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.