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Announcing: HEIR OF FIRE US Tour Dates!

TOG US
So, I’m finally back on the east coast, and in the process of house-hunting (it’s just as stressful as I’d expected it to be, but also fun & exciting), BUT I have a bunch of suuuuper-awesome THRONE OF GLASS news to share with you! US Tour Information! Reviews! Covers!

Before I dive into today’s big news (aka tour info), I have a few absolutely amazing reviews for HEIR OF FIRE to share with you guys!

First of all, HOF received a Top Pick rating from RT Magazine, which is just…beyond incredible. I’m honored & thrilled. (Click for a bigger image.)

RT Review 3

Then, it received a truly lovely review from School Library Journal, which has some spoiler-y stuff, SO I’m just going to post these tidbits:

  • “Readers will devour Maas’s latest entry. The plot remains fast paced, balancing scenes of intense action with emotionally wrenching interactions between characters. Intriguing backstories continue to develop, vacillating between thrilling and heartbreaking, leaving readers to guess where alliances truly lie. While the story continues to be told from multiple perspectives, the addition of new characters brings tangled new relationships and dimension to the plot. …A must-purchase for libraries…”

Annnnd lastly, it received a wonderful review from Kirkus (again, trimmed for spoilers and/or a bunch of synopsis stuff):

  • “…Tension snowballs into devastating twists and an absolutely riveting ending. Maas’ usual hallmarks—an epic fantasy setting and the little-exploited truth that platonic relationships can be more intense and compelling than romantic—are present in force. Will leave readers ravenous for more.”

So, thank you RT Magazine, SLJ, and Kirkus, for such fantastic, thoughtful reviews!

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… It’s been so hard keeping quiet regarding details about my upcoming US tour for the book, but I can finally, finally announce tour stops and dates! (Click for a larger image.)

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You might notice that this year’s tour is a bit different from the one I had for CROWN OF MIDNIGHT. This year, I was fortunate enough to be able to invite my closest friends & favorite authors to join me at every stop, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! (Also, my publisher, Bloomsbury, is the GREATEST for making this happen.)

I’ll be kicking off the tour with a launch party at Books of Wonder (aka my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on the planet) in New York City with my two best friends, Susan Dennard and Alex Bracken, and then getting on the road for a few weeks! I cannot wait to see some of you at these stops—I have a feeling this tour is going to be a total blast. <3

(Also, I’ll have a final schedule for my upcoming UK tour in a week or two! Stay posted, because I’ll be adding more events to my preliminary list!)

Annnnd in case you missed it a few weeks ago, here are the GLORIOUS back covers for the US and UK editions of HEIR OF FIRE!

USA:
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UK & ROW:
HOF BACK COVER.jpg (1)

YAYYYY!

TOG US
So, this is just a super-quick update to let you know that I might be a little MIA for the rest of the summer!

After six years in SoCal, I’m finally (finally!) moving back to the east coast! Long story short: my husband was offered a position in Philadelphia, and we jumped at the chance to move back. Honestly, we’ve both been wanting to return to the east coast for a few years now—not just to be closer to family & friends, but also because we actually miss everything about living there (...even winter).

If you’d asked me six years ago if I’d ever move back to the northeast, I would have said hell no, but… I slowly began realizing how much I missed it. How I missed things like rain. And thunderstorms. On the rare, RARE occasions when it rains in SoCal, I’d open up all the windows in my house so I could savor every sound & smell. That’s how much I missed it. And then seasons… Every fall, I’d find myself massively & deeply homesick for changing leaves & autumn atmosphere… And don’t get me started on the weirdness of the winter holidays in 80-degree weather. Nice for a few years, but…ultimately not for me.

So, I’m pretty ecstatic that as of this Saturday, I’ll be getting on a plane and going home. (Another plus of being in the Philly area: super-close to NYC, aka my hometown & one true love.)

When I’m not busy with moving & getting settled, I’ll be working on my edits for the fourth THRONE OF GLASS book, drafting the sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (my new adult fantasy series), and preparing for my upcoming UK and US tours (details on those SOON!).

Andddd speaking of my books, Booklist gave HEIR OF FIRE a pretty damn awesome review (emphasis mine):


  • In the last installment of Maas’ best-selling series, Celaena discovered long-held secrets not only about her heritage and destiny but also her immense inborn power. Almost all of the tantalizing questions posed in that volume are answered in this hefty follow-up, and it doesn’t disappoint. After wallowing in hopelessness while on the run, Celaena is scooped up by a gruff fae warrior who helps her shape and control her terrifying power, a power great enough to crumble the tyrannical regime she served as King’s Champion. Meanwhile, Celaena’s friends secretly work together to undermine the wicked king’s unspeakable cruelty, and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far—lie in wait to make their own power grab. … Maas has a screenwriter’s eye for plotting, and...the pages fly by. Series fans will be relieved to hear that this installment is only the halfway point, and thanks to Maas’ adroit plot maneuvers, well-wrought characters, and immersive world building, they’ll be positively hooked for the forthcoming volumes.


Excuse me for a moment while I freak a bit over the “and a legion of witches—perhaps the most fascinating characters so far” line. There’s lots to love about this review, but…that line is 100000% my favorite (…I think you guys know about my love for Manon/the Thirteen by now). So, thank you, Booklist, for such a lovely review!

I think that’s it for now! Between moving & being on deadline for a few projects, I’ll be online kinda sporadically for the rest of the summer, but I’ll pop back in to update you guys with any exciting TOG & ACOTAR news!

Annnnd here’s what I’m listening to as I finish packing up my house (oldies, but goodies--though be warned of fairly explicit language):






Um, I literally just realized how truly, truly explicit those songs are, so… if that sort of thing offends you, just pretend this is my packing song (technically, it IS on my “Get Your Ass Back To The East Coast” playlist—and is ALSO on my TOG Book 4 playlist):

TOG US
So, I’m emerging from my mini vacation with a bunch of super-exciting announcements!

Some of you might have already heard a little bit about this, but… I’m so, so thrilled to announce that I’ll be returning to the UK for another tour this August!

I had the time of my LIFE on tour in the UK & Europe last fall, so it’s beyond wonderful to get to return this year! We’ll be announcing more events over the summer, but as of right now, here are a few places to find me (and fellow YA fantasy author, Leigh Bardugo!):

Sunday, August 17th:
2:30pm Public event at Edinburgh International Book Festival with Justin Somper!
Venue: Peppers Theatre, Charlotte Square
Tickets go on sale on June 24th
Box Office: boxoffice@edbookfest.co.uk or +44 (0)845 373 5888
https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/


Tuesday August 19th:
3pm Signing Waterstones Newcastle upon Tyne
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
Further details: 0191 261 7757
Event Details Here

6pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Seven Stories in Newcastle
Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle. NE1 2PQ
Tel: 0845 271 0777
Event Details Here


Wednesday August 20th:
12:30pm Signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
Further details: 0113 244 4588
Event Details Here

6:30pm Event with Leigh Bardugo at Waterstones’ Liverpool One
12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL
Event Details Here

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AND! Here are some other awesome/exciting announcements:
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This was just announced the other day, but if you want a signed copy of HEIR OF FIRE, you can pre-order one from Books of Wonder (my childhood bookstore & one of my favorite places on earth)! Click here for more info!

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My amazing publisher, Bloomsbury, is hosting a THRONE OF GLASS readalong this summer! They’re offering some INCREDIBLE prizes for participating ($500 Topshop gift card?! I am SO there.) Click here to sign up!

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Even though HEIR OF FIRE doesn’t release until September, if you’re just dying to get your hands on a copy AND you feel like donating to an incredible charity, you should check out the YARunsA5K fundraiser (hosted by my soul-twin/jaeger co-pilot, Susan Dennard). I’m donating signed copies of ALL my books PLUS a signed galley of HEIR OF FIRE for one of their auctions. Click here for more info!
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Annnnd I think that’s it! I’ve been reading a ton this past week (currently devouring all of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s/J. Lynn's New Adult books. Her WAIT FOR YOU series is awesomeeeee, and I’m madly in love with Cam), and taking some much-needed time for myself to relax.

Also, because I can't resist sharing music, I’ve had all of First Aid Kit’s albums on repeat thanks to their latest (STAY GOLD) recently releasing, and this band… Guys. Where has First Aid Kit been my whole life? I swear, half the songs on their new album could literally be about HEIR OF FIRE (“Stay Gold” “Master Pretender” “The Bell” and “A Long Time Ago” could pretty much be written by/about Celaena, and “I Met With The King” from one of their earlier albums). It’s been a while since I’ve fallen so head over heels in love with a band—some of their songs are like a freaking punch to the HEART (“I Met With the King” completely destroys me, and I will be shocked if there’s ever a day when I can get through that song without crying.)

So, that’s my super-long way of saying GO LISTEN TO THEM. Buy every song and album. In case you think I’m full of shit, here are some of my favorite songs:
“Wolf" (this was my gateway drug to First Aid Kit)


“Silver Lining” (this song SPEAKS TO ME AS A HUMAN BEING)


“I Met With The King”


“Stay Gold”


"Waitress Song"
TOG US
SO, the past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of super-fun, super-awesome stuff! I had an absolutely AMAZING time meeting readers and fellow authors at RT in New Orleans (I learned SO MUCH about writing while attending various panels, and came home totally inspired to write!), and completely fell in love with NOLA, too (THE FOOD! the architecture! the MUSIC!).

And, as always, it rejuvenated my heart/soul/creative spirit to be around my BFFers & fellow writers, Susan Dennard, Erin Bowman, and Biljana Likic. Here we are, about to listen to some incredible big band jazz at Snug Harbor:

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Last week, I had the privilege of attending BEA in NY for the third year in a row, and, as usual, I had a WONDERFUL (if not very, very busy) time! BEA is one of my favorite events of the year, mainly because it’s usually right when ARCs of my books finally start finding their way into the hands of readers/reviewers, so…it was really, really cool and surreal to get to sign HEIR OF FIRE (and it blew my mind that readers lined up two hours before the signing—you guys are the BEST).

And speaking of HEIR OF FIRE… So, the other week, I got some crazy-awesome good news about the book. Like, when I read the email from Bloomsbury, I actually burst into hysterical hu-hu-hu tears at my desk, and then cried on and off for the rest of the day. Because….

Tamora Pierce blurbed HEIR OF FIRE.

And said:

“Celaena balances between the living and the dead, humans and faeries, while her world creeps toward a dreadful war between the great and the monstrous. I was afraid to put the book down! ...Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!”

Tamora Pierce. Said that. About my books. About Celaena.

Annnnd okay, 10 days later, and I’m actually tearing up as I write this because it still doesn’t feel real, because Tamora is one of my personal heroes, and I GET TO DO MY DREAM JOB BECAUSE OF HER BOOKS, and because “Celaena is as much an epic hero as Frodo or Jon Snow!” is pretty much beyond ANYTHING I ever dreamed of anyone saying about the series/Celaena, let alone Tamora EFFING Pierce.

So…that is my news. I keep pinching myself over it. Thank you SO MUCH, Tamora, for the blurb, the kindness, and being such an inspiring person. <3

Before receiving her blurb, I had the pleasure and HONOR of being on a panel at RT with Tamora (confession: I actually burst into tears as I explained how much her books and her career meant to me), and she is just….a wonderful, clever, gracious, charming, and supremely badass person (getting to be on that panel with her was ALSO a dream come true for me). So, I’m just…over the moon right now.

And in other news, I turned in THRONE OF GLASS Book 4 this week. Hooray! It’s ginormous and I’m already wincing at the thought of just how many words I’ll have to revise. But while it’s in my editor’s brilliant hands, I’m taking a few days off before starting work on drafting Book 2 in the A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES series (crazy that I’m already starting to work on it when Book 1 hasn’t even released yet!).

So, busy summer ahead, full of juggling various deadlines, but… I like being busy. It’s been two days since I turned in TOG 4, and I’m already antsy about not working (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE reading for hours on end & not having deadlines breathing down my neck, but… not writing every day makes me restless). So, we’ll see how long my self-imposed vacation actually lasts. ;)

Annnd, just because I can't resist the urge to recommend music... I'm currently obsessed with CHVRCHES' The Bones of What You Believe album, especially this song ("Gun"), which I've been listening to on repeat for weeks:

THRONE OF GLASS
SO, I’m just going to announce all the news-y/event stuff first, so I can ramble for the rest of this post about the HEIR OF FIRE excerpt that’s now online.

I have TWO upcoming events:

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Thursday, May 15th:
10 AM: "Fantasy: Breathing Life Into It" panel with PJ Schnyder, Kristen Callihan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, and Tamora Pierce (!!!!!).
Location: Canal Street Marriott, 2nd Floor, Studio 4 (Preservation Hall)

1:30 PM: "How To Market Yourself Like A Celebrity While Maintaining Approachability" panel with my partners in crime, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard, along with Victoria Scott, and Tessa Gratton.
Location: Canal St Marriott, 4th Floor, Balcony K.

Saturday, May 17th:
11AM-2PM: Giant Book Fair. I’ll be signing THRONE OF GLASS & CROWN OF MIDNIGHT in the YA alley (authors are seated alphabetically).
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Grand Ballroom & Mardi Gras Ballroom

6:15pm-8:00pm: Teen Day Party
Location: Canal St Marriott, 3rd Floor, Mardi Gras Ballroom


BookExpo America (BEA):

I’m so honored and thrilled to be coming back to BEA this year!

I’ll only be there on FRIDAY, May 30th, and will be signing ARCs of HEIR OF FIRE from 11-12 (Table 5, Autographing Area).

I’ve been told that this is the ONLY time Bloomsbury will be giving out ARCs of the book during all of BEA, so… definitely drop by if you want a copy!



Speaking of HEIR OF FIRE, Bloomsbury is doing something SUPER awesome for the book trailer. They’ve known pretty much from Day 1 just how SPECTACULAR TOG readers are—and they’re so amazed by all the fan-art, videos, and music that you guys have created over the past few years that they want to share it with the world by incorporating it into the HEIR OF FIRE trailer!

I think this is pretty much the COOLEST idea ever, and couldn’t say YES fast enough when they pitched the idea to me! So, if you’ve ever made any TOG artwork, or videos, or music--or if you've been wanting to do it but haven't had the chance yet--then you can find more details here:

HOF Trailer


ANNNND, I just want to say a HUGE thank-you to everyone who came out to celebrate Celaena’s birthday party the other weekend! I had SUCH a blast answering questions and talking about the books—and sharing an excerpt of HEIR OF FIRE with you all!

If you missed the party, or just want a first look at HEIR OF FIRE, you can read the chapter HERE.

So, you’ll notice right away that this is chapter FOUR of HEIR OF FIRE—and introduces Manon Blackbeak, who is a brand-new character to the series and is one of the Ironteeth witches.

If you’ve read the novellas (especially THE ASSASSIN AND THE DESERT), or CROWN OF MIDNIGHT (*cough* Baba Yellowlegs *cough*), you might already know a few things about the Ironteeth witches. The witches of Erilea had always been part of my later plans for the series, and Manon was a character that lurked in the back of my mind for years, but I honestly hadn’t really planned on introducing her *this* soon.

But I had this perfect storm of inspiration right around the time that I was finishing up CROWN OF MIDNIGHT—mostly triggered by tons of totally random music (the soundtracks to Fright Night, Hocus Pocus, Matrix, Rescuers Down Under, and Free Willy (Yep. NO SHAME IN ADMITTING IT.), among many others).

And Manon Blackbeak just…stalked right into my head, and demanded that her story be told now. Not in Books 5 or 6, but in right now, in HEIR OF FIRE, if I wanted to do her any justice later on. And her voice was so clear, so…different from anything I’d written before, that her story just poured of me. She was wicked, and cruel, and a natural-born predator—hell, she wasn’t even human—and I somehow had a freedom while writing her character that I didn’t necessarily have with others.

So, this introductory chapter of Manon’s is actually the first thing of hers I EVER wrote—and it pretty much gushed out of me while I listened to these three tracks (random aside: the new Fright Night, both in terms of music and as a movie, wound up providing a big kernel of inspiration for Manon). In the order that they appear/inspired this scene:

"A Terrible Vampire Name." <--the 35-second mark is EXACTLY when I imagine Manon saying "Wrong kind of witch." And the 40-second mark is pretty much what I imagine playing when she reveals her iron teeth & nails.


"There's a lot of bad people out there."


"Welcome to Fright Night." <--This inspired the last paragraph of the chapter:



Very, very little of what I write as a first draft ever winds up intact by the time my books are on a shelf. Almost every scene get heavily revised, rewritten, trimmed… But this opening chapter of Manon’s is pretty much exactly as it was when I first wrote it.

Honestly, I have no idea where this scene came from—only that those three tracks from the Fright Night soundtrack just…triggered something in my head, and the scene unfolded so quickly that I could barely type fast enough. I’m a pretty visual person—when I daydream about my books, I usually SEE them in my head, as if they were a movie.

So when I heard this music, I just saw an opening scene where this young witch is hiding in a closet while these three men ransack her cottage (and are also planning to do reallyyy bad things to her, thinking she’s alone, defenseless, & a “good” witch)… And none of these men realize that she isn’t hiding at all, but biding her time—and that she’s actually arranged her house as a trap for them.

My favorite moment in this scene is when the first of those men realizes it (pretty much at the same time the reader does)—that these three predators have actually just walked into the den of an Apex Predator….and that they’re not predators at all but merely PREY to her... That she’s not a “good” witch (aka the Crochan witches) but a Blackbeak witch—belonging to one of the three Ironteeth Witch-Clans, and very wicked indeed.

cfc56d8b28737f91be21426ac90e702fAnd despite daydreaming about her for a while, it wasn’t until I wrote this scene that I really GOT who Manon is, what her history was, what her LIFE was like—what it was to be a 100+ year-old Ironteeth witch, vicious and bored and more than a little arrogant. And I just…fell in love with her. (I don’t know what this says about me as a person, considering that she tears out the throats & disembowels three men in this scene.)

SO… That’s a little about this scene, and Manon. I could probably write 20 pages about her origins and what writing her narrative was like, but… I’ll stop now.

In a nutshell, I had an absolute BLAST writing her POV in HEIR OF FIRE, and I adore her beyond all reason, and hope you guys enjoy this little excerpt & introduction!
THRONE OF GLASS
SO, I’m about 4 days away from handing in my next round of edits on A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES (soooo close to being done with this book!), but I figured I’d check in to make a teeeeensy tiiiiny announcement…

THE HEIR OF FIRE COVER HAS FINALLY BEEN REVEALED!

You can see the official reveal over on the TOG Facebook page, but I’ve had some requests for the covers in hi-res, so…here they are!

U.S.:

HOF US

UK:
HOF UK


Honestly, I can’t decide which I prefer because they are both SO gorgeous, and beyond anything I’d imagined for this cover.

Fun Facts about this cover:

  • The turquoise flame on the UK cover is a perfect representation of the magical abilities that a certain someone (SO hard to talk about this without spoiling COM for anyone!) reveals at the end of CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, and miiight have to deal with in HEIR OF FIRE.

  • So, Celaena is actually left-handed on this cover—which I find to be super-cool, since it totally harkens back to the mention of her ambidextrous training (in TOG).

  • This is so not a “fact”, but one of my favorite things about these covers is that Celaena has Lady Amalthea hair.

  • So, if you’ve read the books, you’ll know that Celaena is golden-blonde (and, uh, does not have gray/glorious vampire skin). BUT there’s a new character introduced in HOF who actually *does* have moon-white hair like this. So…hooray! You might find some glimpses of her on my TOG Pinterest board.


Annnnd those are all the fun facts I have. At least non-spoilery ones. :P

All of my books are written/outlined using extensive playlists, but for some reason, HEIR OF FIRE feels the most closely tied to music. I usually write to movie scores and classical music, but for HEIR OF FIRE, I found myself inspired by a far wider range. Example: Kanye’s Yeezus album was a huge source of inspiration—more in terms of tone/feeling (obviously, if you listen to the lyrics).

“Blood on the Leaves” is the first track on my HEIR OF FIRE playlist—it’s a song I listened to on repeat while slipping into Celaena’s mental state at the start of the book (again, more in terms of tone/atmosphere than actual lyrics).



Celaena’s head at the start of HEIR OF FIRE is not a happy place to be, and throughout the various rounds of editing and rereading this book again and again, part of me always cringed at having to slip back into that dark place with her. But getting back into her head was always made a bit easier by listening to this song. Proof that writers are crazy: I’d put this song on repeat, close my eyes, and let the music/atmosphere sink in as I thought about Celaena, and everything that had happened to her up until the start of HEIR OF FIRE. It was like…meditating. When I’d open my eyes, I’d be in Celaena’s head and ready to work.

“Waking Up” from the Oblivion soundtrack was the next song I’d turn to—and the piece of music that fits perfectly with the opening chapter of HEIR OF FIRE. I can literally line up the music with sentences/passages from that chapter.



While “Blood on the Leaves” was my gateway into Celaena’s head/attitude, “Waking Up” provided the emotional undercurrent—her relentless anger, the glimmers of determination, the self-loathing and despair and hollowness.

Writing Chapter 1 while listening to this piece often left me in tears, to the point where I’d just put my head in my hands and CRY. (Have we discussed how I'm a super-emotional/slightly insane writer/human being?) It’s hard to talk about the book without giving too much away, but if you’ve read CROWN OF MIDNIGHT, you know that Celaena is a biiiit of a mess by the end. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that she’s gotten worse by the time HOF begins, since the UK summary starts with “Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien's only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend.”

But, basically, whenever I hear “Waking Up,” I think about that opening chapter, about the person that Celaena has become, and my heart just…breaks for her. (Strange thing, loving your characters enough to feel their pain as if it were your own.)

Annnd those are the first two tracks on my HEIR OF FIRE playlist. The rest get a bit spoiler-y, so I’ll hold off on sharing them, BUT…

“Run Boy Run” by Woodkid was one of the songs I listened to on repeat while writing HEIR OF FIRE. Mostly while writing Celaena’s POV, but I also found myself writing to it while working on Dorian & Chaol’s sections, and Manon Blackbeak’s narrative. It’s now one of my all-time favorite songs (recommended to me by my soul-twin/Jaeger co-pilot, Sooz), and the last minute (technically minute & ten seconds) straight-up KILLS me.



If I had to pick one song that encompasses HEIR OF FIRE, that embodies what Celaena goes through, that contains the heart of this book, it’d be this.

So, that’s my update. Which turned out to be wayyy longer than I thought.

BUT if you want to hear me read from HEIR OF FIRE, then you should attend the online birthday party for Celaena on May 3rd! Details below.

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Hooray!

My Upcoming Events & News!

THRONE OF GLASS
So, I’m still juggling various TOG & ACOTAR deadlines, but I just wanted to quickly announce some *exciting* upcoming events!

THIS THURSDAY (April 10th) at 3 PM EST (Noon Pacific; 8 PM UK time), I’ll be chatting on Twitter with the amazingly talented & lovely Samantha Shannon, author of THE BONE SEASON (which was one of my favorite reads of 2013)! We’ll be talking about our series, writing, favorite books, and lots more! So, if you’re around, definitely stop by—and bring any burning questions!

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THIS SUNDAY (April 13th) I’ll be at the LA Times Festival of Books! Hooray! Here’s my schedule for the day (if you’re at the festival, definitely come say hi!!):

10-11 AM: Signing at the Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company tent (booth #720) with fellow Bloomsbury author, Robin Benway!!

1:30-2:30: Panel: Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales (with Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo, Cecil Castellucci, and Andrew Smith). Location: YA Stage

2:30-3:30: Signing with my fellow panelists in the autographing area!


ALSO! On May 3rd, my wonderful publisher is throwing an online BIRTHDAY PARTY for Celaena. I’ll be there via video chat, answering any/all questions about TOG and reading an exclusive excerpt from HEIR OF FIRE!

Space to tune in to the video chat is limited, so reserve your spot by sending in your pre-order receipt for HEIR OF FIRE to Bloomsbury (details below)! I am so, so, SO excited about this chat—it’s always super-fun to interact with you guys, and I can’t wait to share some of HEIR OF FIRE!

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Speaking of HEIR OF FIRE, I’m off to work on my first pass pages (aka the last time I get to read through this book & make any changes before it is DONE!).


(565 pages = one big, big book baby.)

Check back over the next few weeks for more exciting news & upcoming event info!

Annnnnd here’s what I’m listening to on repeat these days (mostly while editing ACOTAR):



ACOTAR News! And A General Writing Update!

THRONE OF GLASS
Well, I just received some really exciting/awesome news regarding my upcoming fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, so I figured now is as good a time as any to give you guys an update on what I’m working on!

But first—thank you all SO MUCH for making the release of The Assassin’s Blade so fun and spectacular. You guys are the best. (Also, if you’re in the US, there’s a sneak peek of Heir of Fire in the back of the book.)

Anyway! I am super, super, SUUUPER thrilled to announce that the audio rights to ACOTAR sold to Recorded Books (at auction!). It’s such a tremendous honor to work with Recorded Books, considering how AMAZING their YA list is. So, THANK YOU, to Recorded Books—and a HUGE thank you to my incredible & badass agent, Tamar, for making it happen. <3

ACOTAR Audio
(Hooray, it’s official!)

Speaking of audiobooks, the audiobooks for Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight are now available from Audible (and I think The Assassin’s Blade will be out soon, too)! Elizabeth Evans, the narrator, has done an absolutely marvelous job bringing Celaena and the world of TOG to life.

So, to give you guys an update, right now I’m currently working on:

-Heir of Fire: I sent in my copyedits at the beginning of March, which means I’m now waiting to receive my first pass pages (aka the last time I get to read through/make little changes to the book). And AFTER THAT, I will be officially DONE with this book! Which is a bizzare and wonderful and overwhelming feeling. Heir of Fire is so, so, so close to my heart that it’s difficult for me to even TALK about some parts without getting weirdly emotional. I really, really can’t wait for you guys to read it this fall. (And can't wait for you to see the COVER! I just got a peek at the *almost* finished artwork for it and it is BY FAR my favorite cover yet.)

Book 4 of the TOG series: I am in the middle of drafting this book, and I can’t say much about it, but, as usual, if you head on over to my TOG pinterest board, you might find some hints about the book (and Heir of Fire).

A Court of Thorns and Roses (aka ACOTAR!): I turned in my first round of ACOTAR edits at the end of February, and received my second round a few weeks later. This second round is due at the beginning of April, so when I’m not drafting TOG4, I’m working on ACOTAR (and getting so excited to share this book with you guys in 2015).

Other than that, I have two upcoming events to mention (more to come as they’re made official):

LA Times Festival of Books: I’ll be on the "Young Adult Sci-Fi: Fantastical Tales" panel with Leigh Bardugo, Cecil Castellucci, Marissa Meyer, and Andrew Smith on Sunday, April 13th at 1:30.

RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans: I’ll be on the "Fantasy: Breathing Life Into It" panel with PJ Schnyder, Kristen Callihan, Mary Robinette Kowal, Mur Lafferty, and Tamora Pierce on Thursday, May 15th at 10 AM.

I'll also be on the "How To Market Yourself Like A Celebrity While Maintaining Approachability" panel with my partners in crime, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard, along with Victoria Scott, Tessa Gratton, and Corrine Jackson (also) on Thursday, May 15th at 1:30. And I’ll be participating in the giant book fair/signing on Saturday, May 17th.

Again, I’ll be announcing more events for 2014 as they’re confirmed/official, so keep checking back!

Annnnd now it’s time to dive back into TOG 4. In the meantime, here’s some music that I like to pretend plays during the most epic Heir of Fire trailer you can possibly imagine:



(It actually reminds me the most of Manon Blackbeak, an upcoming character in Heir of Fire, but, uh, you guys haven’t met her yet.)

THRONE OF GLASS
So, The Assassin’s Blade—the bind-up of all five Throne of Glass novellas—is out today! (Warning: This is a bit of a lengthy post, but…I love these novellas, and if you’re interested in how they came about, then…here it is.)

Honestly, I get a little weepy whenever I look at my gorgeous, gorgeous US & UK editions. (I miiiight be a little weepy as I write this, actually.)

I never, ever expected these novellas to one day be in print.

These novellas started off as a bit of fun, a distraction, and an experiment. In early summer 2011, I learned that Throne of Glass would be out in Fall 2012, not Spring 2012—which was actually a really good thing, but it meant:

  1. Having to tell my FictionPress readers that they’d have to wait another 6 months for the book (after patiently waiting for so many years), which made me feel majorly guilty.

  2. Six more months of…waiting/chilling/twiddling my thumbs. TOG was still in its editorial stages, and I hadn’t yet sold Books 2 or 3 (meaning, I didn’t have the go-ahead to write them).

I can last about a week without writing/working on something before I start clawing at the walls and going absolutely nutso. I’m actually unable to STOP working most of the time—even now, if I’m not working on TOG, I’m drafting something else. It’s this compulsive, restless thing that I can’t quite describe, but I never really get a break from it.

So, I had all this extra time and needed something to do with it. And my agent, because she’s clever and cool and knows me pretty well, called me up one afternoon that summer and had this awesome idea: what if—to fill that time and to make it up to the FictionPress fans (and perhaps introduce new readers, too)—we did a few TOG e-novellas before the release of the novel?

Yes, yes, yes.

After revising TOG for so many years, I’d wound up cutting a bunch of flashback sections (and rightly so) from before Celaena was enslaved in the mines. Ultimately, they were just a collection of scenes where she’d sometimes brag about That Time She Met The Pirate Lord And Wrecked His Town, or sometimes she’d get sad and quiet thinking about a fellow assassin named Sam, or sometimes she’d brood over her totally effed up relationship with her former master, Arobynn.

She had so many stories—so many adventures and encounters and moments that profoundly shaped her—long before the first page of TOG. And every time I cut those flashbacks or mentions of those adventures, it kinda killed me (even though they totally did not belong in the book). So when my agent called me up with this idea—this chance to tell all those stories—those 6+ extra months before TOG’s debut suddenly felt like a blessing.

With the novellas, I wasn’t limited to a few flashback-y scenes—with the novellas, I could put all those scenes in order and flesh them out and make them real stories.

We pitched the idea to my amazing publisher, and they instantly got on board, and asked if I could write four e-novellas, to be released starting in January 2012 and then every few months until the August 2012 release of TOG. I’d never really heard of anyone doing e-novellas before the release of a book, let alone a series of them (again, this was in 2011), and in all honesty, I’d never written a novella before.

I’d read a few in school, but…all I really knew going into it was that I had 20-30k words in each novella to craft the story I needed to tell, and that each of those novellas would link together to form the arc of how Celaena went from the greatest assassin in her land to a slave in the Salt Mines. It never occurred to me that four of those novellas equaled a full-length book. And it never occurred to me that I would fall so madly in love with these stories.

Because what I’d written before—those little flashback scenes—were just…scraps. Glimpses into that life she once had, but not really a full picture of what happened to her. I reread what I had written years ago, and then threw them out, keeping only two things:

  1. The fact that a certain character dies.

  2. That beginning scene in The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, where Celaena is sitting in the council room with the other assassins, gets into a fight with Sam, and acts like a Total Asshole.


That beginning scene is the only thing that survived—the rest I threw away. I’d never really learned what Celaena actually did That Time She Met The Pirate Lord And Wrecked His Town (and how she'd wrecked his town), and as that story seemed the most fun/shiny at the time…it was the one I wrote first (The kernel of the story came from This Piece Of Music from the Hook soundtrack).

I had a blast. An absolute blast writing The Assassin and the Pirate Lord. But even as I wrote it, my heart kind of broke—broke for Celaena, and Sam, and what they were about to go through in these novellas. Because the more I wrote about them in that first novella, the more I realized just how truly, deeply she was about to fall in love, and what these novellas would do to her by the end.

So I realized about halfway through that first novella that this wasn’t just a project for fun, or an experiment with the uncharted waters of e-novellas, or a way to pass the time.

These novellas were as vital to Celaena’s story and character arc as the books themselves.

The events in the novellas wound up shaping Celaena’s actions in Throne of Glass and the series itself. Celaena’s relationship with Nehemia (and her initial dismissal/judgment of Kaltain) was very much impacted by her first female friendship in The Assassin and the Desert, as well as her interactions with Lysandra in The Assassin and the Underworld. And her interactions and relationships with Dorian and Chaol would always be a bit overshadowed by Sam. And her relationship with Arobynn…well, what happens in these novellas lays the groundwork for their inevitable reunion in later books.

So I wrote all four novellas back to back, each with its own intense editorial process, and it was just… wonderful. Difficult and challenging and exhausting, yes—but also a joy and a thrill and a wild ride.

The novellas changed the series, too. Writing The Assassin and the Empire changed everything. While drafting it, I had to frequently get up from my desk and leave the room, or go lie down, or just cry-cry-cry for half the day. I’ve loved Celaena since the moment she walked into my head all those years ago, but writing that novella…. I realized just how deeply I loved her, how much I felt for her—and it killed me, seriously killed me, to write the second half of that novella. And the ending that I’d always imagined for the TOG series wound up being chucked in the trash as a result. I can’t say anything more about it, but when I finished The Assassin and the Empire, when I looked back at what Celaena had been through in those novellas… the series ending I’d always imagined didn’t work anymore.

There were new characters, too—characters who randomly walked onto the pages of the novellas and forever changed the direction of this series. Ansel—from The Assassin and the Desert—was my very favorite of them.

She was a background character in my original plans for Desert, but the moment Celaena strode into the Silent Assassins’ fortress and this red-haired girl smirked at her…. Ansel just shoved all the other characters away and took center stage. I fell in love with her, too—and I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that she’ll be back in later books, or that I’ve been thinking about what she’s been up to, who she’s met, and all her adventures until she reunites with Celaena. If I get the chance to write her story one day, I’ll consider myself blessed.

Then there was the fifth, unexpected novella—The Assassin and the Healer. Okay, it’s actually a short story. I wrote it for the 2013 World Book Day in the UK as an exclusive bit of content, and wound up loving it so much—loving Yrene Towers so much—that I wanted to make sure that it was someday available to all TOG readers. (Especially because the events in Healer wind up having a big impact later on.) Yrene is the only character other than Celaena to get her own POV in these novellas (save for a very short scene with Arobynn in Empire). So, make of that what you will.

It’s been over two years since we released The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, and the reaction from readers—old and new—has amazed and overwhelmed me ever since. These novellas came to mean so much to me that it’s an honor that someone else enjoyed them, and perhaps was moved by them, too. I consider these novellas to be as important to Celaena’s saga as the books themselves.

So, I’m profoundly, deeply grateful that I’m sitting at my desk today, writing this. I’m grateful that I’m staring at my beautiful copy of The Assassin’s Blade, where all of those stories are now in print—somehow feeling more real as a result. I’m grateful to every reader who bought the e-novellas and championed them; grateful for the readers and teachers and librarians who begged for a printed edition to be available; grateful for my amazing publisher deciding to listen.

And, just because, this is the piece that inspired the final scene in Empire—the piece I listened to on repeat while drafting/sobbing through that last moment, when Celaena finds the strength to stand, when she tells herself that she will not be afraid, and walks into the Salt Mines. To this day, I can’t listen to this piece without losing it—and when I hear those final notes, I still feel like I’m walking beside her, heartbroken but head held high.


(Uh, ignore the weird video.)

Hooray! New THRONE OF GLASS Book Deal!

THRONE OF GLASS
So, I’m emerging from the Revising Cave (currently working on my first round of edits for my new fantasy series, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES) with some super-exciting, super-wonderful, super-epic news…

My amazing, brilliant, and ridiculously awesome publisher, Bloomsbury, has acquired the next three THRONE OF GLASS novels (AKA Books 4, 5, and 6)! You can get more nitty gritty/exciting info about the deal here.

And here’s that nifty little write-up in Publishers Marketplace that I am always so amped to finally see (because it makes it REAL):

TOG Deal

Honestly, I’m not quite sure where to begin—I’ve been sitting on this news for about 2 months now (Has it been that long? Juggling various deadlines has totally screwed up my sense of time.), and I’m still completely overwhelmed with gratitude whenever I think about the fact that I get to continue writing this series and finish Celaena’s story.

THANK YOU to the marvelous worldwide team at Bloomsbury for your unfailing support and enthusiasm for this series. It is SUCH a delight to work with you all—and I can’t wait to keep working with you on TOG (and ACOTAR)!

A massive, massive thank-you to my badass, lovely, and incredibly hard-working agent, Tamar Rydzinski. You are the absolute BEST, and I’m so tremendously honored to have you as my agent.

And a MAJOR thank-you to all of the wonderful readers who made this possible. I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to tell this story in its entirety without you. I might be a little slow to respond these days, but your emails, tweets, fanart (& fanMUSIC!) mean the WORLD to me, and keep me motivated and inspired. So thank you, thank you, thank you for letting Celaena into your hearts. You’ve made this journey so much fun. I'm forever grateful.

Though I’m currently drafting the novel, there’s no word yet on when TOG 4 (no title yet, either!) will be out. But hopefully it’ll stick to a similar schedule to the first 3 books!

In the meantime, THE ASSASSIN’S BLADE (the novellas bind-up) is out on March 4th (EEEEE!), and you can pre-order it here!

HEIR OF FIRE (Book 3) will be out in the US on September 2nd (I just saw the latest draft of the cover art, and WOW, you guys. WOW.), and it's already up for pre-order!  Also, the first book my new fantasy series, A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, should be out in Spring 2015! So, lots and lots of exciting stuff coming up.

Annnnnd I need to crawl back into the Revision Cave, because these ACOTAR edits are due a week from today, and…yikes.

BUT YAYYYYYY FOR MORE TOG BOOKS!!!!!

Here's what I've been listening to on repeat lately (especially good for working on ACOTAR edits):



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I'm Sarah J. Maas, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series (Heir of Fire, Book 3, will be out in September 2014). The Assassin's Blade, a bind-up of all five TOG novellas is now available!

I'm represented by the awesome and lovely Tamar Rydzinski of The Laura Dail Literary Agency. Starting in Spring 2015 - my New Adult Fantasy series, A Court of Thorns and Roses, will be published by Bloomsbury as well! Hooray!










For more information about me and my books, please visit my (very rarely updated) website: http://sarahjmaas.com/

Throne of Glass




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