Good morning from a rainstorm

Hi, friends. I’m writing to you from a dramatic and cozy rainstorm. The acoustics are mesmerizing.

It’s been too long since I’ve blogged, and it’s because blogging continues to feel like too broad a canvas as my healing crawls along. It takes a long time to recover from brain surgery. My neurosurgeon says symptom recovery could take a year, and I’ve found it easier to communicate via the smaller and quicker media of Instagram. BUT – my new book releases in two weeks, so it’s time I blogged something!

There Is a Door in This Darkness is about Wilhelmina Hart, a young woman living in Watertown, Massachusetts in the fall of 2020 who’s feeling mired in her life. There’s a pandemic, she’s stuck at home right when she thought she would be starting college, she’s trapped with way too many family members in a small apartment; you get the picture. Then, during a surprise snowstorm one day at the end of October, bizarre flashes of whimsy begin to occur. Wilhelmina is pretty grouchy about them. Seriously, she doesn’t need weirdness on top of everything else. But despite her vociferous resistance, the strange happenings lead her into an adventure. Did I mention it’s also election week?

This book grew from my own experience of living in Watertown during that time, and from my love of stories about people whose interconnections contain just a hint of magic. There’s a touch of romance, deep friendships, fabulous aunts, doughnuts, crows, snow geese, owls, a unicorn cake, some grief, and a lot of hope. I love this book and I’m really proud of it. And it comes out June 11.

A crow candle holding a miniature copy of There Is a Door in This Darkness in its beak, sitting on a real-size copy of the book, with bookshelves in the background.

A lot of birds “help” Wilhelmina through her adventure…

I’m particularly excited about the audiobook, which is read by Jorjeana Marie. I got to go into the studio myself to record the author’s note, which talks about the world of the book, and also about the intersection between Wilhelmina’s health and mine. I gave Wilhelmina my own chronic pain diagnosis… then, as the book was about to enter copyediting, my dizziness arrived, I got a brain MRI, I got a whole new diagnosis and had brain surgery! This left me worried about Wilhelmina’s diagnosis, and my representation of her. What if I’d misdiagnosed her the way I’d possibly been misdiagnosed? What if she needed brain surgery? My editor, Andrew Karre, and I decided it was time for an author’s note. (You can read the story of my own medical adventures here.)

A photo of me wearing big headphones and sitting in front of a giant microphone, in the recording studio.

Some housekeeping: I’m once again signing and personalizing books at Harvard Book Store. Here’s the link for my book page there. I’m doing this only a few times a year (starting around my release in June), so please get your preorders in soon. Note the instructions: When checking out, indicate in the comments field that you’d like a signed copy. Please specify the name of anyone to whom you’d like the book personalized.

A poster announcing that I am signing and personalizing pre-orders at Harvard Book Store.

I’m not doing much in the way of events this summer, but that may change in the fall. I do anticipate an Instagram Live on the evening of Tuesday, June 18; I’ll add that to my events page once it’s better organized. I’ll be signing stock at a few local bookstores, and once I do that I’ll come back here and let you know where signed books are available.

We’ve been having some rolling giveaways over at Goodreads, including one going on right now. Follow that link to check it out.

A poster announcing a print copy giveaway at Goodreads that is going on through June 3.

Finally, I’ll close with some kind words about There Is Door in This Darkness.

“Cashore’s work is alive to the wonders of this world — grounding you in it one aching, perfect page at a time. Wilhelmina is a mighty main character whose adventures leave an indelible glow. Also, this book has the best magical aunts ever written.” — A. R. Capetta, Lambda Literary Award-winning and bestselling author

“Cashore’s command over language and her incredible mind for extraordinary ideas are reminiscent of Madeleine L’Engle. There Is a Door in This Darkness contains the wonder, and the ideas it holds are bigger than words.” — Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie and I’m The Girl

“How do we get through hard and confusing times? There Is a Door in This Darkness shows us the way with charm, heart, and a sprinkle of magic. This story of family, friendship, and love is told with some very timely essentials: kindness, compassion, and empathy.” — Deb Caletti, National Book Award Finalist and Michael L. Printz Honoree

Thank you, kind humans, for those words! The rain seems to have lightened and my stomach is telling me it’s time for breakfast… on with my day. Be well, everyone.