“Watch out for the Hidden Things…”

I actually started writing a completely different post today (another book review), and then realized that I really, really ought to start talking about some of the stuff going on with my book. (I’m actually fairly bad at the business side of publishing (or bad at business as publishing practices it, which is different). That’s a topic about which I can (and probably will) write a whole series of posts.)

I won’t lie: I’ve been putting this off. I don’t know if it’s nerves or laziness or the bone-deep conviction that something will happen and everything will just go poof and vanish. Even now, as I’m writing this line, I want nothing more than to delete the post and go do something else. Weird.

So here it is:

I have a book coming out in September. It is called Hidden Things.

It’s being published by HarperCollins Voyager, which is a recent… thing (see: not good at pub business lingo)… that brings all of the US/UK/Aus sci-fi/fantasy publishing arms of HarperCollins under the same impenetrable force field.

Now, part of the benefit of working with HarperCollins is (obviously) working with some very smart editors (a quick scan of my inbox tells me they have to pay at least six people competitive wages to control my rampant use of semicolons and argue where punctuation should go in relation to double-quotes1).

But another benefit is the fact that they have artistic, designer-type people who put together book covers for a living, and are quite good at it.

For example, they did this cover for Hidden Things.

I’m pretty happy with it.

…*plays it cool*…


You know what they say about not judging a book by its cover? Well screw that: you should definitely judge my book by this cover — nothing would make me happier.


Right. Sorry about that; got a little excited. If you need a bit more info, here’s a close approximation of the jacket blurb:

“Watch out for the Hidden Things…”

That’s the last thing Calliope Jenkins’ best friend and former lover says to her before ending a 2 A.M. phone call from Iowa, where he’s investigating a case she knows little about. Five hours later, she gets another call, this time from the police. Josh has been found dead; foul play is suspected. Calliope is stunned.

Especially when Josh leaves a message on her phone a few hours later.

Spurred by grief and suspicion, she heads to Iowa herself, accompanied by a road-weary stranger who claims to know something about what happened to Josh and who can — maybe — help Calli get him back.

The road is not quite the straight shot she imagined. Josh was involved in something a lot more complicated than a teenage runaway or deadbeat day, and Calliope find herself on a surreal road tip into — and behind — America’s heartland, hounded by once-magical creatures twisted by living too long just out of sight and the bogeymen in Calliope’s own troubled past.

See, what finally pushed me to the tipping point in terms of talking about all this stuff is the fact that I received a box full of advance reader copies last week, and I finally got to actually touch a hardcopy version of the story — to pick it up and feel the heft of it — and that helped me stop thinking that the whole thing was going to go ‘poof’.

It also reminded me that — more than anything — I want people to read this thing.

And that of course means I need to get the word out.

Which, you may recall, is the part of the stuff I’m bad at. Still, I’m going to give it my best shot. Here’s everything going on right now:

Hidden Things has its own special page on this site, right here, so that if I (or, should I be so lucky, you) tell someone about the book, there’s a handy link for more info. The Hidden Things sub-site isn’t totally done — I still need to finish up the Reading Guide page, but I’m taking a lot of allergy meds this week (stupid cottonwoods) and my brain is too dumb to come up with good questions — most of the pertinent stuff is there, and there are placeholders for the other stuff that I will fill in as we get closer to the date-of.

I bit the bullet, went back onto Facebook, and made up an Author Page… thing… It is here. Please don’t do anything crazy like making up a Facebook account just so you can see the page, but if you already have such a thing, well, you’ll be far more at home on that page than I am.

Finally, there are going to be some CONTESTS that will result in people winning ARCs of the book. As a matter of fact, there are already two contests going on right now, and there will be more soon.

Contest the First: A Simple Click It doesn’t get much simpler than this. All you have to do is:

  • Go over to that Facebook page I mentioned and “Like” something therein. Like the page. Like the picture of the cover I posted yesterday. I don’t really care what you choose; there are little blue thumbs all over the bloody place — click one of em. Or, if you are not written in the Book which is Face…
  • Tweet something on twitter about this blog post, and put a #hiddenthings hashtag on it, so I’ll see it. Or
  • If you’re on Google Plus, go +1 this post, as it appears over there. OR
  • Go to my Tumblr page and like or reblog this post.

Next Monday, I’ll gather up the names of everyone who did any of those things, put em in a hat, and pull a name out: that person wins a copy of the book. Simple.

Contest the Second: A Not-So Simple Click
This one is pure Facebook, since it’s not something I cooked up. William Morrow is currently giving away a bunch of themed prize packs of books. Hidden Things is included in the “Mystery/Thriller” package, because (I can only assume) someone at WM has a sense of humor. Go here, click the things that ask to be clicked, and you’ll be entered to win Fabulous Prizes.

Contest the Third and Fourth and So On: Which Haven’t Happened Yet.
In a few weeks, I’m going to ask for a bit more creativity in these contests: one of you will win an ARC for writing awesome twitter-length microfiction; a few others will win stuff (not just Hidden Things, but other stuff) for being all artistic and designery — that one will happen around the same time the San Diego Comic Con, where I’ll be signing stuff and sitting on panels and other things I didn’t do the last time I went. More on that when the time comes — I’d like to do all these things right now, but I’m told I should pace myself and start simple, which I have (I hope).

Now What Did I Forget?

Actually, I think that’s it. So…

Let’s have another look at that book cover, shall we?


She’s a pretty one, isn’t she?

1 – That actually ended up being a debate I won. Who knew I could hold my breath that long?

5 Replies to ““Watch out for the Hidden Things…””

  1. The book design is by Shannon Plunkett who, with all due respect to HarperCollins, is not getting paid enough (regardless of whatever she’s getting paid).

  2. In a few weeks, we’re going to have a contest that has to do with that cover design, actually, and you’ll be able to see the shoebox full of broken bits of glass and torn scraps of fabric (read: my suggestions) that Shannon rebuilt into this fabulous thing.

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