Living for the Revel (catvalente) wrote,
Living for the Revel

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Volume II in the House!

The day has finally arrived--The Orphan's Tales are complete! The big picture, all visible from every angle! My not-so-little conglomeration of dark and dastardly fairy tales has entered the world. The Orphan's Tales: Vol. II: In the Cities of Coin and Spice is out and making cute infant noises being extremely orange, available all over the internet and at most any bookstore you can walk into--she is born, she has at least fourteen fingers and toes, and the attendant angels are still wandering about asking after cigars. 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 this doorstop of a book is here, and many things you probably didn't. Here we go!

The Basics

  • First off, thank you to everyone who read In the Night Garden, bought copies of the sequel, pre-ordered copies throughout the last year and followed the LJ through this whole insane process, supported me and helped this book see print. I started this project five years ago this week, a nice bit of symmetry, and I can't really believe, even still, that the random "Hey! You know what would be cool?" moment is actually manifest, let alone something that has come to have meaning for so many people. To everyone who has helped in the smallest way and bore witness to this craziness, which has included the blogosphere since before there was a blogosphere: thank you, thank you.
  • In the Cities of Coin and Spice is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and basically anywhere you care to look for books. You should be able to get it on the ground at the big booksellers.
  • 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 at any one of the readings and conventions I'll be doing over the next year. The Boston and New York launches are December 1st and 4th respectively, but chances are I'll be near you sooner or later--next cons are World Fantasy, Confusion, Penguicon, and Lunacon.
  • 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. Also they make nice Christmas presents, hint hint. Sales mean I get to keep writing books and do not have to go work at been fired from Starbucks in the past, so cannot even work there.
  • Link to the book in your journals/websites--colloquially known as "pimping." Please to be pimping. 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.
  • Review it. On your blog, or elsewhere if you work for a review site or a magazine. This is a little different than my small press books in that I don't have a pdf to send you. If you work for a review venue I might be able to get you a review copy, but I have far less control over this part of the process than I used to. Also, 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.Post an Amazon review--so easy
  • 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 Orphan's Tales, too.
  • 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.
  • Join cmvalente and discuss the book! Please note, though, that I do not run and have no control over that community. 
  • Use one of the icons below.
Ultimately, read the book and talk to people about it. I have never worked so hard or so long on anything, even my college degree, as these two books. They are my babies. I want them to thrive. They will be good to you, and not make a mess on the carpet, I swear. This is the last chance for The Orphan's Tales to make a splash--if you loved the series, if you are kind and inclined to help struggling midwestern authors, please do so now.

Fun Stuff

  • The Blog Tour starts tomorrow at the new Fantasy Magazine Online--I'll link to every stop here and list them on
  • Sorrow and Solace is S.J. Tucker's stunning EP of music based on the book--listen to the title track here!  You can buy it from the merchandise page of, and really, really should. However, if you buy the novel from Amazon, please go immediately here and purchase the album so the Amazon system will link us together on various screens. You can also review it there! If anything, this album is better than the first, and I wish to god I had had it as a child. It is not entirely of this world.
  • Icons! Below are 20 icons--most old, some new. (There is a full gallery of Orphan's Icons here) I have not had the chance to go crazy with icons like I normally do, sadly. Use them as you like--just tell me which ones you took and credit me in some post or other. If you want me to make an icon of your favorite character or line or what have you and I haven't covered it, I'll take requests. Also, because I haven't had the chance to do it up this year--I challenge you to make your own Tales-themed, SJ lyrics, or "my fandom" icons--I'm an icon nut (clearly) and I'd love to see whatever you come up with. Old book, new book, take your pick. The last one in the line is by fireriven .

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.

It's over, it's actually over. My girl has no more stories to tell. It doesn't feel real.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the stories--and in case you forgot along the way what this book is actually about, I leave you with the back cover copy:

Catherynne M. Valente enchanted readers with her spellbinding In the Night Garden. Now she continues to weave her storytelling magic in a new book of Orphan’s Tales—an epic of the fantastic and the exotic, the monstrous and mysterious, that will transport you far away from the everyday….

Her name and origins are unknown, but the endless tales inked upon this orphan’s eyelids weave a spell over all who listen to her read her secret history. And who can resist the stories she tells? From the Lake of the Dead and the City of Marrow to the artists who remain behind in a ghost city of spice, here are stories of hedgehog warriors and winged skeletons, loyal leopards and sparrow calligraphers. Nothing is too fantastic, anything can happen, but you’ll never guess what comes next in these intimately linked adventures of firebirds and djinn, singing manticores, mutilated unicorns, and women made entirely of glass and gears. Graced with the magical illustrations of Michael Kaluta, In the Cities of Coins and Spice is a book of dreams and wonders unlike any you’ve ever encountered. Open it anywhere and you will fall under its spell. For here the story never ends and the magic is only beginning….
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