Her name is Evidence Novik Ardai, and she is exactly four months old today. \o/
Sadly, the projects that *needed* to get completed last year included book 7 of Temeraire and the fanart contest, for which I make giant apologies to all of you and especially to the artists, BUT, I am happy to report that as of Tuesday, the draft of Crucible of Gold has been fired off to my editor, and I am now busily digging out of the hole and finally have an update!
More than 100 submissions were received for the contest, and honestly, I would love to write stories for each and every one of them. It was horribly painful to choose only five winners and ten runners-up -- in fact it was so horribly painful that I didn't. :P
Instead, I decided I was going to see just how badly having shiny new baby around was going to torpedo my writing pace -- the happy news is, not too badly! -- and now that book 7 is getting close to the finish line, I have revised the book plan with Bill Schafer of Subterranean Press.
Instead of a black and white chapbook with color cover, the contest book is going to be a small hardcover with a 16-page full color gallery, and it will include a total of 32 pieces, with about 20,000 words total of new fiction included (I will probably end up combining and writing slightly longer stories for more than one piece, but each one will at least get a drabble's-worth to its name!)
There will be a limited edition of 400 leatherbound copies signed by me (probably around $45), and somewhere between 1000-2000 hardcovers (around $20-25). (And I will eventually be putting up the stories themselves online at least once the book sells out, so if these are out of your range, do not fear! You will get to read the stories!) The book should *hopefully* be out before the end of this year, but we'll see. :)
Even at this higher number, it was still really hard to make the final cut, but at least I was able to *do* it. (And yes, the X-rated piece is in fact among them, although it will be tastefully cropped into PG-rated form for publication. ;)
(where the person submitted more than one piece, the winning piece is briefly described):
WINNERS (in alphabetical order)
Stephanie Mendoza (b&w dragons in clearing)
Agnes Hartman (Temeraire meets Baywatch, lol)
John O'Brien Schroeder
Kyle Broad (the tables-turned one, hee)
All these works are going to be featured online at my website, one a week (along with my preliminary notes on what the story is probably going to be for those of you who like spoilers).
PS: artists, you should also have gotten an email from the fanart contest email -- it's using a bcc list, so please check your spam folder if you don't see it -- with important questions for you! Please read!