Today is the long-awaited release day of my first novel, Arabella of Mars, from Tor! Here’s an FAQ about the release (and these really are frequently-asked questions, not just questions I wish people would ask):
What’s the book about?
Arabella Ashby is a Patrick O’Brian girl in a Jane Austen world — born and raised on Mars, she was hauled back home by her mother, where she’s stifled by England’s gravity, climate, and attitudes toward women. When she learns that her evil cousin plans to kill her brother and inherit the family fortune, she joins the crew of an interplanetary clipper ship in order to beat him to Mars. But privateers, mutiny, and insurrection stand in her way. Will she arrive in time?
Arabella of Mars will appeal to fans of Naomi Novik’s Temeraire books, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories.
Is it SF or Fantasy?
I consider it SF, but it’s not hard SF… well, it’s actually pretty squishy… okay, to be frank, I’ve bent the rules of physics to the breaking point and beyond. Maybe it is Fantasy.
Is it adult or YA?
I wrote it as YA, but Tor is bringing it out as adult. The protagonist is seventeen years old and I have had great reviews from young adult as well as adult readers. There’s no swearing or sex.
Is it steampunk?
There’s no steam power in it per se, but there are coal-burning airships and clockwork automata. If you like steampunk, you should like this. If you’re still not sure, just look at the cover. I love the cover and think it does an excellent job of portraying the “feel” of the book.
What can I do to help?
Yoiu should buy the book, of course. Buying it today is helpful but not necessary. If you can’t buy it, borrow it from the library. If you can’t find it at your local library or bookseller, ask them to carry the book. Also, it’s extremely helpful if you post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, your own blog, or anywhere else people might see it. It’s okay if you don’t like the book! Even a negative review can be helpful if you say why you didn’t like it. (Reviewer: “I hated this book! It has Martians and airships and girls dressing as boys! Yuck!” Reader: “Cool, that’s just what I love!”)
It’s also helpful if you mention the book to your friends online and off. And, if you are on Twitter, I’m running a giveaway: tweet a picture of the book in the wild, with the hashtag #ArabellaOfMars, and you could win an Arabella Prize Package of paper dolls, recruiting poster, and stickers! I’ll select five winners at random on 7/19/16, one week from today.
Where should I buy the book? Is paper better than ebook?
Wherever and in whatever format you like to buy books. I get the same money wherever you buy it, and I don’t care whether you read it on paper or on screen. There are benefits to me if you buy it on Amazon, but personally I’d prefer it if you would support your local independent book store. Or you could get it from Powell’s, which is my local independent book store. You can even order a signed edition from Powell’s, which I will sign for you at my reading tomorrow (July 13).
Are you planning a book tour?
Yes! Here are the planned stops:
- July 13, 2016: Powell’s Cedar Hills, Portland, Oregon.
- July 15, 2016: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, California.
- July 16, 2016: Shades & Shadows Reading Series, Los Angeles, California.
- July 20, 2016: Fantastic Fiction at KGB, New York, New York.
- July 28, 2016: Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, Washington.
- July 29, 2016: University Book Store, Seattle, Washington.
- August 13, 2016: Writers with Drinks, San Francisco, California.
- August 14, 2016: SF in SF, San Francisco, CA.
If any of these events is local to you, please come if you can. Come in costume! Tell your friends! However, see the next point for an important caveat.
I heard your wife is in the hospital! How is she doing?
Yes, my wife Kate Yule is currently in the hospital (I’m in the room with her as I type this) and she is scheduled for brain surgery this afternoon. :-( :-( :-( However, she wants me to do my book tour and I will do as much of it as I can. Her sister Sue is here and we have lots of friends in town to help out. However, all plans are provisional at this point, and I might have to cancel some or all of my planned events on short notice. Keep an eye on https://daviddlevine.com/about/upcoming-appearances/ for the latest word.
How are you doing?
Worried. Anxious. Underslept. The book release stuff is a useful distraction.
Do you really rap?
Yes, I really do.