Monday, May 13, 2013

A Few Quick Notes before Disappearing into the Writing Cave

I'm currently on a deadline for my next novel, The Cure for Dreaming. Therefore, this website will be a little quieter for the next two months or so, and I won't be doing as many guest posts and interviews. In the meantime, you can learn more about In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Cure for Dreaming (including more details about the plot), and other potential future projects in an interview with me at My Friends Are Fiction.

Here are my some of my post-deadline plans for In the Shadow of Blackbirds:

Appearances: I have one yet-to-be-announced appearance scheduled for June, but other in-person events won't start up again until July. Keep an eye on my Events page; I'll be adding appearances as soon as they're confirmed. Prepare for quite a bit of activity this Halloween season (mainly on the U.S. West Coast).

Goodreads Q&A group: I was planning to host an In the Shadow of Blackbirds question and answer forum on Goodreads this month, but because of my current deadline, I've decided to move that event to mid-July. More people will now have time to read the book, so the delay will allow me to permit more spoilery discussions.

The Embers Photo Gallery: I'd love to add a gallery of reader-created spirit photography and fan art on the In the Shadow of Blackbirds website, Check back for details on that project this summer. Before that point, feel free to send me notes and artwork at catwintersbooks AT I'm still checking messages, even as I'm writing.

Happy reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013


Me, dressed for San Diego's Gaslight Gathering.
I spent the past four days traveling with In the Shadow of Blackbirds in its San Diego setting. I met high school students, librarians, booksellers, and other readers and enjoyed every moment.

To fully immerse San Diego students into the novel's 1918 setting, I had them wearing flu masks and smelling a bag full of raw onions. I also ventured into the world of steampunk conventions at San Diego's Gaslight Gathering.

A huge thanks goes out to the following schools, bookstores, etc., for hosting me:

San Diego High School
Grossmont High School
The Yellow Book Road
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego County Library
Ara Burklund
Gaslight Gathering
My sister, Carrie
San Diego friends
Laura Mihalick at Amulet Books (who sent me down there in the first place!)

I've posted several photos from my trip, including pics from the novel's setting, on my Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Latest News: YALSA Nomination and My San Diego Appearances

I was originally going to just make this post about my San Diego events, but I want to quickly add that I recently learned In the Shadow of Blackbirds received a nomination for the Young Adult Library Services Association's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults! I'm so honored to see my book listed with the works of amazing authors such as the ├╝ber talented Ruta Sepetys!!!

And now for the news about my trip.

Tomorrow I'm recreating Mary Shelley Black's journey from Portland, OR, to San Diego, CA. If you've read In the Shadow of Blackbirds, you'll know that the novel begins with my protagonist boarding a train bound for San Diego in the middle of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. I'm taking a much comfier route: a short flight involving snacks and some reading time.

On Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3, I'm speaking at San Diego High School and Grossmont High School, with presentations coordinated by The Yellow Book Road and Mysterious Galaxy. I'll let you know if signed copies of the book will be showing up in those stores afterwardthere's a strong possibility they will. (Note: The San Diego History Center owns a wonderful photo of San Diego High School students wearing Spanish flu masks in 1918.)

On Saturday, May 4, I'll be at the Gaslight Gathering: Steampunk  & Victoriana Convention at the Town & Country Resort Hotel, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego.

My Gaslight Gathering schedule of appearances:

4:00-5:00 pm:
Victorian Gothic Literature Panel
Brittany Room

5:00-6:00 pm:
In the Shadow of Blackbirds Signing Session
Grand Bazaar Vendor Hall, Autograph Table

Yes, I'm dressing up for the steampunk convention! I have a lovely black WWI-style dress and will likely be wearing some Mary Shelley Black-style clockwork jewelry. In the Shadow of Blackbirds isn't a steampunk novel, but my main character loves clocks and technology and the works of Jules Verne, and she even owns a pair of lucky aviatrix goggles.

I'll post photos from the trip after I'm back next week! Hopefully, I can also snap some shots of my favorite San Diego haunted sites.