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What’s My Favorite Bit of DIE AND STAY DEAD?

I’m Mary Robinette Kowal’s guest today on “My Favorite Bit,” talking about my latest novel Die and Stay Dead. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what your favorite bit is of something you wrote — it’s always easier to find the things you wish you could have done better or differently — but for this one I knew right away. I’m delighted that I got to talk about not just my novel, but also one of my favorite places in New York City. Here’s a snippet, which ties into my favorite scene in the novel:

Back in 2011, I started doing my daily writing at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue (you know, the one from Ghostbusters). Before then, I had worked from home for years. Generally, working from home had never been a problem. I was pretty disciplined and almost always reached my word count goal. But over time, that changed. Working from home became unexpectedly difficult. All of a sudden I was too easily distracted by the dishes in the sink, the cats who wanted attention, that show I’d been binge-watching on Netflix. When you get in a rut the best thing you can do is shake up your routine, so I figured a change of scenery was what I needed. The New York Public Library was the perfect choice for my new “office.”

Check out the rest at Mary Robinette Kowal’s website. And if you haven’t ordered your copy of Die and Stay Dead yet, why not do it now? It makes a great holiday gift, too!

Dream Houses

Dream HousesDream Houses by Genevieve Valentine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A haunting and harrowing exploration of loneliness, madness, family, and survival in deep space. Valentine excels at writing convincing characters — especially ones that are deeply scarred in some way — and then putting them in compelling, often intense situations. With Amadis Reyes she has created one of her best characters yet. Amadis is a loner, albeit a reluctant one; she’s tough, but more fragile on the inside than she thinks; she has an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music but has no idea how to talk to or behave around other people. Thanks to mysterious circumstances, she finds herself stuck alone on a deep space run with a dead crew and a ship’s AI she’s not sure she can trust. With five long years to get through before she’ll be close enough civilization to be rescued, the question becomes not only if she’ll survive, or how she’ll survive, but if she’ll be able to keep from going insane in the interim. ALIEN is a clear influence on this claustrophobic, spaceship-bound novella, although not in the ways such an analogy might bring to mind, as is 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, but Valentine has succeeded in crafting a character-driven science-fiction piece that is all her own. It’s remarkably rich in character and detail for such a short work, not to mention a pervasive sense of dread that will stay with you a long time. If you haven’t read any Valentine yet, this novella is a perfect place to start.

View all my reviews

Happy Hanukkah, Everybody!