April 27th, 2016

Ad Astra!

Toronto’s literary SFF convention, Ad Astra, is coming up this weekend, and I’ve got my programming schedule in hand. If you’re hitting the convention, here’s where I’ll be!

Friday, April 29

8:00 pm The Medium is the Message: Plays, Screenplays, Novels, and Other Media — Newmarket
Jen Frankel, Leah Bobet

As a writer, you may have considered writing that novel. But what about that screenplay? That play? That board game? That web series? How can you make a living as a writer or create that great work of art while thinking outside the box of simply words on a page? This panel is about transitioning between various mediums to create the universe that lives in your mind, some of which you maybe never even considered, and how to approach each one differently.

Saturday, April 30

2:00 pm The Impact of Social Networks and Online Communities on Human Experience — Oakridge
Adam Shaftoe, Ira Nayman, Leah Bobet

Between the Arab Spring, the “year of outrage,” and the heating up of the culture wars politically and within fandom, the last few years have been a tumultuous time. At the heart of this conflict has been the ubiquity of social networks and media, and the ease with which we can communicate publicly what would have previously been very intimate opinions. For some, the online world represents a utopian globalization in which everyone has access to a wealth of opinions, ideas and information. For others, the online world has only divided, creating separate bubbles of opinion and thought that have led to the growth of hate organizations, public shaming and anger, doxxing and the proliferation of junk science and faulty arguments. How have social networks and online communities impacted human experience? Have they made us, effectively, telepathic? And what might the impact of this be on humanity going forward?

Sunday, May 1

11:00 am Sunday Morning Fantasy Reading — Oakridge
Chadwick Ginther, Leah Bobet, Sarah WaterRaven, Vanessa Ricci-Thode

Join authors Chadwick Ginther, Leah Bobet, Sarah WaterRaven and Vanessa Ricci-Thode for selected readings in the genre of Fantasy.

12:00 pm Surviving as an Artist — Markham A
Erik Buchanan, Leah Bobet, Marie Bilodeau

So you want to make a living as an artist of some kind. That science degree isn’t doing it for you. Maybe everyone is telling you that you’re going to starve! Come to this panel and hear how some of the artists in literature, music and art have found a way to “make it” and find out what making a living as an artist or writer actually means to you.

I’ll also be putting in some solid hours behind the Bakka-Phoenix Books table, so the Dealer’s Room will be a great place to look if you’d like to say hi!

Hope to see you there!

March 29th, 2016

The Spring YA Scavenger Hunt!

Get ready, get set…it’s on!

YA_ScavengerHunt_WebBanner

I’m Leah Bobet, author of An Inheritance of Ashes and Above, and I’m your host for this stop of the YA Scavenger Hunt!

Haircut!
The Puzzle

I’ve hidden my favorite number somewhere in the post below. If you collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up, you can hit the entry form at the YASH official site to qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

YASH Spring Blue Team

The Rules

The contest is open internationally, but anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


Now that that’s clear, on to the content: It’s my pleasure to host author Brynn Chapman!

Brynn

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman has dissected cadavers, toured asylums and is MENSA-eligible. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love–not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Brynn’s book, BONESEEKER, won the 2015 Young Adult Golden Leaf Award. Her new release, REQUIEM RED is due out on April 6, 2016.

“Exquisitely written! Requiem Red is a haunting tale of monsters, music, insanity, and the power of love where one least expects to find it. Brava, Ms. Chapman! This book will remain forever in my heart!” –NY Times Bestselling Author Darynda Jones


Patient Twenty-nine.

A monster roams the halls of Soothing Hills Asylum. Three girls dead. 29 is endowed with the curse…or gift of perception. She hears messages in music, sees lyrics in paintings. And the corn. A lifetime asylum resident, the orchestral corn music is the only constant in her life.

Mason, a new, kind orderly, sees 29 as a woman, not a lunatic. And as his belief in her grows, so does her self-confidence. That perhaps she might escape, might see the outside world.

But the monster has other plans. The missing girls share one common thread…each was twenty-nine’s cell mate.

Hi! Thank you so much for having me. I am in medicine by day, so I have an insatiable interest in the history of medicine.

While researching REQUIEM RED, I was horrified to learn of the standard 1800’s treatments of bloodletting, trepanning (drilling a hole in the skull), ablation (lobotomy) purging (enforced vomiting) and many, many others that make an appearance in the book.

Superstitions ran wild in these centuries, and if the physicks had no explanation for the illness, it was typically thought to be evil or supernatural. I toured Transallegheny Lunatic Asylum Twice—as there is no substitute for having walked in the setting in which you are writing.

It was all too easy to feel Jane’s depression, her laudanum addiction, her hopelessness. She has never known touch, compassion — nor been called by her name. Three girls missing — all were her roommates.

But all that is about to change…enter Mason, the new orderly — who sees Jane as a woman, not a patient. But will the asylum allow her to leave?


Chapter One

1894, SOOTHING HILLS SANATORIUM
PHILADELPHIA, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

“Jane! Jane, where are you? There has been an accident!”

Nurse Sally’s tremulous voice echoes down the sanatorium’s hallway, ricocheting off the walls like mad bats in flight. I close my eyes, press my lips tight, and keep silent.

“Patient Twenty-Nine!”

I flinch at the use of my patient number and slide from the hidden window seat, snapping my book closed to bound down the corridor. The nurse’s cry came from the direction of my room.

“Twenty-niiiine…” a male, sing-song voice calls out through the bars. I swerve and dart out of his way, narrowly missing those yellowed, grasping fingernails. My heartbeat doubles as I spin and run faster.

What has she done now?

My roommate Lily is truly disturbed. I spend most of my time out of the room, out of her way, because of her howling, because of her—

I round the corner and skid to a halt, instantaneously shaking.

Lily’s long blond hair spreads out on her cot like a coquette’s fan. Her eyes are closed. Her chest appears…still.

“Nurse?”

“Jane, go for help. Now. Run to Ward 4 and fetch Dr. Grayjoy!”

I stand staring, blood frozen in my veins, feet frozen to the floor. Lily’s head gives a violent jerk, and I gasp.

“For the love of heaven, now, you imbecile!”

I run. But not before I see the wall. Not before I see the message scrawled above her bed.
Help me. I know not what I do.

***

SOOTHING HILLS ASYLUM VISITORS’ SALON

“Bravo! Bra-vo, Miss Frost!” Willis Graceling, my would-be-suitor, claps too loudly.

I wince, but curtsy all the same, deftly moving my cello behind me. I walk off the small stage and ease myself into the milling crowd.

Father claps as well, slow and deliberate. Everyone in the salon follows his lead, though truth be told, it is a distracted applause. These hospital patrons and philanthropists are more interested in donations and connections than what musical selection I have performed this eve.

The windows are fogged from the patrons’ breath and the too many bodies in this too-warm room, despite the chilled fall breezes that whisper at the panes, reminding us that winter is coming. My eyes roam as I try to calm myself—to prepare for the onslaught of attention. I am unused to such large gatherings due to my largely sequestered upbringing.

Crystal goblets of rose-red flash by on a silver tray, just beneath my nose, close enough to catch the fragrant bouquet. I snatch one and the waiter raises an eyebrow, but says nothing, hurrying back into the fray. I am used to the whispers of virtuoso, but the outright attention I do not prefer. I would rather wield the pen and music and have another perform it.

Colors now dance behind my eyes. I picture them weaving in and out of the wrinkles in my brain. Notes appear in color for me. The color-note correlation never alters, like my own multi-hued, musical alphabet. This ability allowed me to learn to play at a very, very young age. As a child, I merely wished to see the rainbow in my mind.

Papa strides toward me, black eyes narrowing as his substantial arm slides about my waist, shuffling me into the crowd.

He whispers, “That was very good, Jules.”

His eyes shift through the patrons, nodding and smiling, but out of the side of his mouth, he says, “But I have heard it played better. In your own chambers.”

Willis trails behind us like a bounding, oversized puppy. I can almost see the leash from his neck to my father’s belt. Or perhaps an invisible chain from his coin purse to my maidenhead.

I am to be sold, er, married within the year.

Father vacates my arm, and I sigh in relief, but he is quickly replaced by Willis’s eager face. “Shall I fetch you some punch, Jules?”

“Thank you, that would be lovely.”

I ghost to the window and wrap my shawl tighter about my shoulders to guard against the draft sliding beneath its frame. Outside, a vast cornfield dies a day at a time. Remnants of green poke through the blackened leaves—as if hazel-eyed fairies play hide-and-seek, peeking out of the gloom-colored stalks.

I turn to watch Willis’s retreating form, disappearing into the society crowd, and cannot stay the sigh.

It is not so very terrible. He is handsome…and kind. Better than many other prospects I have had forced upon me. If people were flavors, Willis Graceling would decidedly be vanilla. Though nothing is decidedly wrong with vanilla, it is predictable, and quite often a filler.

I bite my lip.

I always dreamed of sharing my life with more of a…curry.

A gaggle of what my mind has deemed society women descends. Women with whom I share no connection, no interests, but for the sake of reputation, I must politely endure their inane conversation.
“Jules, it was so lovely. Did you truly compose it yourself?”

“Yes.” My stomach contracts.

Despite the low din of their prattling voices, I hear it.

A trickle of fear erupts in a violent shiver as gooseflesh puckers my arms.

“Whatever is the matter, child?” Lady Bennington’s face pinches with concern.

I shake my head. “Nothing.”

But I hear it … louder. Growing louder every second. The music, wafting in with the draft, as if the dying corn laments its own demise.

I curtsy. “Please do excuse me. I am feeling a bit faint. Perhaps the night air will set me to rights.” And without waiting for their reply, I make my getaway to the back of the salon, toward the door.

I slip out to the darkened porch and lean the back of my head against the door, closing my eyes. A multitude of covered lanterns cast a yellow haze over the myriad of rocking chairs, which now move in time with the breeze. As if the hospitals past invisible inhabitants sit, waiting in other-worldly expectation. Listening. As I listen.

It has been so long since I heard this music. Childhood experience has taught me only I hear this music. It seems to live only in my mind.

Maeve, my governess, forbade me to speak of it.

When I was but three, I first told her of the music. Of the words I hear in the music. Not in every song…only very specific melodies. Not lyrics, precisely, but intonations…like a whispered message. The harmonious voice whispering promises between the notes. She made me promise never to mention it again. Especially not to Father. I heeded her warning, the terror in her round, dark eyes forever etched in my memory.

The notes now pull and tug at my chest, as if sawing through my sternum, managing to wrench my rib cage open, as the tones grasp my heart and squeeze. The music elicits unwelcome tears.

A single phrase repeats over and over, embedded in the sound, like a musical Morse code.

Save me. Save me. Save me.

I bite my lip, then whisper, “From where. Who are you?”

Visit Brynn on her website, www.brynnchapmanauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brynn.chapman
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rrsmythe
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brynnchapman/
Add REQUIEM RED on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26176476-the-requiem-red


Creepy! You can almost hear the voices: Patient 33?

I’m running my own giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

But! Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Brynn, and more!

Keep On Hunting

Thanks for stopping by! Your next stop on the hunt is Vicki L. Weavil! Happy hunting!

March 23rd, 2016

Prepare to Scavenger Hunt!

Spring is, well, sort of nosing its way up more than springing, but: It’s time for the this Spring’s YA Scavenger Hunt!

I’ll be chilling out with the Blue Team, alongside a whole stack of experienced YA authors — and a pile of debuts!

Blue Team

We’ll be doing the Scavenger Hunt from noon, Pacific time, on Tuesday, March 29th to noon Pacific on Sunday, April 3rd, complete with a huge amount of bonus material, prizes, and more. Join in by checking out the YASH How-To page — and sharpen your hunting fingers!

January 29th, 2016

AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES is an OLA Best Bets book!

Spoilers in the title, guys! I’m just back from an afternoon signing at the OLA Super Conference and, since it’s official:

An Inheritance of Ashes has been named one of the Ontario Library Association’s 2015 Best Bets selections.

Here is a picture with its nice new sticker and everything.


I am very pleased and flattered and going to celebrate with a nice if extremely late lunch.

January 13th, 2016

OLA and a wise reading!

It’s finally snowing, and I’ve spent my 2016 so far bunkered down and happily drafting new work, but I’ll be showing my face in a few places this January (and early February!):

I’ll be at this year’s OLA Super Conference, signing copies of An Inheritance of Ashes at the Scholastic Canada booth (#211!) at 2pm on Friday, January 29th, 2016. Looking forward to seeing both familiar and new faces there!

The Monday after, on February 1st, I’ll be reading with series founder and short story author Andrew J. Simpson and McIllquham Foundation Prize winner Nicole Chin at Words at the Wise, Wisebar’s monthly reading series. This one’s obviously 19+.

Hope to see you all there!

January 2nd, 2016

A good start to the New Year!

Quite to my surprise, I got home this afternoon to find out that An Inheritance of Ashes has been shortlisted for the 2015 Cybils Awards, in the Speculative Fiction category — alongside some seriously great books (my to-read list just grew).

The jury will read through the finalists and announce a winner mid-February. Congrats to all the finalists, and best of luck! :)

November 18th, 2015

Podcasted! (Podcast?) and a sneak peek into December.

I’m back from tour, appropriately exhausted, and getting back into the daily routine — but one of the more fun things I did on the road is ready to go!

At CanCon, I sat down for an interview with Kevin T. Johns of Write Along Radio, a podcast about reading, writing, and publishing. We spent almost half an hour talking about An Inheritance of Ashes, writing for young adults, craft in the SFF community, diverse fiction, and more. It was a great conversation, and it’s live this week.

Otherwise, there are a few more appearance announcements on the horizon, once details are absolutely finalized. I’ll be posting about those December events this week or next, as well as a few things crystallizing for the new year!

October 23rd, 2015

And then, the tour.

Now that the Canadian launch party for Ashes is in the can (ha ha, I punned) and we’ve all had a little time to rest up, I’m really excited to announce something that’s been a few months in the making:

An Inheritance of Ashes and I are going on tour.

Just a little one. :)

I’m heading out next Thursday, on October 29th, and here’s where I’m going to be!

Ottawa, ON

  • Ottawa Public Library Teen Author Fest, Woodroffe High School, Ottawa, Ontario, October 30, 2015, 10:30 am.
  • CanCon 2015, Ottawa, Ontario, October 30-November 1, 2015.
  • I’ll be participating in panels and offering one-on-one feedback at the con’s Blue Pencil Cafe, as well as hosting a mini-launch on Saturday for the convention attendees!

  • Launch for An Inheritance of Ashes at Black Squirrel Books and Tea, Ottawa, Ontario, November 1, 2015, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
  • This event’s open to the public, so come down to get books signed, hear a short reading and Q&A, and support one of Ottawa’s indie bookstores!

Montreal, Quebec

I’ll be in and out on the way to Saratoga Springs, but I’ll also be at the Juliette et Chocolat on Saint-Catherine from about 8:00pm on November 2nd for serious personal chocolate reasons. If you’d like to say hi, hang out, talk books, and eat a balsamic brownie, please come on by!

Saratoga Springs, NY

Albany, NY

  • Flights of Fantasy Group Signing (with Julie Czerneda, Anne Bishop, Alex Gordon/Kristine Smith, Garth Nix, Amalia Dillin, and more), Albany, NY, November 8, 2015.

New York City, NY

  • Books of Wonder, New York, NY, November 10, 2015.
  • I’m just going to sign stock here — no big event! — but if you’d like a signed copy and are in NYC, feel free to come by!

So that’s it! Two weeks, in and out, with some possible additional stock signings and meetups along the way. I really hope to see you there, and look out for updates from the road!

October 17th, 2015

CanCon 2015 schedule!

Ottawa’s CanCon has rolled out its final schedule, and I’ll be participating! The event runs October 30 – November 1st, and here’s where I’ll be at the con:

Saturday, October 31

2:00 pm Weird Fiction and Lovecraftian Themes — Salon D
Sean Moreland, Sandra Kasturi (m), Geoff Gander, Leah Bobet

From Chthulhu to the Necronomicon, to that strange sense of impending universal doom, Lovecraftian themes and Weird Fiction have been inspiring us to look out at the oddity of the universe and recoil in horror as it looks back at us. This panel gathers academics and writers of The Weird to explore those elements of Lovecraftian ideas in our fiction.

3:00 pm The Frontiers of Young Adult Fiction — Salon D
Leah Bobet (m), Max Turner, Fanny Darling, Leah Petersen, SM McEachern

While being defined by its young point of view, YA fiction has grown to know very few other limitations in scope, theme or subject matter. What areas in YA fiction are left for writers and readers to mine for originality?

4:00 pm Magic and Magical Systems — Salon C
Leah Bobet, Leah Petersen, Jim Davies, Gabrielle Harbowy, Kate Heartfield (m)

Fantasy, Dark Fiction, Weird Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, a lot of our speculative genres can incorporate magic and play with ideas of paranormal powers. This panel gives us a chance to talk about the ways that we weave magic through our fiction and the ideas that inspire the magical systems we create to work in our paranormal worlds.

5:00 pm Men In The Post-Patriarchy: Inter- and Intra-gender Friendships, Collaborations, and Rivalries in Societies that Don’t Dehumanize The Feminine — Salon C
Alison Sinclair, Leah Bobet, Kris Ramsey, Su Sokol, Derek Newman-Stille (m)

Science fiction does a fine job of extrapolating physics and chemistry, and fantasy describes worlds with magical modifications, but both do a poor job of imagining truly different ways for humanity to function as a society. Our panelists discuss ways society could be structured differently and how we might get there.

7:00 pm Book Launch: An Inheritance of Ashes — Con Suite

Come on by for readings, Q&A, and chat about the brand-new An Inheritance of Ashes!

Sunday, November 1

11:00 am Writer-editor-publisher etiquette — Salon E
Gabrielle Harbowy, Hayden Trenholm (m), Edward Willett, Leah Bobet

After the acceptance has gone to the writer, there’s still a lot more to do, some of it confusing but ok, sometimes signs of a ball being dropped. What’s the etiquette through this process?

Hope to see you there!

October 14th, 2015

Ask Me Anything!

I’m sure there’s something you’ve been burning to know. Y’know, scone recipes. Dog opinions. Writing process. What working in an indie genre bookstore is really like.

You are in luck, my friends. As part of the release of An Inheritance of Ashes, the very kind folks at Reddit Fantasy will be hosting me for an all-day AMA on October 22, 2015!

Please don’t hesitate to head on over: I’ll be answering questions, chatting, and hanging out throughout the day, and would love to see you there!

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Last Tweets

  • O-kay. I have done the & written a shelf review & now I'm going to sit in the tea shop & do the paperwork like good writers do.,
  • So round. Such good dog. :),
  • ...yup, that would about be the opposite of good dogs. >.<,
  • It is very important that you all know that today on the subway I met a Shiba Inu and scratched her ears and deemed her a Very Good Dog.,
  • Adore that book. :),

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