I Make Up Worlds

SFF/YA writer Kate Elliott

Posts tagged Cold Magic

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ICYMI: Spiritwalker Novelette

Posted on Valentine’s Day but repeating for those who may have missed it then.

“The Courtship” is a 15,000 word story set in the Spiritwalker universe, told from the point of view of Andevai Diarisso Haranwy.

Set twelve days after the end of Cold Steel, it is a complete and self-contained story but does contain multiple massive spoilers if you haven’t read the trilogy (just fair warning if you care about spoilers).

“The Courtship” together with “The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal” function as a kind of coda to the Spiritwalker trilogy.  (Here’s a post I wrote about “The Secret Journal” at Book Smugglers. You can buy a print or pdf version of “The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal” at Crab Tank.)

Also: The story contains explicit sexual material. Just so you know.

THE COURTSHIP (click here to go to the story)

Cat & Andevai, kissing. Illustration by Julie Dillon

Cat & Andevai.   Illustration by Julie Dillon

Filed under Kate Elliott Spiritwalker Trilogy Cold Magic

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The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal: Print Version On Sale Now

smaller Bee

 The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal is finally and at long last ready to order in its PRINT version.

I appreciate your patience as this has been a micro-press venture and has taken quite a while to move through all the steps. While the people I worked with have experience in these matters, this is the first micro-press project I have ever attempted and I could not have done it without the able assistance (and patience) of Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein and Melanie Ujimori, the founders and publishers of Crab Tank Ink (although technically Crab Tank is not publishing the chapbook; the publisher of record is the Press of the Shiny Ideas Clutch, while Crab Tank is acting as the distributor).

Huge thanks to Julie Dillon for her magnificent artwork. For those interested in such details, I commissioned and paid for the art ahead of time. I’m thrilled she took on the project despite a rather daunting deadline.

This is the link to the order site at Crab Tank Ink.

Crab Tank is taking both domestic USA and International orders.

Free to signal boost if you feel so inclined!

EBOOK: A DRM-free pdf version is under construction and will be available in about two weeks (it has to be pdf because the illustrations are specific to the page). For the moment  it will not be available on any of the usual ebook platforms, only at Crab Tank.

Filed under Kate Elliott Cold Magic Spiritwalker Trilogy

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more on covers

To answer a question asked in reference to the post about the e-publication of my backlist, and one that has been asked before, I think the covers for the Spiritwalker Trilogy are great graphic design and strikingly beautiful covers. The model (she is the same person on all three covers) is not one I would have chosen to represent Cat Barahal although she is absolutely a lovely young woman.

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal with illustrations by Julie Dillon is coming soon, I’m hoping by mid to late August. The Secret Journal offers a better reflection of how I see the characters.

Filed under Cold Magic

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pretendtofly asked: Were you completely satisfied with the end of the Spiritwalker Trilogy? Do you think there could be more to the story or did you choose to tie up all the loose ends so to speak?

The actual written ending is exactly the ending I was headed for, so I am completely satisfied with the end of the book.

As a writer I tend not to “tie up all loose ends” just because in my experience of life the big conflicts and drama and politics and so on aren’t neatly tied up, ever. I like endings in which some elements are well satisfied and others are left a bit open, just like in life.

Could there be more of the story?  SURE.

There is a lot left to write about in the Spiritwalker universe. In fact, as a medium term project I hope to write some short fiction set in the world (some prequels and some sequels to the trilogy) and publish it as a collection. This isn’t something that would come out soon, however, as I’m currently working on a YA fantasy (aka Little Women meets Count of Monte Cristo in a fantasy world inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt) and a new epic fantasy trilogy (not related to Spiritwalker).

However, the Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (with illustrations by Julie Dillon) is in production and I’m hoping will be available by mid to late August.

Filed under spiritwalker trilogy cold magic kate elliott

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sparklyslug asked: The names Beatrice and Catherine made me think of the two awesome heroines from Much Ado About Nothing and the Taming of the Shrew (because I'm a dork for Shakespeare, it's true). Was that your intention in naming them? Did you have any specific idea behind giving them those particular names?

So you are quite correct.

The characters started life as Cat and Bee. I always knew that Cat’s name was Catherine and for a while Bee was Bianca because of The Taming of the Shrew.

However, one of the common etymologies of Bianca is that it derives from ‘blanca’ (‘white’) and that simply wouldn’t work for a girl of North African/Phoenician ancestry.

By contrast, two common etymologies for Beatrice are that it comes from “beatus” “happy” or “blessed” and/or from Viator which means a voyager. Those both seemed far more appropriate while still leaving Bee as her nickname.

Catherine is generally understood to come from a Greek root, meaning “pure,” but there is another etymology that suggests the name comes from the goddess Hecate who is, among other things, goddess of the crossroads (and thus someone who leads people to the afterlife).

For more about the inspirations for the trilogy, and how The Taming of the Shrew figures into it, read this post I wrote on “Inspirations and Influences” at review blog The Book Smugglers.

Filed under spiritwalker trilogy kate elliott cold magic

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More Information on the Forthcoming “The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal”

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal

Words by Kate Elliott

Illustrations by Julie Dillon


The layout and design is basically complete and proofed. The printer is out of town next week but a proof will be run the week after next and then a printing. Our hope is that the perfect bound (not stapled) 36 page 6×9 chapbook will be available in mid to late August.

At the time it is available I will post here and everywhere and direct you all to an order page (the distributor is Crab Tank; they will not be putting up a pre-order page because they are a micro-press). Domestic US and International orders will be taken.

The print version will cost $7.00 US ( + postage).

An e-version will come out soon after. A price of $3.99 has been bandied about and I think that is likely to hold.

Feel free to signal boost this.

Also, it is written as a companion piece to the trilogy. It can be read as a standalone but it is totally filled with spoilers and will be most enjoyed by people who have read all three books. Anyone, however, will love the Julie Dillon illustrations regardless of whether they’ve read Spiritwalker.

Filed under Kate Elliott Spiritwalker Trilogy Cold Magic Julie Dillon

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garputhefork asked: I can't remember if this was addressed in book 1 (and I've been hoarding book 2 until the last book was released), but how the hell do cold mages cook anything? (Not that one would actually lower him/herself to take a turn in a kitchen...)

Thank you for the excellent question!

The kitchens of mage Houses are separate from the main part of the house where the cold mages live. House members who aren’t mages may work/live in areas heated directly by fireplaces and stoves, and they would certainly be assisted by servants (who would like do the scullery work, etc). These separate buildings are where the cooking is done (then transferred to the main house eating hall for meals). The hypocaust systems warm the main house (with the furnace sourced far enough away from the cold mages that their magic won’t put it out). Also, cold mages feel the cold less than non-mage people do, so they don’t need it quite as warm as you or I might.

This is addressed tangentially in book one and directly in book three.

Also, regarding cooking: I postulate that, based on my reading of cultural aspects, cooking is almost exclusively done by women and is a highly respected skill. A woman born into the House who has no mage ability but who is a good cook and a good “house administrator” (remember the mage Houses might have anywhere from 50 - 300+  members) would be respected and valued within the mage House and could attain additional status through her cooking and administration efforts. Again this is touched on tangentially in book three, and in book two as well (although in book two it’s not within the context of a mage House).

Filed under spiritwalker trilogy Kate Elliott Cold Steel Cold Magic

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Kate Elliott in New York: NYRSF Reading series

I’m traveling so not online much but I wanted to alert any NYC readers/writers/interested parties that I will be appearing at the

New York Review of Science Fiction reading series Tuesday 2 July at 7 pm (doors open 6:30 pm).

at the Soho Gallery for Digital Art
($7 suggested donation)

I will be reading together with E.C. Ambrose. If Ambrose is agreeable, we will both read and then have a Q&A after. I would love to see you there and meet you. Yes, YOU.

Tuesday, July 2nd
Doors open at 6:30 — event begins at 7

The SoHo Gallery for Digital Art
138 Sullivan Street (between Houston & Prince St.)

By Subway
6, C, E to Spring St.; A, B D or F to West 4th; 1 train to Houston St; or R, W to Prince St.

There are many convenient bus lines that come within a couple of blocks of the gallery.

The New York Review of Science Fiction magazine is celebrating its 21st year!

Filed under Kate Elliott Cold Magic Spiritwalker Trilogy

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COLD STEEL launch day

June 25 means COLD STEEL is officially released on all platforms.

A special thanks to the wonderful community of Spiritwalker readers on Tumblr. I have received some gratifyingly positive reviews for this series (and a few scathingly negative ones!), and I have to say that this review on Tumblr is one of the best. I actually tried to convince Orbit Books’ publicist that





would be a great pull quote but they wanted to use the Publishers’ Weekly Philip Pullman comparison instead. Go figure.

I know that mostly readers like to discuss books among themselves without the author’s involvement (which I think is wise and which discussions I stay away from).

However, for those interested, there is a Discussion Thread (spoilers) for Cold Steel and the entire Spiritwalker Trilogy on my Wordpress blog.

Filed under Spiritwalker Trilogy Cold Magic Cold Steel Kate Elliott

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Thank you (Spiritwalker Monday 1)

The official publication date of COLD STEEL is June 25 for both e-book and print editions in English, worldwide (as far as I know; there may be some regions where it comes out later and if so, please let me know).

I’m always anxious when a new book comes out. That anxiety is amplified when the book in question is the final book of a trilogy because naturally, being the writer, I want people to like it and to feel satisfied with the ending. As always, some will love it, some like it, some will be disappointed, and a few will be puzzled, but mostly most readers will have no idea the book is out because they haven’t heard of it. That’s the nature of the business (especially when you aren’t a bestseller, as I’m not).

So I want to take a moment this week to say:

THANK YOU to my readers

Some of you love all my books. Some like one series more than the others. Some have only read one series or even just one book. One or two have thrown a book I wrote across the room in disgust. Some are trying out my novels for the first time. Some of you write to me or show up at my book events. Some I will never know are out there reading. Some are my friends; most are strangers. And you guys live all over the world.

It’s not that my writing doesn’t exist without readers. It does, and writing exists and lives and breathes even if what is written is only ever seen by the person who wrote it.

To me what happens between a written work and a reader is a creative act all on its own, an interaction that usually takes place in privacy and in silence while being no less vivid and powerful for that. In these days of social media the discussion can range farther afield and reach more people than ever, which is both really cool and kind of daunting and scary. But it always comes back to what I put on the page and what you, the reader, take away from the page.

Thank you for meeting me halfway.

Also, you all are the best.

Filed under Spiritwalker Monday Kate Elliott Cold Magic Cold Steel

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nightlysunflower asked: Just curious because I was talking with a friend the other day. I know you've expressed that the young women on the covers of Spiritwalker do not accurately represent your image of Catherine. And I was wondering if you ever got the chance, would you have prints republished with a more proper face claim or perhaps more minimalist? My friend and I were saying that even Cat's sword would appear more accurately than she did, and how sad that is once it's out of the hands of the author.

The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (a short story in a chapbook of either 32 to 36 pages) is in production right now and it includes 29 gorgeous illustrations by the amazing Julie Dillon AND characters look the way they ought to look.

Like, you know, THIS (I showed off this one already)(although this isn’t actually the final version, in the final she is wearing boots):


I was hoping the chapbook would be available for all my book events (see below or click on the link for more info) but due to some delays it seems unlikely to be available for purchase in SF or SD or NY but possibly Seattle and Portland will have physical copies. Obviously once the chapbook is printed, copies can be ordered in the mail!

I decided to do the chapbook because 1) I wanted to do a quick version of the Spiritwalker Trilogy from Bee’s point of view and 2) my chance to have the characters look the way they are described in the text.

Dillon’s illustrations are truly wonderful. I’m super excited about the project.

Also, feel free to RT the book events or share them with friends who may live in the relevant cities. I hope to at the very least be able to show off more of the illustrations and have an order form for those interested at all of the events.

San Francisco June 27 at 7 pm, Borderlands Books

San Diego June 29  at 2 pm, Mysterious Galaxy

New York Review of Science Fiction Reading Series July 2 at 7 pm (Soho)

Seattle July 8 at 7 pm University Bookstore

Portland July 9 7 pm Powells-Ceder Hills Crossing

Last but not least: Thank you for asking. This does matter to me.

Filed under Spiritwalker Trilogy Julie Dillon Cold Magic

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Copies of COLD STEEL arrived on my doorstep this afternoon.

I can’t read them all, plus I already know the story, and meanwhile the book is not officially released until 25 June 2013.

[The ebook will be released into the wild on 25 June but it is possible that the print book will start showing up earlier in bookstores just as the print copies of COLD FIRE did. So if you are buying the print version, keep your eyes open.]

Obviously the only thing to do is to have a giveaway.

I’m giving away four copies of COLD STEEL.

Here are the rules:

1. The giveaway will be open for one week, from today 20 May until 9 p.m. HT (Hawaii Time) on Monday 27 May.

2. Anyone can enter internationally.

3. To enter, ask me a question about the Spiritwalker Trilogy *or* about writing *or* about the science fiction/fantasy field and media *or* about something else. Everyone who asks a question is entered. There are no stupid questions.

4. Three of the copies will be picked randomly from all entries (here, on livejournal, and on tumblr). One copy will be picked at my discretion based on the questions themselves—but only one. There may be a few of you who worry about whether your question is good enough or clever enough or interesting enough: It is. And anyway, as per the above, lest you are still secretly fretting as I would be, three of the winners will be picked without regard to the question asked.

I will mail out the winners’ copies as soon as I get addresses (on May 28 if possible).

5. After you have read the book you can review it IF YOU WISH, or not review it, as you wish. This giveaway is in the nature of thanking my readers.

Just to clarify, any review should be the honest opinion of the reviewer. While I naturally hope all of you love the novel, I am aware that not everyone will, and reviews should be honest. However, IF you decide to review it, I ask (as per Orbit’s request) that you not review it until late June when the books are available.

Do not underestimate the importance of the social media conversation about books. The conversation is a fabulous thing, and it matters.

A brief reminder: Check out my book event dates (San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Seattle, Portland), and come if you can!

One last thing: YOU GUYS. Thank you for being the best readers.

Any questions?

Filed under Cold Steel Spiritwalker Trilogy Kate Elliott Cold Magic