to the book in your journals/websites--Spread the word! And if you are or have the ear of any of the high-traffic bloggers, see if they'd/you'd like to wear the pimp hat for a day. Please do get the word out, if you can. All books need help, especially if they are non-linear and not about vampires or werewolves or both. If you want me to cross-link to any of your work in exchange, let me know.
If you link to The Habitation of the Blessed in your journals, Twitter, or Facebooks any time in the next week, leave a comment with the link in THIS POST and I will enter you in a drawing to win a So You Want to Find Prester John package--one of these, made by our
own wonderful namaah_darling using the 1572 map by Ortelius zomg:

 

Each of these contains a signed copy of the book, pair of the fabulous bookmarks by glamour_junkie , one of the lampworked glass pendants by the extraordinary Emblems pictured below (called Fluttering in the Spiced Wind and Coins Dropped from the Hand of Heaven), BPAL samples, a poster of the map from the novel (omg it is awesome) and many more goodies.

   

The grand prize includes The Mirror of Rastno, a massive shawl knit by me out of Wollmeise yarn, one of the most sought after and hardest to find yarns around. The color is Petit Poison, a deep, rich violet, and its center is marked by a shimmering glass bead made by me. This is the pattern, mine will be done in a few days:




The second prize box contains a Heavy Metal Prester John World Tour shirt and everything else I can manage!

There are only two of these boxes in existence: leave a link to your posting in the comments of this post to be entered! (You do not need an LJ account, OpenID is on.)

  • Come to my readings in the next months. Come the show, be part of the tribe. As new dates are added, I'll announce them here. Next weekend I'll be at Between Books in the Philly area on November 13th, and the big launch in NYC is on November 21st, featuring Brian Slattery and the West Constantinople Squeezebox All Stars backing me up, and three fabulous burlesque and belly dancers!
  • Review it. On your blog, or elsewhere if you work for a review site or a magazine. I can send a PDF if you haven't gotten the book from other sources. Physical ARCs are pretty thin on the ground. Also, keep in mind that if you don't like the book and give it a bad review, I am not going to hate you. I promise not to flame you or call you in the middle of the night. Obviously, I hope you like it, but if you don't, you don't. It'll sting, but I won't curse your progeny unto the end of time or respond to your Amazon reviews or anything.
  • Put up a review on Amazon. Totally easy and a nice way to get the ball rolling over there. Amazon provides a couple of ways to help out--you can make a Listmania list or a So You'd Like to guide that includes The Habitation of the Blessed. You can also start a discussion in the forums. But if you like the book, don't just tell me, tell Amazon.
  • Ask your local booksellers to carry it, if they don't already. This is important, as it is still hard to get into those damn chains, especially if your last book didn't do so well.
  • Join the Facebook fan community and discuss the book!
  • Use one of the icons around LJ and forums. talkstowolves made these gorgeous icons for our use, please credit her!

This is my first novel out in nearly two years. In truth, I've been writing this thing in my head since I was an undergrad. I do hope you all like it. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is read the book and talk to people about it, as much as you can. Believe me, every bit helps and is deeply, deeply appreciated.


Fun Stuff

  • The official Prester John website is live! I'll be adding content to this over the next week (yes, there will be an Author's Commentary), but for right now there are t-shirts, deleted scenes, historical info on Prester John, and five free chapters of the novel for you to read at your leisure! The images are by the marvelous whitecrow0  and I hope it will grow over the course of the series into a depository of PJ knowledge--if you are an academic or even a casual enthusiast and want to contribute an article on the man himself, please contact me! And if you make art based on the book, jewelry, fiber crafts, drawings, anything at all, let me know, there is a place on the site to highlight it.
  • Finally, there is this thing. I have been secretly making it for awhile. See, everyone wants to know who Prester John is, so I corralled my action figures and a couple of lolcats to tell you all the story. Everything you need to know to understand the book is behind this black YouTube box. (And yes, linking to this counts as an entry in the contest.)




I think that's about it. Thank you to anyone who uses an icon or does any of the above Helpful Things. If there's anything I didn't cover, leave a comment and I'll try to answer.

I am in zenspace today. It is my anniversary, whose gift is, charmingly, paper. I hope, I so hope, that this book finds its way into hearts. I hope, more than anything, that you like it. I am working on the sequel now (can you say John Mandeville?) and the world is at least for today gorgeous and bright