Hidden Release Day

hidden_front mech.inddHidden is out as of today!  Which means everyone finally gets to catch up to where the story of the Alex Verus series was as of, oh, about a year ago.  You can get it from Amazon here if you’re in the US and here if you’re in the UK.

Fated is also finally getting its UK audio release!  You can listen to a clip here.

It’s nice to see Hidden out at last – it had an unusually long road to publication, and the rewrites were a headache.  Still, they were most definitely worth it, and the book’s a far better one now than it was in its first draft.  I’m glad to see it finally released into the wild.

Now, back to the edits for Alex Verus #6 . . .

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Hidden Release Week

And it’s finally here!  Hidden will be out this coming Tuesday, September 2nd.  Here are the Amazon links for the UK release and for the US release.

Feels like a very long time ago now that I finished writing Hidden.  Right now I’m spending all my time on books #6 and #7, so the actual publication seems weirdly out of date.  I’ll link to reviews, etc when I have the time to collect them.

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Back To St. John’s

A nice piece from the website of my old Cambridge college: Magic and mystery awaits in Johnian fantasy author’s new novel.  (In case you’re wondering, yes, anyone who graduated from St. John’s College is a “Johnian”.)

Long time since I’ve been back to my university.  Brings back memories!

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Early Prep

While the countdown to Hidden ticks away (only a week and a half now) I’m spending nearly all my time thinking about Alex Verus #7.  For this book, I’m intending to go back to the model I used for Chosen – planning things out from the beginning (at least the first third or so).  For Alex Verus #6, I just made the whole thing up as I went along.  While it was kind of fun to do – it was pretty much the same way I wrote Fated and Cursed, which made it feel like a bit of a blast from the past – it was also really stressful.  I’d like to have a slightly more relaxed time of it this turn around.

Structurally, I think AV #7 will end up being most like Chosen, in that it’ll be a shake-up book that changes things.  Hidden and #6 have been a bit quieter in terms of major developments – while there’s been a lot going on, it hasn’t changed the landscape of the series in any obvious way.  I think I’ve done enough long-term preparation now that I can start messing with things.  Which should be fun!

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More Bits and Pieces

Some odds and ends for today:

  • Nine Worlds was fun!  Did a panel, signed quite a few books, had some entertaining conversations with readers, saw a couple of really cool cosplays, and got to practice my fencing.
  • Hidden’s release date is drawing closer – only two and a half weeks to go now until it comes out on 2nd September in the UK and US.  The author copies were delivered this week and now my room’s filled with UK (green) and US (red) Alex Verus books.
  • On Wednesday, Orbit (my UK publisher) held their 40th birthday party, which I was invited along to.  It coincided with Worldcon, meaning that loads of authors were in town who might otherwise not have been.  These conventions and parties are pretty much the only time I ever meet other people in my business – it’s nice to get to talk shop!
  • And finally, I’ve started at last to get some solid ideas for what I’m going to be doing for Alex Verus #7.  It’s still a long way off being started, but it’s a lot closer than it was a week ago and I’m looking forward to getting going on it.

Meanwhile there are the Alex Verus #6 edits, Hidden publicity thingies . . . business as usual, really.  Holiday month’s over, time to get back to work!

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Off at Nine Worlds

I’m off conventioneering; no post today.

In the absence of any other content, here’s the UK cover of Hidden.  I just like looking at it.  (And it’s even better in paper format.)

HiddenUKCover300

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Nine Worlds Friday 8th

I’m going to be at Nine Worlds next Friday, 8th August.

My schedule so far:

10:00 AM – 11.15 AM:  Urban Fantasy panel with Ed Cox, Laure Eve, and Paul Cornell.

11.15 AM – 12:00 ish?:  Signing at Forbidden Planet.  Not sure how long this one will last, but probably until noon or so.  Ed Cox will be there too.

After that I’ll probably be wandering around the convention poking at stuff.  Haven’t figured out where yet!

In the meantime, I’ve mostly been enjoying the hot weather.  July’s been my break month this year – now that August’s coming around, I’ve got the plans for Alex Verus #7 and the edits for #6 to do.  (I should probably think up a title for that one while I’m at it.)

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Hidden Chapter 1 Online

The first chapter of Hidden is posted!  You can read it here.  Full book will be published in the UK and US on September 2nd.

In other news:  I’m waiting on the edits for Alex Verus #6, planning my schedule for Nine Worlds, and starting to make the first tentative plans for Alex Verus #7.  Busy summer!

Edit: Link was broken; fixed now.

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Ask Luna #32

From: Bekah

So, most of the mages we’ve seen so far have matched up pretty neatly to the conventional personalities of their magic types. How accurate really is the perception that ice mages are coldhearted, fire mages are passionate, etc.? (So far it’s looking very accurate.) Do you think the tendency for mages to follow this pattern is the result of socialization (fire mages think they are supposed to be impulsive and respond by making no effort to curb impulsivity) or an actual genetic proclivity? Are there any striking examples of mages who straight-up flip the bird to these expectations?

On an unrelated note, sound magic sounds (hah) pretty fun. The encyclopedia article says sound mages tend to be verbal performers, and I was wondering how broad a description that was? Does verbal mean exclusively performing arts (acting, singing, politicking, etc.), or written language as well (literature, poetry, and so on)? How might a mage navigate the relationship between skill with spoken and unspoken words?

Thank you and sorry for the length!

*For the sake of being an ass, I would also like to mention that the sound mage article has a grammatical error in the second paragraph of the second subheading (a mixup of then with than).

The stereotypes are never 100%. There are lots of mages who rely on them all the time and make loud generalisations about how mages of X and X types are all the same, and honestly they just end up sounding stupid, as well as being wrong a lot. That said, the whole point about magic types is that your type is determined by your personality, not vice versa, so if you didn’t have SOMETHING that matched you to that type, you wouldn’t be able to use it in the first place (even if it’s not always obvious exactly what the something is).

Think of it this way – it’s not so much ‘ice mages are coldhearted’, it’s more like ‘being taller means you’re heavier’. Yeah, you can try to disprove it by starving yourself into anorexia, but is it really worth it?

As for sound mages, they have a tendency towards singing, but there’s a definite minority that go in for oratory and storytelling and stuff like that (as well as a few that just go for music and cut out the verbal part completely).

From: Andrew London

Do any mages have dual magical abilities. It seems like each character specializes in one field and has no abilities in any of the others…. It would be cool to have a couple weaker hybrid mages, or ones that can combine powers in different ways.

Yeah, there are plenty. They don’t really think of themselves as hybrids, though – they think the types of magic they combine just go naturally together, and they think that mages who can only use one or the other are weird.

From: drizztmajere

hey Luna,
Do you know if Alex thinks Garrick is a norm, sensitive, or adept?

Norm or sensitive, I think. Haven’t seen the guy for a while, which is fine by me.

From: drizztmajere

Hey Again Luna,
Couple questions, do you know what goes into the making of a construct? and if you do can you explain the process? My next question is have you guys checked to see if Onyx made it out alive and are preparing for him?

No idea how the things are made, sorry. I know that the more powerful ones use a bound elemental to power them, and the weaker ones run off an energy battery, but that’s about it. It’s a pretty specialised field.

As for Onyx . . . made it out of where? You mean the fight at the Tiger’s Palace? The guy’s a frigging cockroach, I seriously doubt we’re going to get rid of him that easily.

From: drizztmajere

Hey luna,
sorry once again I am rereading the whole think and questions just keep popping into my head. If it helps you to know I am not asking alot of questions lol…Right now i have two, do you know if anyone has ever made a life drain focus and if they have why hasn’t Alex gotten one to help him with those pesky elemenatal mages and when are you going to ask out Vari?

1. Yeah, they make life drain focuses. They’re banned under the Concord, but not like that stops the guys on the Dark side of the fence. They’re not a patch on what a life mage can do, though.

2. Mind your own business.

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Hidden RT review

Another nice review for Hidden, this one from Bridget Keown at Romantic Times.

“Jacka’s latest is a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure that pits the charming diviner and his companions against a long-hidden enemy who has the power to threaten their entire future.  The real-world and magical settings of these books are crafted with care and fascinating detail, and the range of characters and magic populating these worlds will keep readers spellbound.  But the real power of Jacka’s series comes from the very human journeys and revelations to be found for each character in the course of this story.”

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