alanajoli: (mini me short hair)
It's been a long time since I've posted, but I have a lot of news to make up for it!

First: Today is the release of my newest interactive novel game for Choice of Games: Choice of the Pirate. Right now it's priced at $2.99, which is a 25% discount on the full price of the game. It's probably the most ambitious game I've written yet; set in the fictional Lucayan Sea, it borrows all the old pirate tropes from cursed treasure to ghost ships and adds a little extra magic to the mix. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and I hope that many people enjoy the adventures!
You can read all about the game here at the Choice of Games blog.

Second: I'll be at the James Blackstone Memorial Library's local author expo tomorrow (5/21) afternoon. If you're in the area and would like to stop by and chat about my novels or games (or just shoot the breeze), please come on down! There are about thirty local authors attending, including reporters and children's book authors, so it should be an interesting mix. I'm not on any of the panels, but I may see about leaving my table for a bit to hear them.

For more information, you can visit the event website.

Thirdly: In honor of the game releasing and the author expo, I've finally uploaded the Redemption Trilogy to the major booksellers! You can nnow find them at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Kobo.
They're also still available at DriveThruFiction, Smashwords, and iTunes as well.

Lastly: I've accepted a position as Editor in Chief of Outland Entertainment, where I'll be editing a number of very cool comics! You can find out more about us at our latest newsletter or by checking out the comics lineup!
alanajoli: (mini me short hair)
Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut had a fantastic signing yesterday! This was the latest stop on the Big Summer Road Trip Tour with four of Tor's authors: Max Gladstone, Elizabeth Bear, Brian Staveley, and James Cambias.

It's always a delight to spend time with fellow Substrater Max Gladstone, and it was really fun to chat with Elizabeth Bear about some of the details of her "Eternal Sky" trilogy. Both Brian Staveley and James Cambias made me intrigued by their work. We all lamented how mass market paperbacks are becoming fewer and farther between (because otherwise I'd have picked up some backlist titles!). We got some excellent selections from the children's department at Bank Square Books (where we also found Waldo), and I'll be looking into sadly unsignable e-book copies of the Tor tour writers' backlist books.

A lovely time was had by all -- thanks to the four authors, a shout out to Tracey Maknis/Trinitytwo from The Qwillery, and cheers to Bank Square Books for having such a great event!
alanajoli: (mini me short hair)
(Crossposted at Substrate)

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I went to hear Max Gladstone read at Enigma Bookstore in November. I was playing around with my camera's video capture, and I successfully recorded Max's section of the reading. It's about twelve minutes, and if you've not had the chance to hear Max read in person (or if you've not heard an excerpt from Two Serpents Rise,) check it out!


alanajoli: (mini me short hair)
Today's Friday, and it's supposed to be a guest blog day, so I was planning to write an entry about going to a fantastic reading/panel/signing at Enigma Bookstore last weekend to see Max Gladstone, Laure Anne Gilman, and Hal Johnson. But, you'll have to check back later this weekend for notes on that -- because it's the release day for Showdown at Willow Creek! The game hit the stands today, and I couldn't be more excited to have it out there in the world. To make things even more exciting, Noble Beast Classics launched its Kickstarter, and presuming it funds, I'll be writing a twisted version of The Jungle Book with shapeshifters for that project.

So, go check out the Kickstarter, and then read the fun official announcement for Showdown from Choice of Games (with the fantastic cover art, below, by Ron Chan) -- I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed working on it!


We’re proud to announce that Showdown at Willow Creek, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, and, via the Chrome Web Store, Windows, OS X, and Linux.

Saddle up and defend the town of Willow Creek from nefarious outlaws and city slickers! It all starts when a rancher’s daughter goes missing, and it ends at the showdown at Willow Creek, where greed, lust, science and Mother Nature will face off at high noon.

“Showdown at Willow Creek” is the interactive western mystery novel by Alana Joli Abbott where your choices control the story. The game is entirely text-based–without graphics or sound effects–and driven by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Gamble, seduce, brawl, or shoot your way through Willow Creek, where gunslingers make the laws, and everybody has secrets. Will you romance the gambler or the soiled dove (or both)? Will you side with the scientists bringing electricity to the Old West, or with a tribe of Native American Utes? Will you unravel the conspiracy that threatens to tear the town apart, or will you light the fuse to blow it all sky high?

Note: With “Showdown,” we’re experimenting with “try before you buy” on iOS, where the first three chapters are available for free. Android and Chrome users can try the first three chapters for free on the web. You can buy the rest of the game for $1.99–the same price on iOS, Android, and Chrome.

We hope you enjoy playing Showdown at Willow Creek. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on StumbleUpon, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. Basically, the more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.
alanajoli: (mini me)
All right, one week to get myself back on my feet, and here I am, returning to ye olde blog. (I was delayed in turning in my short story to my editor, and one of the things I forbade myself from doing was blogging before it was finished and ready to turn in.) But a couple of cool things happened today, and I wanted to make sure to blog about them, and update you guys on my goals from the trip, before Saturday turned into Sunday. (Hopefully, the novel tourism post will go up tomorrow!)

So, first cool thing: my review of Caitlin Kittridge's ([ profile] blackaire's) novel, Street Magic, went up on Flames Rising. Matt was kind enough to post it for me on a Saturday, because the book has just hit the shelves, and I didn't want to have gotten an advanced reader copy for nothing! It's a really, really excellent novel, which I expound upon in my review. Check out what I had to say, and look for the novel at your local bookstore!

Second cool thing: I finally got to meet Anton Strout ([ profile] antonstrout) (who is, for the record, the most beloved low-to-midlist urban fantasy writer in America, or so I hear) live and in person. He did a book signing up in Pittsfield, his home stomping grounds and not distant from my college stomping grounds. So finally, I have my books signed. Hooray! I decided that bringing him a PEZ dispenser would border on creepy fangirl, so I decided to eschew it and just bring books and questions and a big smile. He did a reading from the first chapter of Deader Still, which was brilliantly creepy and got wonderful reactions from the audience (including me -- I'd forgotten how vivid, and, frankly, gross, that scene was!). The best part, however, was his commentary -- as he was reading, he'd interrupt himself and tell us little bits about the characters or his word choice or things that he liked about the scene, which was a huge enhancement to the story for me. Also (and I hope I'm not blowing his cover), he is super nice in person. Based on his blog and his books, I was expecting more snark, but he was totally gracious and sweet. (And I'm not just saying this because he might find this entry later. These are honest impressions here!)

The Barnes and Noble in Pittsfield is pretty darn great. They didn't have Pandora's Closet in stock, sadly, but I did pick up Red Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells and Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh. The staff was really great, too, but my favorite part was walking in and seeing a young woman reading manga with this huge grin on her face, totally oblivious to anyone walking by. Seeing the power of reading in person like that gives me a little thrill.

So, those are my good things. Now to catch up on my goals... )
alanajoli: (lady scribbler)
So, I had just about the best weekend ever. Work at the library was busy, but good. The playtest went beautifully, and I finished edits on Saturday night (as you've already heard). I got to meet a good friend for dinner on Sunday (hi [ profile] sarah_joy!). And I *finally* got to meet Jennifer Lynn Barnes ([ profile] jenlyn_b)!

I'd never been to the Borders in Milford, CT before, but I can cheerfully say that their cafe is a great location for a book signing. The closest door to the outside of the building is right next to the nice open space of their cafe, which means that I wandered in, looking around, and spotted Jennifer almost immediately. (She spotted me right back, and if she did not, in fact, recognize me immediately, she did a wonderful job of giving every appearance of recognition. *g*) Almost as soon as I sat down where the chairs were arranged, the friends who had been keeping her company between readers went off to browse, and as I arrived at the very tail end of the signing, we got to chat for almost twenty minutes. As much as I feel like I already know about her process from her blog, it was great to hear about her experience selling her books and about the struggles she had with the sequel to Tattoo first hand. I realized in chatting with her just how much I've missed her regular blogging since she returned to Yale from her year in England! (I cannot imagine being a full time grad student *and* writing as much as she does. I know she's fast, but still!)

So, kudos to Jennifer for being just as awesome in person as I expected her to be from her blog. And, while I'm still learning how to get up to the level of [ profile] blue_succubus when it comes to taking pictures at bookstores, I did remember to snap a shot while getting my copy of Tattoo signed:

alanajoli: (Default)
I had a lovely time today at the Brooklyn Book Festival, where I had the chance to meet in person [ profile] melissa_writing and [ profile] libba_bray, hear [ profile] cassandraclare read from her recent novel, and put good-sport [ profile] sdn on the spot with a question.* I spoke with Gavin Grant of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, a literary speculative fiction periodical that (according to another attendee) is "smart but not pretentious," and chatted briefly with Heidi Macdonald of Publishers Weekly's "The Beat".

Not only was it a great day to meet in person people I've admired both online and through their writing, but it was a fun chance to run into old friends. Jessica deCourcey Hines and I went to college together--we lived on the same floor of our dorm freshman year--and hadn't seen each other in easily ten years. But she recognized me right away and we had a chance to talk a bit about what we're both doing; she's got an agent shopping around a manuscript of hers right now, which I'm thrilled to hear. I always suspected she'd be one of the members of my class most likely to write the Great American Novel.

As for mythology--it definitely came into play (if only in that there was a book publisher with fairy in the name in one of the rows, and that I attended the YA fantasy panel). I asked a requisite mythology question at the fantasy panel, as well (because that's what I do), and I got some fun answers. All three writers on the panel (Melissa, Cassandra, and Libba) use real world mythology in what they're writing; Melissa commented that she grew up in a family where Celtic mythology was treated as the truth, which gives her a great background for the world she's created in Wicked Lovely. Cassandra spoke a bit about how, since she's working with angels and demons, incorporating world mythology into her novels makes them less religious--she's not dealing with Christian imagery in many cases, instead drawing on other mythological traditions. Libba talked about drawing on several different mythologies for inspiration (including Indian, as her main character is from India).

One of the things Cassandra mentioned was that her research into different mythologies helped her tap into the "universal"--getting at that deep core of things that are so often shared in different traditions. I like the idea that behind the trappings (she uses vampires, elves, and demons, and that's just in the excerpt that she read), which have in some cases become standard fantasy tropes, there's real meat behind it--and I'm looking forward to reading her City of Bones to find out what she's all about!

*For those who don't recognize these screen names, [ profile] melissa_writing is Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely; [ profile] libba_bray is Libba Bray, author of A Great and Terrible Beauty and Rebel Angels; [ profile] cassandraclare is Cassandra Clare, author of City of Bones; and [ profile] sdn is Sharyn November, the Editorial Director of Firebird, the imprint responsible for reuniting me with the works of [ profile] sartorias--also known as Sherwood Smith.
alanajoli: (Default)
Just a short note: I'll be appearing at a booksigning at the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford, CT, on Wednesday, April 18, from 5:30 to 7:30. If you're in the area, please drop by! I'll have (assuming they get here on time) copies of Into the Reach and Departure on hand.


Nov. 13th, 2006 02:38 pm
alanajoli: (Default)
It is the day after a convention, and my brain is still in what I'm now calling ConSpace. This is a state of existence that is not coherent, and creates such good ideas as having beans on toast for lunch, getting out the lunch supplies, and making myself a cup of tea instead, then forgetting about lunch for an hour.

If this writing is as incoherent as I feel, I apologize in advance.


United Fan Con was my first venture into the world of regional, non-gaming cons. It was, I believe I can safely say, nothing at all like GenCon, and only a very little bit like Origins. The highlights of the week were hanging out with the guys from Secret Identity Podcast, who were my convention hosts, and the guys from Hero Envy, getting to meet a handful of the New England Browncoats I've been on a mailing list with for a year or more and have never before met in person, and getting to hear parts of Jewel Staite's Q&A session.

My favorite part of the conventions is always talking to new people about books--sometimes my books in particular, but also whatever people happen to be reading. I had a lovely chat with some young women about the wondefulness of Terry Pratchett. I had great fun spending time with [ profile] sarahtdl talking about libraries, being a libra, anime conventions, and a host of other topics. I also had a chance to speak with some other authors and comic book designers/writers/artists about their work. I had doughnuts with the guys from Radbu Productions. I sat next to Sean Wang (pronounced Wong) (who has a most excellent print available of the characters of the Fellowship of the Ring and a great space adventure comic that I did not get a chance to read at the con but am putting on my Christmas list). I had a great chat about designing booth space with Mark Tarrant, the author of an upcoming Vampire Western called The Blood Rider. And I talked about small publishers with Clifford B. Bowyer, author of The Imperium Saga, a trilogy of adult novels that runs alongside a series of children's middle-grade fiction that tells another part of the story. (His books are available through Silver Leaf Books.)

I also gave Jewel Staite a copy of Into the Reach, because it seemed like a good idea at the time. If she likes it (which, of course, I hope), then it will have been a good idea, and I'll be very glad. But I imagine being given a book by a little-known-author at a convention is probably a bit odd, so who knows what will happen.


It does, however, lead to something that has been tickling at the back of my brain. Early on when he was writing the first novel of the Dreaming Dark saga, Keith Baker mentioned that if he were casting actors to play his characters, he'd almost certainly cast Nathan Fillion, but the rest were up for grabs. Since then, Keith has run a poll on his Web site asking readers to cast the other characters. I don't often cast my characters as actors until after I've already got them solidly in my head, and sometimes not even then. I've been told by my first reader, Arielle, the actor who must be cast as Kennerly (not listed here as when I eventually have my own Web site, I may copy Keith and do polls). I've also discussed casting the characters once with my husband, but never really landed on anything positive.

After this weekend, though, hearing Jewel speak about how much she enjoys kicking butt in her upcoming movie The Tribe, a thought that had been floating in my brain clicked into place. If it were up to me to cast actors as the heroes from Into the Reach, I'd cast Jewel as Lydia, so long as the "auburn hair" look works for her.

So, if this manages to float around the ether of the internet so that some Browncoat notices and it eventually gets back to Jewel Staite, that was the subconscious reason that I gave her a copy of the book--which, of course, I didn't explain because it wasn't formulated in my head, and I (being one of those people who doesn't like to be in the way) didn't want to bother her with actual conversation while she was busy doing her photo shoot. (In fact, I would have been just as happy to let her guest liaison give it to her, but he insisted...)


A final note, and then I'm actually going to get back to making lunch (which I've been neglecting now for about an hour and a half). I did get filmed for a Secret Identity promo, and Brian LeTendre interviewed me for the next issue of their podcast, which they recorded at the show. (I'm sure there are probably bits of my extremely loud trumpet of a laugh that filter through while they're doing bits of the show I'm not intentionally in, for which I apologize.) When I have the link for both the new episode and the promo, I'll post them here.

Just finished reading Scrib, a YA novel by playwright David Ives, which would had me in stitches this morning between drifting in and out of ConSpace fog.
alanajoli: (Default)
First, allow me to give praise to Shanna Swendson ([ profile] shanna_s), Neil Gaiman, and other authors who can both blog and work at the same time. I've just gotten over a two weeks stint of working, relatively non-stop, on the second novel, Departure. (I even worked on it while waiting for Rich Burlew and the Giant in the Playground staff to navigate the Boston area--a challenge for anyone--before making it to his Pandemonium Q&A in Cambridge, MA. The event was quite enjoyable, and a sure way to keep me procrastinating...)

I turned the first completed draft of Departure in to my publisher at 11:30 p.m. on Monday night and have been recovering since. (By recovering, I mean catching up on unanswered e-mails and desperately trying to make headway on the projects I've been neglecting.)

So Shanna, Neil, I applaud you. Someday I hope to emulate you as well.


The reviews have started to come in. Along with a very nice review on Amazon (although the book is still showing as currently unavailable, despite the publisher having shipped them the required number of books), a review has also been posted on RPGBlog. Here are the links for your viewing pleasure:

I also understand that a review will be running in either Game Trade or Game Buyer, which points out that many game stores won't necessarily want to carry the title as it is not, in fact, a game, but rather a game tie in. I can't really blame them for that advice (as much as I'd love to see the novel on every possible bookshelf...)


If you're local to the Shoreline Connecticut area and don't have plans for Saturday, please feel welcome to attend the "release party" being held at the Blackstone Library in Branford, CT from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. I'll be there, signing copies available for purchase. Local author James Griffin, a Western mystery writer, will also be signing books. There may be cookies. It's still undecided.


Just a note of thanks to my livejournal readers who have spotted reviews before I managed to post them! Emma and Jen--you ladies are on the ball!

Now... back to those other assignments.


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Alana Joli Abbott

March 2019

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