Kat Richardson

Other August Books

In an effort to stop obsessing over my own book coming out tomorrow, I wanted to point out a few of the other books showing up in August. (I’ll add sales links for Kane and Klasky when they become available tomorrow.)

Wrong Ways Down [Amazon], by Stacia Kane. (August 6) For fans of Kane’s Downside series, I’ll just mention that this story is from Terrible’s point of view, which is something I suspect many of you will appreciate.

Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], edited by Todd McCaffrey. (August 6) A collection of memories, essays, and insights about the creator of Pern.

Possession [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Kat Richardson. (August 6) Tor.com has an excerpt from Richardson’s latest Greywalker book here.

Single Witch’s Survival Guide, by Mindy Klasky. (August 13) This is the first volume of Klasky’s Jane Madison Academy series, where her librarian-witch opens a school for witches. Go Team Librarian! The first chapter is posted here.

Velveteen vs. The Multiverse, by Seanan McGuire. (Mid-August) I wrote the introduction for McGuire’s first delightful Velveteen collection, and I’m very excited to see the second coming out! Preorder from ISFiC Press here.

What are you looking forward to reading this month?


New Books

Admin. note: I’ve drawn a winner for the Libriomancer giveaway – congratulations to Amanda over on Goodreads!


As some of you might have heard, I have a new book coming out tomorrow. This means I’ll be spending the rest of the week whipping back and forth between TOTAL MELTDOWN and SQUEE-SPLOSION about various book-related things, from an interview at Wired for GeekDad to a giveaway I’m doing at Bitten by Books to reviews and so on. In the meantime though, I wanted to highlight a few of the other books coming out this week.

Seawitch [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Kat Richardson. This is the seventh book in Richardson’s popular Greywalker urban fantasy series. You can read an excerpt here.

The Unnaturalists [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Tiffany Trent. A new steampunk adventure set “in an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum.” Yes, please! (Also, I love that cover!)

Shadowlands [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Violette Malan. This is the sequel to The Mirror Prince, which I enjoyed and reviewed back in 2007.

The Grass King’s Concubine [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], by Kari Sperring. This is set several hundred years after the events of Sperring’s award-winning novel Living With Ghosts.

The Spy Princess [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], a new YA title by Sherwood Smith. Sherwood talks about the process of writing this one – a process that began when she was fifteen years old – in her LiveJournal.

You should totally rush over to the bookstore to pick these up. (And hey, while you’re over there, you might as well check out that Libriomancer [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] book. I hear that one’s fun.)

So what books are you looking forward to this month, and what great titles did I miss?

First Book Friday: Kat Richardson

Welcome to First Book Friday! Click for submission guidelines and the index of previous authors.

Kat Richardson (LJ, Twitter) have a fair amount in common. We both wrote three books before landing a deal for our fourth. We both ended up represented by Steve Mancino, former junior agent at JABberwocky. We both started writing at least in part because a friend of ours was doing it…  The big difference is that she sells much better than I do 🙂

Read on to learn more about Kat Richardson, urban fantasy author and defender of all ferretkind.


First, I’d like to thank Jim for letting me ramble around in his virtual space. Thank you, Jim!

OK, so… about this first book. Technically I’d written three prior novel-length manuscripts (and a lot of what I call “junk” short stories) before finally getting published with Greywalker [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], but those other stories were, frankly, so bad even I—proud literary parent that I can be—could tell they just weren’t “ready for prime time.” In fact, if you were to open the Rubbermaid container they’re stored in, the smell of bad prose would form a cloud from Seattle to Miami.

I’d been toying with the idea of a detective who worked for ghosts for quite a while, but the idea never quite gelled into something exciting until my husband and I moved to Seattle in 1994. Here I found an atmosphere and geography that just seemed to pump new life into the idea and connect disparate elements I hadn’t thought of before. Now the story actually had a shape, but I didn’t get it on paper until Fall of 2000. (yeah, we all still printed everything out back then….)

At the time I was unemployed, but my husband was commuting from Seattle to Central California every Monday morning and coming home every Friday night. This went on for more than a year. We were living on our first boat and… it leaked badly when it rained—which it does a lot in Seattle. So I spent a lot of my time alone, fixing the decks and wondering what to do with myself. I played a lot of Thief: the Dark Project and was seriously bored otherwise.

One of the other players I met online through a Thief fan forum was writing an astrology book and he expressed that he was far more likely to finish and sell his book than I was. That, naturally, got my dander up, so I thought, “Oh yeah? I’ll show you!”

So I started writing every night and I outlined, re-outlined, revised again, and cranked out the entire first draft—137,000 words—in about six weeks.

Did I mention I was also an insomniac at the time? Yeah. Due to my lack of anything interesting to do, my sleep schedule had turned into a pile of doo-doo and I slept about four hours a week. It’s really amazing how much you can get done when you have all those extra hours in a day. Though I can’t say it’s the best thing for your health….

Now, I don’t recommend this method, but the challenge of working against someone else—as a personal test—really motivated me to get the darned thing done. And I finished well ahead of my competitor. So far as I know, he’s never published his book, but… we kind of stopped speaking anyhow, so I’m not sure.

Once I was done, naturally, I then took four years off, tinkering with the book and being a lazy twit before I decided that if I was going to call myself a “writer” I really ought to get something published or give up and go back to the corporate grind.

By this time I’d gotten a comfortable contract as a technical editor for Microsoft and I had a long commute on top of long days, but I still managed to put a lot of time and research—and letters—out trying to find an agent and, after about two dozen rejections and a lot of non-responses, false starts, and offers that were too bad to consider, I finally got an agent (and a damned good one, to boot).

It took another year of working on the manuscript with my agent to get it into saleable condition and, once it sold, another eighteen months working with my new editor to get the book revised, copyedited, proofed, into covers and onto the bookstore shelves—which is actually very fast, but what did I know? But there it was and it did pretty well—not New York Times Bestseller well, but good enough to keep me in the business.

So this is the moral of my tale: if you want to be a successful writer, get pissed, work your ass off, don’t sleep, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough. Because getting published is the best revenge.

Open Book Thread

82000 words and counting.  23 chapters done, with 2 more to go.  I can do this….

But forget about me.  A few of my friends have books out this week.  Let’s talk about them.

Treason’s Shore [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] is the fourth and final book in Sherwood Smith’s Inda series.  Check out her LiveJournal announcement for details about the book and the series, or just head over and congratulate her.

This week also marks the release of Vanished [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] by my JABberwocky buddy Kat Richardson.  (katatomic on LJ.)  Vanished is the fourth Greywalker novel, for the handful of you who don’t already know about the series.  Richardson has an excerpt of the novel posted on her web site.

Finally, we have C. F. Bentley’s novel Enigma [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy].  This is the sequel to Harmony.  Bentley describes the books as “a spiritual journey with a literary twist in a space opera landscape.”  Bentley is one of my fellow DAW authors, and you can find her at her web site or on LJ as ramblin_phyl.


I’ll also give a shout out to James Van Pelt’s story collection The Radio Magician and Other Stories [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy | B&N]. This one doesn’t come out until 9/1/09 (and I don’t think the Amazon or MG links work yet, but the B&N one does).  I’m only about 1/3 through, but … well, let me put it this way.  I was tempted to stop reading the thing, because I got through the first two stories and was embarrassed that I’d ever tried to write short fiction.  I’m behind on my reviewing, but I will be posting a review of this one later.  Van Pelt also posts some great writing-related stuff at jimvanpelt.

So what else is out that we should know about?  What have you been reading lately that you loved?  Let’s just make this an open book-chat thread, because I don’t think I’ve done that in a while.

Jim C. Hines