One Week

Dreadnought Revised Cover If you keep up with my Twitter feed, you already know this – but yesterday I received my box of Dreadnought author copies. Once I finished doing my traditional happydance and petting these copies as if they were kittens, it struck me: In just one week this book will be for sale … everywhere.

This is both awesome and terrifying.

It’s awesome because, well, this is my ninth novel – and I tell you what, these book-birthdays never stop being awesome. Maybe they get boring for some people, at some point, I don’t know; but ask me again when it’s my 90th book hitting the streets, and I bet I’ll still be sitting around doing my happydance and inappropriately snorgling my box-full of author copies.

But it’s terrifying because every book is terrifying in its way. Dreadnought is terrifying in particular because although it’s Book #9 in my personal canon, it will be book #2 for a great number of people who are new to reading my stories. It is the follow-up to my most popular book to date, and there is no small amount of pressure for it to be successful.

Therefore, last year when I was writing Dreadnought, I felt that it would be wise to ask the readers what they wanted to see next. I read scads of reviews, both good and bad; I asked book-buyers who came to signings; I interrogated people I encountered at conventions. And in this way, I learned that Boneshaker fans primarily wanted two questions answered in a sequel: (1). What does the rest of America look like in this semi-apocalyptic 20-year Civil War-ravaged scenario?, and (2). What happened to Briar and Zeke after the book ended?

So let me promise you this: Dreadnought will address both of these lingering concerns.*

It will also answer any queries you might have about whether or not steampunk Texas Rangers would be any fun on a train full of Confederate spies, Union officers, and a caboose full of mysterious corpses sealed into storage. It will satisfy any wonderings you might harbor regarding a special Bonus! appearance by some undead Mexican separatists and two very cool inspectors who are in pursuit thereof, plus a dirigible crash or two, some giant quasi-robotic walking war machines, and a widowed nurse carrying a dead gambler’s pistols.

In case you had any curiosity concerning any of these points.

I very, very badly hope some of you have – or are at least now considering – curiosity on some of these points. And I hope I can successfully persuade you to pick up Dreadnought when it lands next Tuesday (or via internet preorder if that’s your preference).

All the better to encourage this sort of thing … if you have any questions about Dreadnought (or heck, about Boneshaker or Clementine either), feel free to post them here – on my site or LJ, or via my email, at your convenience – and I’ll do my best to answer them all (barring spoilers) between now and the 28th.

So ask! Ask away!
I’m here for the answering.

* It will not, I’m afraid, answer popular question #3: “What happened to Croggon Hainey and the crew of the Free Crow?” But that one got its own book, Clementine.

Last Modified on September 21, 2010
this article One Week

12 thoughts on “One Week

  1. falnfenix

    no questions here, just excitement. i devoured Clementine as quickly as i devoured Boneshaker, and i’m dying for Dreadnought to get shipped.

  2. Randall

    Congrats on the coming release. I’m only about 160 pages into Boneshaker, so…I guess I’m a bit behind? Liked the way you built up the suspense for the first appearance of the rotters. Good times.

  3. Rick

    Aside from the characters, the world setting sounds awfully bleak: noxious gases, slavery, and endless war. Is there any hope for the future?

  4. Cathy

    I don’t have any questions yet, but I will definately keep this in mind. :) I look forward to meeting you on October 5th at the UW bookstore.

  5. Jonathan

    Hi…Jonathan here again.
    I wish that I could say I’ve been a fan from the very beginning. But alas…I can not.
    I was slowly introduced to steampunk through a seemingly random sequence of events that I now know was the hand of fate, because now I love the genre SO much. I had just finished reading The Difference Engine, and I was hungry (ravenous) for moar. So I picked through google searches, cross-referencing suggestions and lists for the ones most people recommended. Boneshaker caught my eye, not only with it’s awesome cover art, but it’s romantic, chilling title as well. So I went to the school library (I’m in college) and was aghast to find that they didn’t have it. (or any of the books I had on my steampunk list). So I went to the circulation desk and demanded that they purchase this long list of niche-genre books I was looking for, and would you know it? They did. So a week or two later I brought home four books. Which is my usual ritual. I’ll pick out a number of interesting books, read the first dozen or so pages, and end up only reading a few completely before they’re due back. So I read a little of each one, but the one that captivated me the most was Boneshaker. Needless to say, I very much liked it. First off, I. love. zombies. ’nuff said. As a fellow writer, I know you’d love constructive criticism so…my biggest complaint was that the writing just seemed a little too simple. Perhaps I was riding my literary high from The Difference Engine, and I understand it’s a YA novel…but for me, the beauty of steampunk is the setting and aura…and this had a lot of good elements, but it didn’t quite completely satisfy. That aside, the story line was fun and interesting, involved and intricate. It felt like the story had just started, and before I knew it…I was halfway through. The number 1 thing I look for in a book is that it can take me into it’s world and that I believe it’s real. Which Boneshaker does wonderfully. So there. :) I gave it four stars on Goodreads. And books have to earn my stars. LOL.

    ANYWAYS: I’m excited for dreadnaught, I’m currently waiting on getting my library to order Clementine…but I can’t wait to get into them.

    Jonathan (athaax)

  6. Clay

    Hi there. :)

    I was wondering if there are any plans to release Clementine in ebook format and if there is, do you know when the release date is and what formats it will be avalible in?

  7. Rick: There’s always hope for the future :) Darkest hour just before dawn, etc. etc. etc.

    Clay: Clementine will, in fact, be out in ebook format before long. I just signed the amended contracts last week. I’m not sure what format, though – that will be up to the publisher. Stay tuned, and I’ll post here when I know more.

  8. Cherie – I read Tanglefoot today. What a cool little story. I was surprised and pleased to find you chose to continue the story of Edwin and Smeeks. Looking forward to Dreadnought.

    I would like to see what is happening in the big cities of the two sides; Manhattan and Atlanta. I would also like a peek into life on the battlefield.

    Thanks for listening,


  9. Cat

    Hi Cherie,

    Not sure if this is a mistake or not, but when I went to pre-order Dreadnought online through a NZ bookseller, Whitcoulls, I found that the book was listed as ‘in stock’. Although, to tell the truth, I haven’t received a confirmation of shipping email yet, so maybe I will have to wait as long as everyone else.

    Do you know if your book was officially embargoed, or released to distributors on good will? Could some people be surprised by early shipments?

  10. Pete – Haven’t made it up to Manhattan or Atlanta in the franchise yet, but from Richmond west … so you’ll see a lot of the border state areas in Dreadnought. You’ll also land on a battlefield, I promise :)

    Cat – It’s entirely possible that some stores/warehouses ship early. I’m not important enough for people to stick to a street date.

  11. I can almost feel your excitement vibrating off the page! OK I’m one of the Two Book people! DH found a link to Boneshaker online and I liked the idea so we ordered a copy.

    I love a story when the author creates a world I can just walk into, a believeable and convincing, if slightly crazy or unusual world. I love a heroine too – not just ‘another boy hero story’. the tide started turning for brave feisty women with books like Sabriel, and I just loved Briar to bits. I could imagine the whole thing as a film (so let’s hope someone else does too!).

  12. Aw, thank you Marjorie! I really appreciate it :)

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