Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From the book launch on January 14

Sometime before the book launch party at One More Page Books, I got it into my head that I should videotape it and put excerpts up on YouTube. Not because I thought there was a great hungering out for videos of me talking about my books--far from it. But I knew I wouldn't be doing many events for the release (it's a bad time of year for travel), and there were readers who asked when I'd be coming to their area, and so I thought they might be interested in seeing a clip from an event and see that they weren't missing much (haha).

I asked my husband to tape it and we decided we might as well do it on his iPhone. Since it was first and foremost in our minds that this wasn't going to be a big deal, we didn't do much. Got a stand so the picture wouldn't be wobbly. (If you're looking for some good straightforward advice on taking movies on your cell phone, this NY Times video is great.)

All that was the easy part. The hard part was downloading from the phone to the right computer, getting a video-editing package to work, etc. Long story short: I finally managed to snip out three fairly short videos from that evening.

The lovely woman to my left is Jenn Lawrence, from Jenn's Bookshelves. She is a friend and prominent Northern Virginia book blogger and she graciously agreed to interview me for the event.

In the first video, we talk about the inspiration for The Taker:

This one is about living in "Colonial Ground Zero" and researching the past:

And this last one is about the characters in the novels, especially the one you love to hate:

I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winners; what happens after the Descent? and upcoming events

Jenn Lawrence, Terry Nebeker, me, Allison Leotta
and Kathy McCleary at the book release event at
One More Page Books, Arlington, Virginia
We're almost at the end, friends. The book has been out for a couple weeks and the hub bub is dying down. Such is life. We have our 15 minutes of fame but now things get back to normal. Let me tidy up a few loose ends:
  • Congratulations to the winners of our giveaway (the complete trilogy in trade paperback and a $50 gift card): Laura, Michaela and Robyn! We had almost 3000 entries, a great turnout. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word.
  • You've read The Descent but you want to know what happens next? At A Dream of Books I give a day-in-the-life for Lanny after the conclusion of The Descent. Massive spoilers!! Read at your own peril.
  • In The Taker books, alchemy crosses over into the magical. Is this an accurate reflection of how alchemy was viewed and practiced, historically? I discuss this at SF Signal.
  • Nice review for The Descent and the series at Bookreporter.com and 20something Reads.
  • I loved this review at akiiKOMORIreading so much that I made this image and will share on Instagram and Pinterest. Do you have a blurb for any of the books? Put them in the comments below and I'll make images and send them out.

I'm not doing too many events for the book release, but if you're in the area I'd love to see you:

  • January 29th, 7 PM: George Mason Public Library in Annandale, Virginia
  • February 12th, 7 PM: Falmouth Historical Society and Museum. I'll be talking about writing historical novels.
  • February 13th, 6 PM: UConn bookstore at the Storrs Center. Discussion, reading and signing.
  • February 15th, 2-3 PM: Ashburn Library, reading and signing.
  • February 20th, 7 PM: Gum Spring Library, Stone Ridge, Virginia. I'm meeting with the library's book club to discuss The Taker, but all are invited.
Details (locations, links) to all these events are available on the website.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Still more news and interviews: The Descent round-up continues

But first, this interruption: reader Meg Gregory passed along this article about an apartment in Paris that had been abandoned by its owner when the Nazis invaded and was now a virtual time capsule of 1942. Meg said it made her think of Lanny's townhouse in Paris, a jumble of mementoes of the past. If you haven't seen the photos of the inside of the apartment it's definitely worth a look. The painting is of the owner herself, who had been an actress.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

  • Falcata Times gets me to talk about my dangerous childhood in Alaska and why the cold figures so prominently in The Taker books. Also there's a super nice review of The Descent: "all around a great book".
  • At One More Page, a wonderful UK book blog, an interview. Here's an excerpt: "What was the biggest surprise for you in character development over the course of the trilogy? What happens to Adair—going from being quite evil (if charismatic) where everyone hates you, all the way to having readers root for you—was a pretty tricky thing to pull off. I wasn’t sure readers would go along with it but so far (knock on wood) from the reviews and feedback I’ve seen, readers are finding his journey to be quite rewarding."
  • An interview at science fiction/fantasy site SF Signal.
  • My top ten underworld myths and a chance to win a copy of The Descent at All Things Urban Fantasy.
  • Over at Mass Movement Magazine, I show the inspirations for The Taker in books and movies.
  • A review by one of my earliest reviewers, Christa S. at More Than Just Magic.
  • The wonderful Lelia at Pop Culture Nexis gives a shout out for The Descent: "A shocking and satisfying conclusion."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Even more Descent news & reviews; but first an apology

Before you think I'm a complete egotist, let me say that I'm using these blog posts mostly as a way to keep track of the press and stuff surrounding the book release. This blog doesn't have all that many faithful followers so I figured the odds were low that I'm making anyone bilious with these link wrap-ups. If I am, though, please accept my apologies.

Also, I'm posting the links as a way to say thank you to the book bloggers who took the time to read and review the book. A fair amount of begging goes on in advance--by me, by the publishers--to get these dedicated volunteers to pick up the book, and so I want to acknowledge them and thank them for choosing The Descent out of the hundreds of books being released this week. 

Lastly, I might as well admit here that writing this book was far from a piece of cake. My editor's requested revisions were quite extensive and it ended up like writing the book two times. That's why the book release was pushed back six months. There were some other catastrophes that happened to me in the past year, too, so I hope you'll understand my relief to see the book safely out and for reader reaction so far. 

On to the reviews:

“This is ultimately what makes Lanore such a compelling heroine, and what makes this series so indelible: While her journey is set in an extraordinary world, her need to love and be loved is fundamental. Her passions are our passions, her weaknesses are our weaknesses, and her quest for a perfect love is every woman’s quest for a satisfied heart.” –Jamie Brenner, Heroes and Heartbreakers

“This isn’t a vampire trilogy; it’s something entirely new. It’s smart, sophisticated, and utterly shocking; if you have delicate sensibilities, you may prefer not to pick up these books. But if you’re an adventurous reader and enjoy beautiful writing and characters you can’t even imagine, Katsu’s trilogy is an absolute must read.” –S. Krishna’s Books

“Beautifully written with fleshed out characters and an engaging conclusion… Katsu has created the most unusual and dark characters yet she managed to make me fall in love with them all… The Descent was decadent, and all of the questions and puzzle pieces fell into place… The Descent was a brilliant, well crafted ending to this dark trilogy.” –Caffeinated Book Reviewer

“While the ending wasn’t one I would have wanted in the first book, by the time it happened, I LOVED it. I thought it was absolutely perfect and helped me put the series away in my mind, it was the definition of closure… I cannot recommend this series more highly for those who love strange, gritty, dark books that will shock you but keep you riveted to the pages. The Descent was the perfect end to a great series.” –Book Addiction
Okay, if you're not sick of me yet:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Big giveaway for The Descent pub day

Today is pub day for THE DESCENT in the US! The final book in The Taker Trilogy. I've been promising that everything will be explained and all questions will be answered, and they are in The Descent. I hope you have been looking forward to finding out what happens to Lanny, Jonathan and Adair and that you will join me on this final chapter in their story.

The last book of the trilogy... I didn't think this day would come for a variety of reasons. Let's say it's been a tumultuous (nearly) three years since the first book came out in the UK in April of 2011. I will save the true stories and confessions for another day. Today is a day to celebrate and also to promote like mad! Keep watching this space because I will post links to the interviews and excerpts and articles and all the fun stuff that I've been working on for the launch.

There are also a few contests going on for the release. While I hope you will run out and get a copy of the book for yourself or download it onto your ereader (and also pick up copies to give away as birthday presents and tell your friends because that is the nature of the book business: they like if you sell books), I'm also giving you the opportunity to win big.

I'm giving away a complete set of The Taker Trilogy (trade paperback editions) plus a $50 gift card* plus Taker swag to three winners! You must enter using the entry form below. The contest runs from today through Jan 14th. It is only open to US citizens (that's because of the gift cards; it gets messy trying to do gift cards across international borders) ages 18 years and older. (I will have international contests, too--stay tuned).

As always, thank you for your support and friendship. I hope you enjoy The Descent and I want to hear from you: does it live up to your expectations? Were you surprised by the ending?

*Your choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 6, 2014

More DESCENT news, reviews & an audiobook clip

For those of you keeping up with the all activity for The Descent:

  • "One of the best trilogies I've ever read" from Fresh Fiction is one of the nicest things I've ever read!
  • If you've found Lanore to be somewhat enigmatic, you'll enjoy author Jamie Brenner's analysis of why Lanore makes a compelling heroine at Heroes & Heartbreakers.
  • Angela Carr reviews The Descent, warts and all, over at Under the Covers book blog. There's a giveaway for US readers, too.
  • I do a Q&A with top UK book blog Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. A contest, too, for UK readers.
  • An article up to The Huffington Post on the good, bad and ugly when it comes to ending a series, whether book or TV.
  • A nice interview in the January issue of The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writer's magazine).
  • Broken Teepee reviews The Descent: "The writing is strong. It pulls you in from the very first."
  • Random House UK provides this clip from the audiobook of The Descent.

Events: If you're in the DC or Northern Virginia area, I hope you will come to the book release party at One More Page Books on January 14th, 7-8 PM. I'll be doing an interview with Jennifer Lawrence of Jenn's Bookshelves, and we'll have cake and a wine tasting. Please help me celebrate the release of the book. Also, I'll be doing a few other events for the release and you can find more details here.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mutterings and mad ramblings

If you've planned and plotted well enough in advance, for a few short days around the release of a book, there is a flurry of activity. Guest posts and interviews at book blogs and online magazines. A review here or there. In the off chance that anyone is interested, I'll round them up here over the next few days and you can ignore them or give them a looksy, whatever you'd like.

First, happy pub day to The Descent which comes out today in the
UK and Australia (and possibly New Zealand, but I'm not sure). 

A nice interview at science fiction/fantasy book blogger Civilian Reader.

A lovely review at Fiction Fare.

Virginia book maven and book club host Jenn Lawrence reviews The Descent at Jenn's Bookshelves.

Mild spoilers for The Taker and The Reckoning in this review for The Descent from Books, Bones and Buffy.

I explain at Bookreporter why it's dangerous to give books as Christmas presents.

My publisher is hosting a giveaway for the book release! Enter here to win a complete set of The Taker Trilogy and jewelry designed by Janet Cadsawan. Open to US residents only, and will only run for 24 hours, January 2nd. The post goes live at 9 AM.