Any Questions? In Which Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and I Attempt to Be Useful

For almost a decade now, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and I have been working together. By which I mean we meet up, talk about what we’re working on, do some writing, pass our laptops around and give each other feedback or fix spelling mistakes, and so on. By so on, I mean that we talk about narrative. We talk about each others’ work. We talk about things that we’ve read. Romance novels! Young adult novels! Ghost stories! We talk about the television shows that we’re watching. We talk about what makes readers like a character, or how to make those readers want particular things from a story, or how to surprise readers by giving them something else entirely. We also talk about publishing.

I wrote the various stories in Get in Trouble over the last ten years. Holly and Cassie read them, in various drafts, and in some cases, even helped me figure out what I wanted to write next. As Get in Trouble has gotten closer to publication, Cassie and Holly have been finishing up books that I read in early drafts and helped figure out parts of. Cassie has been writing Shadowhunter novels (start with City of Bones if you haven’t read any of them yet.) Holly has published, most recently, The Darkest Part of the Forest. (They also co-wrote middle-grade novel The Iron Trial, because they had some spare time.) And since our work lives have been so intertwined, it seems appropriate that Powell’s Books has agreed to let me collaborate on this blog post with them.

Here’s the deal. Do you have questions about writing? About genre? About publishing? About work methods, career, or your love life? Or: would you just like a book recommendation? Ask us anything!

You have until 3 pm EST on Friday, January 23. And Cassie, Holly, and I will do what we usually do. We’ll talk things over, joke around, and possibly even try to be helpful. And then Powell’s Books will run our answers on their blog in the first week of February.

Updated: Thank you for all the questions! The Q&A will be posted on the Powell’s Blog soon!

“I Can See Right Through You”

Kelly’s story from McSweeney’s issue 48 can also be read online on the McSweeney’s website: “I Can See Right Through You.

When the sex tape happened and things went south with Fawn, the demon lover did what he always did. He went to cry on Meggie’s shoulder. Girls like Fawn came and went, but Meggie would always be there. Him and Meggie. It was the talisman you kept in your pocket. The one you couldn’t lose.

2 stories to be podcast

Good news for audiophiles: “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” will be podcast on February 27, 2015, and “The Specialist’s Hat” will come out in late March. More info TK closer to the date.

Magic for Beginners

Random House has just re-released Magic for Beginners with a newly designed cover and an added conversation between Joe Hill and Kelly Link.

Perfect for readers of George Saunders, Karen Russell, Neil Gaiman, and Aimee Bender, Magic for Beginners is an exquisite, dreamlike dispatch from a virtuoso storyteller who can do seemingly anything. Kelly Link reconstructs modern life through an intoxicating prism, conjuring up unforgettable worlds with humor and humanity. These stories are at once ingenious and deeply moving. They leave the reader astonished and exhilarated.