Winterkeep-ish Stuff for Release Week!

Winterkeep is now out in the world, and can be purchased at your favorite book retailer. I am happy for you to buy the book wherever you prefer, but do keep indie retailers,, and Kobo in mind!

This week, I’m on the podcast First Draft with Sarah Enni… Sarah is so skilled at insightful conversation, and so warm, too. We had a lovely chat. Check it out!

I have two more virtual events to round off book release week, and you’re invited. The first is Sunday at 5PM ET (2PM PT), with Malinda Lo, moderated by Tui Sutherland, and presented by Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego. The nice thing about this event is that Malinda, Tui, and I are all in the same book group. So we’re used to getting together to talk about books. Just not usually our own books! Of course, our last eleven meetings have been virtual, but normally, the group meets in one of the homes of our lovely members. If I were hosting book group in January, I would have a fire roaring in the fireplace… So I’m going to light a fire for Sunday’s event.

It’s free to join us, but you do need to register ahead of time. Also, note that though I’m not personalizing books via my local indie during the pandemic, you can purchase books through this event and get signed or personalized bookplates. But you need to do so pretty soon, so if you’re interested, follow the links! Instructions for ordering are here.

My final event, on Monday at 6PM ET, will be a conversation with my agent Faye Bender, moderated by editor Andrew Karre, who is my new editor! So this conversation will certainly involve some publishing talk. This event is hosted by Books & Books and the Miami Book Fair. This event is free, but you do need to register ahead of time.

Finally, for those of you not on Twitter, I’ll share some pictures of my Winterkeep-writing process. Here’s a drawing I made on November 10, 2013, while I was planning this book while on a writing trip in Akureyri, Iceland. At the time, I’m pretty sure I imagined that this picture encapsulated the entire plot of the book. (Don’t worry, there are no spoilers! Especially since most of the stuff didn’t make it into the final draft…)

Next up, here’s a picture from the first page of my first draft, started on April 21, 2014. I wanted to share this because at the top, I’ve written, “I am writing a book and today I will write 2 pages.” That’s something I learned from Linda Sue Park, who gave a speech about writing once years ago in which she talked about the emotional weight of trying to make progress through such a long and gigantic project. You don’t sit down thinking to yourself, “I need to write this entire book.” You sit down thinking to yourself, “today I will write two pages.” When Linda Sue said those words, it changed my writing life. So much pressure disappeared! (By the way, if you enjoy seeing pictures of my notebook, you might like the detailed post I wrote about writing Bitterblue.) (Oh! And if you read that post, then read the writing carefully below, you will notice that ONCE AGAIN, I tried to write an earthquake into a book. Like the earthquake in Bitterblue, this Winterkeep earthquake did not make it through to the final draft. Why am I obsessed with earthquakes?)

Finally, years later — almost 3 years ago, in February of 2018 — I was far along in the writing process, but I still hadn’t figured out what this place was called, what this book was called, what the undersea beast was called…. At a writing retreat with friends, I kidnapped this gigantic easel notepad thingamajig and started writing down possibilities. Everyone voted. You’ll note that “Winterkeep” isn’t even on this list (though some pretty silly things are; I wrote down every possibility, no matter how bad), but you’ll also see that I was getting pretty close to “Winterkeep!” I don’t remember exactly, but I must have come up with “Winterkeep” while we were at dinner one night, and everyone agreed it was the winner. (For a while after that, I was calling the book Winter Keeper, but when it came time to decide for sure, my team at Penguin decided to go with Winterkeep, so that the title would line up nicely with the other single-word Graceling Realm titles.)

And that’s my Winterkeep update for today! I hope we’ll get to see you at one of my upcoming events!