The Sorting Hat has gone down to the wire this time, but I now have a result--thank you all for your patience as well as your support for "Helen-in-Black" and the Supernatural Underground!
And the winners are (drum roll!):
For "The Heir of Night":--
Sharon S (The hat loves you, Sharon!)
Best wishes to you all--and dont' forget to check in again on 1 October for the Grand Launch of "The Heir of Night." I'll be looking forward to catching up again.
Well, here I am. In Melbourne, Australia (aka "the Lucky Country."); 1500 miles from home, but still about 10,000 miles away from those northern hemisphere hubs, London and New York. Tomorrow I'll be attending Worldcon, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention—or Aussiecon4 as its more affectionately known. And impressively (given those distances), meeting a whole lot of people from various regions of the northern hemisphere—mainly the US, Canada and UK, but also places as diverse as Japan and Finland, to name but a few, as well as the "local" Australians and New Zealanders.
I'll also be meeting representatives of both my US (Eos) and UK/AU/NZ (Orbit) publishers for The Heir of Night, for the very first time, during the five days of the convention. (My Thornspell publisher, Knopf, won't be at the Con.) Exciting times all round—but not without its predicaments.
Here's the thing—I seriously love color. Bright red, hot pink, electric blue: these shades all star in my wardrobe and some items are so treasured that they feature much careful mending. But when you travel, there's this little thing called airline luggage limitations (it's a 1 x 23 kg case to Australia)—and because every item has to work well in at least 2-3 combinations to earn its place, the more colors you add to the mix, the weightier the bag gets.
Me, I really like to travel light, so over the years I have found that the most efficient way to pack is to just take all one color, because then you know everything will mix and match. And when the chips are down, if you're going to wear all one color, you just can't beat black. Because actually, black is cool. Although if you've trained in the martial arts like me, you'll know that black isn't just beautiful, it's also the only color that counts. In fact, where I come from, black is so much the real deal that most of our national sports teams wear just that—and our most famous sports team is even called the All Blacks.
So when I laid all the different clothing options out on the bed, ahead of the packing, and thought of all the contingencies I needed to allow for (I mean, Melbourne, spring …!), then surveyed that one small suitcase, I already knew what was going to happen. Besides, isn’t writing Fantasy about tradition and destiny—and not only do I hail from the land of the All Blacks, but there's also Neil (never-seen-not-in-black) Gaiman to be considered, and what about Johnny Cash? Put in that context, the arrows of destiny were all clearly pointing in the one direction. Even the radio was against me, with the Rolling Stones urging me to "paint it black."
Call me fainthearted, but tradition and destiny are both compelling forces. So here I am, in Melbourne, with 5 days of Worldcon ahead and meeting my publishers and a whole bunch of other people for the first time—and all in black. (OK, OK, I did sneak in that electric blue shirt, but otherwise …)
So what do you think? Have I done the right thing, opting to stay within my luggage allowance and make my Worldcon debut as Helen-in-Black? What would you have done, in my (um, black) shoes?
Because I am in Melbourne I might not be able to check in with you as often as I otherwise would, but just to help the discussion along, I'll be giving away another 2 x copies of the gloriously colorful Thornspell and 2 x AREs (courtesy of my editor at Eos, the lovely Kate Nintzel) of the darkly brooding The Heir of Night—and it's the usual deal: the Thornspell draw will be for Supernatural Underground readers anywhere in the world, but only posters from the USA/Canada can go in the draw for the Heir AREs.
You can earn points (i.e. the number of times your name goes into the draw) by:
+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website
+ 1 for commenting on my Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog while Worldcon is on, i.e. between today and midnight, September 6.
Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment.
Eligibility will close at midnight, EST on September 6, the day that Worldcon ends.
(Do remember to check back, or to post your email with your comment so that I can get in touch.)
And of course next month, 1 October, is Release Date for The Heir of Night in the USA/Canada so I'll not only be posting but there'll be special giveaways as well!