Lately I’ve been on the receiving end of some Very Concerned Emails with regards to a project by another author; and before the rumor mill goes spinning out of hand, I wanted to take a minute to address the situation. To make a long story short: Yes, I am aware that a book called The Boneshaker is coming out from Clarion Books in May, and it’s written by a woman named Kate Milford.
This is, as we say in the ‘biz, “No big whoop.” It’s certainly not a whoop that causes me any particular consternation or woe. I am not losing any sleep at night over this whoop. This is a non-whoop.
In fact, Kate dropped me an email a few months ago, shortly after my book-of- almost-the- exact-same name debuted. She was afraid I’d be angry, or that I’d think she’d copied me. Mais non. Her book had gone through several rounds of title changing — which is quite common and, as you may recall, something that’s often not up to the author. Until one of her readers pointed out the overlap, she had never even heard of my book.
You can read a bit about her/her publisher’s reaction here on her webpage, where she was kind enough to take a peek at my Boneshaker. Which sounds totally dirty. But isn’t.
Therefore, please do not (as two of you have so kindly offered) send her helpful emails explaining the error of her ways. Her ways have contained no errors, and nor have her publisher’s ways. This is not a copyright infringement of any kind. You can’t copyright titles. Lots of books have the same title. For example, my first novel was called Four and Twenty Blackbirds. I did not know it at the time, but both Mercedes Lackey and Agatha Christie had beaten me to it.
Anyway! As it turns out, Kate Milford is extremely nice and The Boneshaker is her first book. First books are a Really Big Deal. A first book is simultaneously a blissful event suffused with elation and joy … and a terrifying ordeal fraught with stress, emotional peril, uncertainty, and a pervasive sense of helplessness. So believe me, I do not wish to add to Kate’s existing stress levels.
Instead, I hope you all will welcome her to the fold. Her book, The Boneshaker (note that my own title lacks the introductory article), is a cool-as-hell young adult adventure with majorly steampunk overtones — and I know this because she totally sent me an ARC so I say NEENER NEENER NEENER ha ha lucky ME.
So far it’s pretty awesome … I mean, you know — if you like teenage girl grease-monkeys, vintage cars, shifty carnival folk, creepy Middle America, and flying automata (with illustrations!).
I thought about sitting down and coughing up a humorous list of the ways in which our books are different, but that would be a very long list and I decided I couldn’t be bothered. Just trust me, okay? Superficial genre similarities aside, these books have nothing in common except a rockin’ title and a fondness for Victorian naming conventions.
If you’d like to learn more about Kate Milford’s book, The Boneshaker – visit her website here and poke around. The author collects neat things, visits interesting places, and generally gets very very happy about the process of having her first book born. The whole thing is just delightful, so check it out! Send her some love.