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PhoBWanKenobi's debut
July 20, 2013 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Today I picked up Starglass, the first book by mighty Metafilterian PhoBWanKenobi. I've dragged myself away from it, barely, to eat and drink and go to the bathroom -- and to post these congratulations to her for writing an exciting, introspectively illuminating novel.

(I don't know why that first link says July 23rd, as it's clearly out now.) Starglass will be sitting on the YA bookshelf right next to my Joan North books, which is high praise indeed. Mazel tov!
posted by Harvey Kilobit to MetaFilter-Related at 4:51 PM (158 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

*click*

*buy ebook*

*drum fingers impatiently waiting for the 23rd*
posted by Lexica at 5:04 PM on July 20, 2013


Awesome! I'm excited to read it - it sounds like fun. And yay for another successful Mefite author!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:05 PM on July 20, 2013


I'm waiting for my pre ordered copy!
posted by ocherdraco at 5:06 PM on July 20, 2013


Neat!
posted by Artw at 5:26 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awesome!
posted by COD at 5:30 PM on July 20, 2013


Very cool, thanks for posting the news!
posted by juliplease at 5:55 PM on July 20, 2013


Wow, that's fantastic. I hope you sell a million. I just so happen to have a 7th-grader (besides myself) in the house who would really enjoy this.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:17 PM on July 20, 2013


Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi!
posted by homunculus at 6:21 PM on July 20, 2013


PhoBWanKenobi, you always have smart things to say about YA literature. Congratulations on your debut, and may it be the first of many. I can't wait to read it!
posted by Jeanne at 6:27 PM on July 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yay, hopefully it does fantastically.
posted by edgeways at 6:29 PM on July 20, 2013


Looks like my kids'll love it- congrats!
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:31 PM on July 20, 2013


I was lucky enough to score a review copy, and I loved it! Big congratulations!
posted by BibiRose at 6:32 PM on July 20, 2013


Hooray! Very cool!
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:34 PM on July 20, 2013


I am still tapping my foot impatiently! Looking forward to it very much.
posted by rtha at 6:35 PM on July 20, 2013


Congrats, PhoB. I always look forward to your comments about publishing and everything else. :)
posted by mynameisluka at 6:36 PM on July 20, 2013


Super excited to read it!
posted by mustard seeds at 6:37 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Spoiler: they were on Earth all along! Congratulations!
posted by Nomyte at 6:41 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading it.
posted by Cuke at 6:41 PM on July 20, 2013


So exciting! Congratulations, and I'll definitely be getting a copy!!
posted by peripathetic at 7:03 PM on July 20, 2013


I always have heartfelt congratulations for every author of any new publication that isn't a cookbook. So, go Phoebe!
posted by paulsc at 7:22 PM on July 20, 2013


Yay congrats!
posted by sweetkid at 7:23 PM on July 20, 2013


/joins Club Preorder
posted by Artw at 7:44 PM on July 20, 2013


Go Phoebe!
posted by radioamy at 7:57 PM on July 20, 2013


Very cool! Congratulations!
posted by ambrosia at 8:01 PM on July 20, 2013


I drifted away from Sci-fi years ago and I've never been been into YA fiction, I always felt that it was aimed at people more YA than my own broken down self. But I'm a big fan of PhoBWanKenobi. She's absolutely one of my favorites on the site. She gives a great perspective on a subject I know nothing about (and everything else) and that's one of the things I love about Metafilter. Great job. I'm pre-ordering a copy on Powell's now. Obligatory exclamation point (!) Congratulations!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:03 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


TAKE MY MONEY.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:18 PM on July 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, yay! What perfect timing, I'm just coming off of a book-buying diet at the end of this month. Adding this to my list of things I'm allowed to buy in August. Can't wait to read it!
posted by palomar at 8:18 PM on July 20, 2013


Harvey Kilobit: "(I don't know why that first link says July 23rd, as it's clearly out now.)"

For anyone else who's wondering about this, here's why:

For brick and mortar bookstores, the publication dates set by publishers are usually just guidelines; they don't have a lot of space to hold back stock (almost everything available is out on the shelves), and the publishers can't ship it to them with precision in order that they don't get the books before the pub date. (And they certainly don't want the bookstores getting the books late, so they often ship earlier than they really need to.) However, with online stores, it's easy to set a hard and fast date: they only have warehouse space, and since there are fewer locations and larger shipments, it's easier for the publisher to make sure that they get the books at a specified time. Also, books appear on online "shelves" according to code— there has to be some pub date entered into the system.

Thus, unless a book is a big enough deal to be embargoed (like Harry Potter), many books are available at Your Friendly Local Bookstore before they are available online.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:27 PM on July 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Awesome. Preordered.
posted by gaspode at 8:31 PM on July 20, 2013


What ocherdraco describes above is known as a "street date." By contract stores are supposed to break these (even on small titles) or they risk not getting future titles shipped until the day of release. Missing a few days of a major title can cost a store.

Where I worked (Minitonka and uptown Borders) we'd go across the street, but a copy from B&N, and we were golden. Once one store breaks the "embargo" other stores can do so as well, as long as they can prove they weren't first.

When it came to things like the latest Ophra book we couldn't even open the boxes.

More or less it was like working for the NSA, but with more chicks.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:48 PM on July 20, 2013


Oh my god, you guys, crying. So much crying and so much love.

(They are super happy tears.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:53 PM on July 20, 2013 [55 favorites]


PRAISE

PRAISE AND LAURELS
posted by The Whelk at 9:00 PM on July 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Conga line into the pool starts behind me
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding all these other people. PhoB is one of the smartest talks-about-YA people I know, and I imagine her book is pretty fantastic. I have been excited about reading this one for all of 2013!

(Take the joy, you deserve it. You write both YA and fantasy, two things which improve more young lives for the better than just about anything else in the world.)
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:04 PM on July 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Best of luck!
posted by Wolof at 9:21 PM on July 20, 2013


Okay, now that I am slightly [slightly] more composed . . .

this means so much to me, you guys. Tomorrow is my book launch party (at a wonderful local indie, Oblong Books, where you can also pre-order signed copies up through tonight at least, FYI) and we've been ferrying around family and dealing with logistics and I totally have been unable to really process this book stuff for the past few weeks. It might sound weird, because I sold the book a year and a half ago now, but I don't think it hit me, bone deep, until I saw this thread.

Because metafilter means so, so much to me, and the amazing YA and sci-fi writers here were such an inspiration to me when I was in graduate school and unsure of the path forward. I don't know if it was the tough love attitude of the users on ask.me or just being part of a community filled with people who are simply generally driven, successful, and amazing, but I really see my being here as integral to my embracing myself as a geek and a kidlit person. And it's so crazy how deeply I can trace my journey as a writer here, from way back when I started reading YA sci-fi again to the era just before I got my agent when my writing needed a kick in the butt. You guys helped me so much, you don't even know.

It's strange, this book thing. Because I grew up poor and didn't know anyone who wrote, but I read books all the time. I used to walk through the sci-fi section of the library looking for the Ns, dreaming about my book being there someday. But it seemed impossible, in a way. Books weren't something that were made, not really. They simply were. You guys helped to disabuse me of that notion, and something about the general zeitgeist of metafilter convinced my that it really was possible. I mean, this is the home of metafilter's own jscalzi, cstross, and migs! And that's not even getting into the connections I've forged with other authors here, or editors.

So I just want you to know that I love you tons, and in a way, this is your book, too. Thank you, metafilter. So so much.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:24 PM on July 20, 2013 [76 favorites]


SO MANY FREAKING HUGS
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 PM on July 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh hey! I remember reading a short piece you wrote a while back. Really enjoyed it. Clicked and preordered.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:35 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


more context-appropriate music!

Have you seen the book trailer for Starglass cause it's really freaking amazing.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on July 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


Great book trailer-- the music is really cool, what is it?
posted by threeants at 9:50 PM on July 20, 2013


It's stock music, believe it or not. I use stock stuff for all of my book trailers (which I make for other authors as a side business). Feels kinda like cheating, but there you go!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:53 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well done PhoB! I have friends with a 12 year old daughter who I think would love this. On my way to preorder now!
posted by jokeefe at 9:55 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Erm, not to imply that I won't like it myself-- I intend to get two copies!
posted by jokeefe at 9:57 PM on July 20, 2013


Congratulations to MeFi's Own PhoBWanKenobi!
posted by Rock Steady at 10:02 PM on July 20, 2013


Congrats!
posted by scody at 10:30 PM on July 20, 2013


That's a great accomplishment, congratulations!
posted by vegartanipla at 10:31 PM on July 20, 2013


PhoB is splendid and I am excited to read this as yeah, her insight about sci fi/fantasy and YA on the site is grrreat. Congratulations!
posted by ifjuly at 11:01 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi! Your happiness and pride are so well-deserved!

Have you broken in your stamp yet?
posted by Elsa at 11:08 PM on July 20, 2013


Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi! Pre-ordered, I wish you much success.
posted by arcticseal at 11:18 PM on July 20, 2013


Metafilter: like working for the NSA, but with more chicks.
posted by arcticseal at 11:20 PM on July 20, 2013


Woohoo! I just pre-ordered the ebook (via this page). Hugs and congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi.

(I love the stamp!)
posted by taz (staff) at 11:28 PM on July 20, 2013


In the language of the Asherah, mazel tov.
posted by Cranberry at 11:35 PM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


On behalf of your Canadian brethren, I'd like to thank you for making the Kindle book cheaper than the US version on Amazon.
posted by arcticseal at 11:48 PM on July 20, 2013


Congratulations! That is so super awesome! Yaaayyy!!!
posted by colfax at 1:39 AM on July 21, 2013


Woot! How exciting! I really look forward to reading it. I hope the next few weeks aren't too much of a whirlwind for you PhoBWanKenobi.
posted by goo at 2:13 AM on July 21, 2013


Aw, I got a little something in my eye when I read your comments. Congratulations! Totally going to order it, too!
posted by Specklet at 3:22 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The picture of PhoB's cat on the FAQ is proof of straight priorities. Congratulations!
posted by ersatz at 3:51 AM on July 21, 2013


(On the book, not just the cat.)
posted by ersatz at 3:52 AM on July 21, 2013


Much respect and admiration.
posted by ambient2 at 4:29 AM on July 21, 2013


Enjoy your moment PBWK, and get ready for many more! Excellent achievement. I love the "blurbs" from the other authors under the trailer, the book sounds fantastic.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:42 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


A great thing by a great mefite congrats!
posted by angrycat at 6:03 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yay, congratulations PBWK! Like apparently everyone else in the world, I love reading your comments on books/publishing/YA lit/etc and wish you world-conquering success.

BTW, if you don't mind talking about this, what is the royalty situation vis-a-vis e-books vs. paper? I'd like to at least attempt to buy the version that will put the most pennies in your pocket.
posted by DaDaDaDave at 6:26 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, so, so, so, SO thrilled for you!!!!!!
posted by mothershock at 7:09 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is awesome and you should feel awesome.
posted by ODiV at 7:18 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Congrats and keep going!
posted by bleep-blop at 7:37 AM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been planning to get it in the very next set of books I buy. Looking forward to it so much!
posted by kyrademon at 8:17 AM on July 21, 2013


Congratulations Phoebe! Just ordered my autographed copy from Oblong books, hope it isn't too late to get today.

So proud of you, Girlfriend!
posted by Jazz Hands at 8:48 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


BTW, if you don't mind talking about this, what is the royalty situation vis-a-vis e-books vs. paper? I'd like to at least attempt to buy the version that will put the most pennies in your pocket.

I actually got out my contract to check this. If my math is correct, I make about 20 cents more on hardcovers vs. ebooks BUT seriously, if you want to read it, read in whatever format is best for you!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:03 AM on July 21, 2013


Pre-ordered! Congratulations!
posted by MoonOrb at 9:04 AM on July 21, 2013


Excellent! Congratulations! I will look for a hardcover at my local bookseller.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:40 AM on July 21, 2013


Tell the truth: you did this just to boost your favorite count, didn't you? ;)

I'm glad for you. I can't wait to read your book. If it's as good as most of your comments, I'm sure that it is excellent.
posted by double block and bleed at 11:10 AM on July 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Best return on a $5 investment ever!
posted by edgeways at 11:25 AM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hearty congratulations to you!!!
posted by scottymac at 11:55 AM on July 21, 2013


Ordered. Now I know what I'll be doing in August...
Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi!
posted by seabound_coast at 12:00 PM on July 21, 2013


DAMN this looks enjoyable as all hell.

PhoB, what's the best way to buy this so that YOU get the mostest money possible? My impulse is just to go pre-order it for my Kindle, but if it's better for me to buy a hard copy from an indie bookshop that is stocking it, or special-order it from the publisher, or buy an ebook in some other format, I want to know.

Why yes, an author friend of mine did just demand that I not read the review copy he lovingly inscribed to me, but instead wait to read his book until I could go buy a hard copy off a shelf. Damn control freak.
posted by Sara C. at 12:34 PM on July 21, 2013


Um Nevermind I see that my question was already addressed.

BUYING THE HARDCOVER, lady.
posted by Sara C. at 12:34 PM on July 21, 2013


Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi!
posted by jamjam at 12:39 PM on July 21, 2013


From everything I've heard, first week sales in actual bookstores are the best - the first week has the most impact on sales listings and reorders. So this MeTa is well-timed! But I've also never seen an author actually object to people buying a book in any legitimate format ever.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:45 PM on July 21, 2013


This looks great - I'm going to check out my local bookstore on my Sunday afternoon errands to see if they have it. It'll be the first hard-copy book I buy since getting a kindle, but it's totally worth it to support such an awesome mefite as this and anyway, I really need something new to read.
posted by lunasol at 1:05 PM on July 21, 2013


Such great news, congrats!

And just out of curiosity I checked my local library site; they've ordered 13 copies, which sounds like a good sign for the book's success. :)
posted by mediareport at 4:20 PM on July 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Pre-ordered - and congratulations!!
posted by leslies at 6:16 PM on July 21, 2013


YES! I will be buying a copy to take with me on my road trip across the country!
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:27 PM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


such a busy weekend I missed this post! I was super blessed to be one of Phoebe's critique partners for STARGLASS, which is truly exemplary YA. I am so proud of her and can't wait to watch her career soar. space pun. love you P.
posted by changeling at 8:33 PM on July 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


No copies ordered in my library system yet. Shame on you Philadelphia Free Library, I know you're broke, but still.

If any of you can find info on the library's web site about how you go about requesting they buy a book, you're doing better than I am.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:41 PM on July 21, 2013


Congratos Phoeb!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:01 PM on July 21, 2013


Weird, nothing shows up in my Kobo app when I search the store, but it's on the website. Pre-ordered even though I'm a grown man. I've been wanting some lighter stuff to read these days anyway. Everything else seems so grim lately.
posted by ODiV at 9:05 PM on July 21, 2013


Just a warning: it is a pretty grim book, despite being YA (pretty much a coming-of-age story about a girl with one dead and one alcoholic parent.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:06 AM on July 22, 2013


I'm on hiatus from A Song of Ice and Fire and Joe Abercrombie so I think pretty much anything will be less grim. Didn't mean to impugn YA there, but I thought it was a safe assumption. Looking forward to it!
posted by ODiV at 7:26 AM on July 22, 2013


No copies ordered in my library system yet. Shame on you Philadelphia Free Library, I know you're broke, but still.

They just tweeted out a link to the PW's list of the best new books out this week, featuring Starglass, so I assume that will change very soon!
posted by gladly at 9:37 AM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is fantastic! Can't wait to pick this up at Powell's when they get it out of the warehouse. Hooray!
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:53 AM on July 22, 2013


Yay! I mean, YA!
posted by Green With You at 10:04 AM on July 22, 2013


They just tweeted out a link to the PW's list of the best new books out this week, featuring Starglass, so I assume that will change very soon!

Aww, PW has been so great--they gave me a starred review, too, which gave me exactly the mojo I needed to get my butt in gear and get some very necessary promo done. So floored by their response.

I've gotten a few messages from people how they can help in various ways, so I'm sharing this even though I've been reluctant to speak about it publicly. Because of contract disputes between Barnes & Noble and my publisher, you may not find it on the shelves at B&N. If you don't, and are interested in the novel, I'd encourage you to ask the booksellers to order it for you at the store. My agent told me that it can make a difference, however small.

Thanks so much to everyone. You are fantastic.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:29 AM on July 22, 2013


Just now in my inbox: "Your order of "Starglass" has shipped!"

Hooray!
posted by ocherdraco at 10:31 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope it's OK that I have a huge queue of books at the moment but will read this ASAP as I love all your contributions here PhoB (as well as your appreciation of mine!)
posted by sweetkid at 10:35 AM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sent a request in to my local library to carry it!
posted by jillithd at 12:28 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooh, and I was just thinking it's been too long since I bought a brand-new book. Perfect timing!
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:27 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, PhoBWanKenobi! I haven't even read it and already I can't wait for your next one.
posted by Gelatin at 9:21 AM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been LOOKING for this book in YA fiction for a couple of months now, being somewhat inattentive and having gotten, somewhere, the impression that the book was already out. But now that I know it's out I'll definitely pick up a copy. Thanks for this MeTa.

And congrats, PhoBWan.
posted by gauche at 10:32 AM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


A suggestion with regard to this Barnes and Noble/Simon and Schuster problem.

If you are interested in the book, go into your nearest B&N and ask about it. At many stores, a customer inquiry will automatically lead to the book's being shortlisted for order. Even if they can't come up with a copy for you, they will now be aware of the book and they will gladly tell customers to download it to their nooks, ipads or waffle irons. Booksellers are looking for something to recommend to fans of, for instance, Veronica Roth, and Starglass is ideal.

A lot of booksellers are not really aware of the S&S thing. They just notice something funny when they try to order books. It makes me sad for all the books that are coming out this summer and fall from S&S. Starglass is going to do fine anyway, but it's kind of unfortunate timing.
posted by BibiRose at 12:32 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Congrats, PhoB!
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:37 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yup, congratulations Phoebe. The tenacity alone required to see such a big project through fills me with awe.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:11 AM on July 24, 2013


Mine arrived in the mail today! Yay!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:52 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just checked the tracking for mine and it says "delivery attempted" even though I was home and my doorbell never rang! Grar. Don't you just hate that?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:41 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mine arrived today!
posted by leslies at 8:11 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have now read this book in one sitting and I want more.
posted by vanar sena at 5:21 AM on July 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aw, yay, so glad you liked, vanar sena! The sequel will be out in July 2014.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:50 AM on July 25, 2013


It's on my kindle and I am enjoying it immensely, and also trying to not gulp it down in one bigfastGULP.
posted by rtha at 8:33 AM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The sequel will be out in July 2014.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the next Music challenge.

♫ ♩ PhoBWanKenobi, please write, and write faster
I'm not going to get any younger, you know ♯ ♬
posted by arcticseal at 10:19 AM on July 25, 2013


I now have it in my hot little hands and I am excited. (And man, it's pretty.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:34 AM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


♫ ♩ PhoBWanKenobi, please write, and write faster
I'm not going to get any younger, you know ♯ ♬


It's actually done! We're even through copy edits. Publishing is a slow and inefficient beast. Anyway, at least you won't have to worry about my dying before the story is finished. Now I can die in peace if I want!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:57 AM on July 25, 2013


Anyway, at least you won't have to worry about my dying before the story is finished. Now I can die in peace if I want!

No, no, no — that is NOT how the "dead or done" rule is supposed to work. We want "done", not "dead". Ahem.
posted by Lexica at 12:06 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, as someone who is still waiting to find out what happened to Charles Wallace Murry, I know that nothing is as bad as author existence failure. So I was just sayin'.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:08 PM on July 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


YAAAY BOOKS
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2013


Mine arrived!
posted by ocherdraco at 2:02 PM on July 25, 2013


I just got the e-mail that my copy arrived at the bookstore! I was not expecting it so quickly, considering that I inquired late on Tuesday. Yay, bookstores!
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:20 PM on July 25, 2013


Hooray, just got my Kindle copy! Congratulations!
posted by orrnyereg at 8:34 PM on July 26, 2013


ARRRRGH I FORGOT IT HAS A SEQUEL.

Seriously, though, that was fantastic. Can't wait for the next one.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:41 PM on July 26, 2013


I'm a quarter of the way through and it really is wonderful. Good work!
posted by something something at 4:23 PM on July 27, 2013


There is/will be a sequel?? Thank goodness--I want to find out what happens next!

For real, that was a terrific read. I shall follow your future career with interest!
posted by orrnyereg at 11:20 PM on July 27, 2013


Also, I thought the dedication was really sweet. Did you send her a copy?
posted by orrnyereg at 11:22 PM on July 27, 2013


Thanks, guys! I kinda wish the sequel is out already because it's the best thing I've ever written and I'm so psyched to share it. orrnyereg, not yet. I need to drop my old elementary school (where she still works!) an email and see if they'll forward her a copy or some such if I mail one (I'd love for it to be a surprise). Thanks for the reminder!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:39 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just finished reading it. Wow. Good stuff.

Not to be pushy (WRITE MOAR PUBLISH NAOW PLS) but is there an ETA for the sequel?
posted by Lexica at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2013


I had to put off marathon reading cause of cartoon drama but I started reading in bed and I had to tell myself to stop so I wouldn't like, read til 3 A.M .
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


July 15th 2014! Which is a long time. Sorry!

There will be a prequel thingy released awhile before. I need to like edit it and shiz.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:27 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just finished it and enjoyed it greatly.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:18 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


So good! Can't wait for the next book!
posted by Swisstine at 8:55 PM on July 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


kindle version poichased!
posted by bleep-blop at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


AHHHHH.

Next book. Now.
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


(also Pepper is one needy kitty).
posted by The Whelk at 1:58 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi, July 15 2014 is my BIRTHDAY. \o/
posted by Jeanne at 2:05 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


SOMEBODY might be getting warm-up doddles of CERTAIN FICTIONAL CHARACTERS soon.
posted by The Whelk at 2:51 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


(also Pepper is one needy kitty).

Pepper is pretty much a complete and total expie of my own cat. When my husband read the book in an early draft, he was like, "Pepper is like a cartoon cat. No one will believe he's real. He, like, talks to Terra." And I was like, "You have conversations with the cat all the time! You'll be all 'meow meow meow meow meow' and then he goes 'MEOW!!!'" But my husband still insisted that no one would believe it, despite the fact that our actual cat is even more cartoonish. He gives high fives and stuff.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:20 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


( ha I just explained the word expie to someone )
posted by The Whelk at 6:22 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend has a little black old lady cat that always needs to be within four feet of her. Not demanding or making a big deal but will slowly get up and move to her position in the house. It's adorable.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 PM on August 2, 2013


PhoB, I feel really sad that, due to irritating personal circumstances, I haven't been able to buy your book yet. But today I saw it in a store and it was soooooo pretttyyyyyyy... Soon, perfectly sized and beautifully designed hardcover with lovely thick paper. Soon.
posted by Sara C. at 7:35 PM on August 2, 2013


Sara C., it's okay! Nobody has to read my stuff, for real (though it's cool when they do!)

I am super lucky to be with S&S in respect to book design. Theirs are typically gorgeous.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:37 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also want to compliment your characterization of UNNAMED ROMANTIC INTEREST PERSON as being mysterious and swoony until you get to know him and he's like, yeah a 16 year old dude, not David Bowie.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on August 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


This interview is interesting, too. PhoBWanKenobi, I really like what you say about infodumps vs. "incluing," instalove and "flawless YA boys."

I liked the focus on relationships in the book, as well as the way you handled the queer plot elements - one you nicely telegraph, and another you slip in deftly and surprisingly. That elements of the plot work to subvert ideas of love at first sight, marriage and childbirth is great, too. It's a really well-written book with interesting characters (and ditto what The Whelk just said about the URIP; it's another neat subversion of standard romance).

I would have enjoyed more description of the ship, for sure, and as the book was ending started to think "how is she going to wrap this up in only 50/30/20 pages?" I was surprised to find it ends on such a massive cliffhanger. Is that typical of YA fiction these days? Was that your decision or your publisher's?
posted by mediareport at 6:32 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a basic breakdown on the ship's structure on my website under the Starglass section if you want to read more about it. It was important for me to stay close to Terra's perspective, which doesn't leave much room for that (but instead for much angst) though I know that frustrates some readers. Believe it or not, I had all sorts of maps and stuff as I was writing.

As for the ending, it was my plan from the beginning. It was conceived as a duology, with the first volume being space opera and the second planetary romance and it always ended with her Impulsively (and Drunkenly) Doing a Certain Possibly Stupid Thing, although the peculiarities changed--the scene in the field originally happened all off-screen, and it ended with her in the lift. But cliffhanger? Always there. A few editors suggested it should be a standalone novel, but my instinct was that it wasn't the right choice for it--that would be one dense book with two distinct settings and a massive break in the narrative in the middle. My agent also floated the option of going on submission with only the first book, with hopes of selling the second one later, but I said no--too risky. Didn't want to end up with one book with poor sales and the second never published. That said, in a way I'm satisfied with Terra's action as a conclusive one: taking definitive action, acknowledging her self-worth, doing something for herself despite how, well, crazy it seems.

I've gotten less backlash than I expected, honestly, and people seem excited to read the second rather than, like, mad at me, which is cool because I'm excited for them to read the second too. And Starbreak ends very definitively. It closes up the story and the narrative completely, and I think readers will feel very satisfied after reading both books.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:15 AM on August 3, 2013


I should say, as to whether cliffhangers are common, they're not uncommon in a certain type of series, but they're relatively rare for first novels. That's because debut authors are actively dissuaded from thinking in terms of series. No one knows what their sales will be like, and whether a financial investment in a second book will be worth it. And yet trilogies and series are very popular in YA (though some editors and readers are getting trilogy fatigue). What often happens is that the first book will close everything up, and the second will have to open it back up again. I've always suspected this contributes to second novel difficulties--how does one continue a story that doesn't really need it? And frankly, writing a sequel, under first-time contract pressures, are difficult enough. For that reason, my approach with the book* was always risky, and contrary to popular advice. I was querying the "first in a duology" not a "standalone with series potential." And yet, unlike other books I queried which genuinely were standalones, this one got me an agent quickly and sold quickly. Sometimes risks pay off.

*My editor once asked me if I saw the first as a vehicle for the second. In many ways, she was right--it is! But because of the way I think about structure, they're both very necessary in my eyes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:33 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks, that's fascinating - and awesome. You sold two books at once?!
posted by mediareport at 8:17 AM on August 3, 2013


Yup, it sold in a two-book deal.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:18 AM on August 3, 2013


I managed to not gulp (too much)! And I loved it! GO, YOU!!!!

I was much relieved to see that there's a sequel (I saw that note before I'd finished, so whew). I'm still somewhat traumatized by my experience of reading Robin McKinley's Pegasus, the end of which would have made me hurl the book across the room if I'd been reading the dead tree version. I found out after that there's supposed to be a sequel, but the publishing date seems to be....uncertain. So I'm very, very happy that your sequel was already a done deal when the first book came out, and I'm looking forward to the next. (And the next and the next but no pressure or anything!)
posted by rtha at 9:07 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I did a few warm up doddles of the characters, I think Koen came out a little more adult then I intended. Ah well.
posted by The Whelk at 10:55 AM on August 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


More teenage Koen doodle, plus side Captain.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on August 3, 2013


Is this thread where I call out PhoBWanKenobi for keeping me awake reading far too late last night? Because that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:39 AM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


STOP WRITING COMPELLING NARRATIVES SOME OF US HAVE TO SLEEP.

Actually, I might be up for fan art requests when I get back from the NYer...
posted by The Whelk at 7:40 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did it make you late for work/school? Because that's on my writerly bucket list.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:04 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


PhoBWanKenobi, I hope you get it out on Audible soon, 'cause I am a suck reader these days and am ingesting a lot of what I get reading-wise while I sweep the floor and do stuff like that. Do you know if/when there will be an audiobook?
posted by angrycat at 10:51 AM on August 7, 2013


No, we haven't sold the audio rights yet, sorry!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:57 AM on August 7, 2013


I'm going to buy the audio rights and have everyone talk in silly voices.
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


we could make it a metafilter project
posted by angrycat at 3:53 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, surely I'm not the only MeFite who'd gladly contribute money (KickStarter or otherwise) for a MeFi-guided audiobook version (if only to be able to say "and absolutely NOT [narrator X]!")
posted by Lexica at 4:28 PM on August 7, 2013


Did it make you late for work/school? Because that's on my writerly bucket list.

Not yet, but I'm not sure how, considering that I was up late last night reading, and reading past the point where I should've left this morning. Maybe tomorrow...
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:50 AM on August 12, 2013


Way too absorbing given the amount of stuff I need to be doing - I didn't start it for a while out of fear that this would happen
posted by leslies at 6:21 PM on August 12, 2013


I am sleepy today because I was up late reading Starglass. Yesterday, I read it while walking home from the bus stop and then stood outside my house reading until I got to the end of a chapter (once I go through that door, I have to be in dad mode).
posted by Area Man at 9:59 AM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I liked it a lot. I'll be waiting for the second book...

I like how spare the descriptions of the ship are, because of course Terra should just be able to call something a "forest" and leave the reader to wonder what this thing really looks like.
posted by bleep-blop at 6:07 AM on August 14, 2013


Just got my copy from the library today and am excited to read it!
posted by jillithd at 11:07 AM on August 16, 2013


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