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mary margrave
10 June 2009 @ 12:55 pm
Hi guys! Long time no...exist. We've been pretty much buried in manuscript writing and editing lately, but somewhere in the midst of that and helping out with the Scholastic Awards/Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, I found the time to resurface for a little update, which I hope to be giving more of in the future!

Publisher's Weekly did a review of Shadow Magic recently (which as far as I'm aware is our first for the second book), and I wanted to share it here, in case anyone is interested. (You can also read it, with a snazzy little star next to the title that we're crazy proud of, here.)

This entertaining sequel to 2008’s fantasy epic Havemercy extends Jones and Bennett’s successful blend of cultural diversity and social commentary into postwar diplomacy. After defeating the Ke-Han Empire, loosely based on Japan’s shogun tradition, the kingdom of Volstov, reminiscent of imperial Rome, sends an odd peace delegation to the Ke-Han capital, which is reeling from defeat and the consequent ritual suicide of its emperor. Quirky magician Caius Greylace and brusque General Alcibiades present Volstov’s view of the convoluted political intrigue that ensues, while the appealing young Ke-Han prince Mamoru and his ultra-loyal personal servant Kouje flee the wrath of Mamoru’s brother, the insane new emperor Iseul. Deft characterizations even of minor players, broad humor, convincing dialogue and sure-handed timing, especially in the dueling scenes, make this novel an outstanding example of world-building and good old-fashioned fun.


Anyway as I said, now that the release date for Shadow Magic is getting closer, I'm going to try and post more updates and book-related entries. Hope all is well, and that everyone is enjoying their summer!
 
 
mary margrave
30 August 2008 @ 05:57 pm
Hi guys!

I just wanted to make an official post to say that this journal's not really going to be a journal any more. I'll still try and post about Havemercy updates (and more when the sequel comes out, yay!) but I'm at the stage in my life now where I just can't keep up with everyone's ljs, much as I'd like to.

Thanks so much to everyone for all your support and generally awesome natures! I met some pretty bad-ass people here over the years. Anyone who still wants to get in touch can of course email at: lessien@gmaildotcom

Cheers!



ETA: YOU GUYS! I'm not falling off the face of the earth, I promise. It's just that this lj is going to be mostly about writing now (because that's all I have time for anyway) and while I am going to miss the fangirling (boy howdy, will I miss it) I'll most definitely still be around! In ah, some capacity. :)
 
 
mary margrave
16 July 2008 @ 09:15 pm
Our B&N reading went well. I was so nervous about it all day that my stomach was in a state of constant upset.

Then it ended and I came home and ate twelve cream puffs. Twelve. Cream puffs. Twelve.



Oh well. Just further proof that, much like Thom, I am a comfort eater.
 
 
mary margrave
08 July 2008 @ 06:08 pm
There's an interview that Jaida and I did for The Write Thing up now here, which asked us a lot of fun questions that made us stop and think and then write answers that were way too long.

Also, we're this month's Featured Authors in Spectra Pulse online, which if you scroll to the bottom here has us talking a bit more about the writing process, as well as me rambling about Bump of Chicken for no apparent reason.


It is way too hot in New York in the summer.
 
 
Current Mood: hothot
 
 
mary margrave
24 June 2008 @ 11:27 pm
I'm so too tired to be on the internet right now, haha BUT Jaida and I totally went around the city today, showing my brother around but also looking for Havemercy in local B&N bookstores.





ladyjaida has more er.... incriminating pictures of my reaction at the Union Square B&N over at her journal. It's SO CRAZY, you guys. I still don't really believe it. Uhm.


Yeah.


THERE IT IS THOUGH! More later when I am awake.

PS: To any and all Canadians out there, Jaida and I are doing an interview for CBC with Nancy Wilson tomorrow at 11:40am EST, 8:40am PST. Tune in if you feel like it! :D
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mary margrave
18 June 2008 @ 02:32 pm
Havemercy hits shelves next Tuesday, for those of you who are interested in giant metal dragons and magicians who blow things up.

To celebrate, here's a video of our amazing cover artist Stephen Youll talking about various covers he's illustrated. The Havemercy section starts at 1:57.

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Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
mary margrave
02 June 2008 @ 08:57 pm
It's been mentioned that I don't update this thing enough. So here goes!

Right now I am mourning the loss of our excellent house guests meronine and bonhwa. I think did more sightseeing with the two of them here than in all my other visits to New York, (too busy writing, haha) and I really had fun playing amateur tour guide alongside ladyjaida. I miss them already!

This coming week is going to be spent working for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. I was a national judge for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category this year, so I'm very much looking forward to (hopefully) chatting with some of the winners. Also, Jaida and I are running two workshops on Friday that apparently filled up quite quickly, so that's exciting! Nerve-wracking. Also exciting, though! I hope we don't disappoint.

The week after that, I whisk Jaida away to Canada for a self-imposed writing retreat/visit to the family.

And then the week after that, er, Havemercy hits shelves.

So in conclusion, I'm currently feeling too busy to live.

BUT VERY VERY EXCITED!
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Current Location: couch
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
 
 
mary margrave
19 April 2008 @ 04:07 pm
I am super tired after two days of New York Comic Con. Yesterday's panel, Women in SF & Fantasy with Naomi Novik and Anne Groell (our fabulous editor) went very well. A lot of people turned up, and everyone seemed really interested in asking us questions, which is always nice! I am so too tired to be making this post right now, but it seemed like a good idea at the time SO here we are.

Like I said, Friday was our panel, which went really well. Naomi Novik was kind enough to take over moderating, and people asked us lots of questions about co-writing and female characters (ours are dragons) and homosexuality in fantasy, which as you can imagine, I could talk about for hours. It was really wonderful, and I met a lot of cool people.

Saturday (today) we signed advance copies of Havemercy until we ran out. They went surprisingly quickly! I wasn't sure if anyone was going to show up but then people started lining up shortly after Jaida and I had arrived so we chatted with them some while Anne set up our space for signing. I REALLY hope that everyone likes the book.

After signing I dragged Jaida down to the Square-Enix booth so that we could both buy SOLDIER 1st Class keychains. Then we also bought keyblade necklaces. Then I bought Sora's necklace and THEN Jaida had to drag me away before I embarrassed myself forever holding fistfuls of jewelery and cackling like a crazy person.


I ALSO ACQUIRED AN AWESOME SHIRT THAT JAIDA BOUGHT BECAUSE SHE IS AWESOME.




Hell. Yes.


Some more serious pictures. Book signings!Collapse )
 
 
mary margrave
09 November 2007 @ 02:30 pm
I realized last night in a flash of self-flagellation that I have not yet mentioned the fact that Nat (motorbike) has made ladyjaida and I the most bitching website ever to hit the internets.

I am not even joking, you guys, it's so gorgeous: http://jonesandbennett.com

Go! Fly! Check it out! I have never had a website before, so even if you don't think it's as awesome as I do, I don't want to hear about it unless there's something really wrong with the navigation.

Now, back to the endless slog of reading through page proofs. Have, baby, why you gotta hurt momma like this?

Edit: I forgot to mention that if you SCROLL OVER THE PICTURE IT CHANGES! Amazing.
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Current Music: Nobuo Uematsu -- You're Not Alone!
 
 
mary margrave
05 November 2007 @ 09:38 pm
ladyjaida and I arrived safely home from World Fantasy Con last night, to very little fanfare but two very happy cats. We have yet to find a home for all the books we came back with (oops), which are for now sitting in twin stacks on the piano bench. We'll get to them one day. Really.

All in all, I had a great deal of fun at WFC. I sat in on some fantastic readings, had a lovely post-lunch coffee with Ellen Kushner, and managed to get a book signed by Scott Lynch, with whom we are very very lucky to share an editor. Also we had lunch with our editor! A lunch that somehow stretched on for hours, which was very nice really, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle and trying not to knock people over with my duffel bag as I rushed madly from reading to reading.

blackholly was kind enough to let Jaida and me stash our heavy bags in her hotel room, and cassandraclare was kind enough to come and hang out with us at registration, when we learned that some people were "having trouble getting their banquet tickets."

I was lame, and didn't attend any exciting parties, but I took lots of notes, and ended up with such a wealth of inspiration to write something that it makes my stomach ache.

This is why I have to write, apparently. Otherwise I get queasy, and Jaida gets cranky about my being queasy.

Anyway! World Fantasy was fantastic fun. Again, it was really gratifying to spend a weekend surrounded by people who cherished the exact same things I do (and seem to make a relatively successful living off of it.)

I couldn't work up the courage to go and talk to Guy Gavriel Kay, though. Maybe next year!
 
 
 
mary margrave
03 November 2007 @ 01:15 pm
So far World Fantasy Con has been exhausting and amazing like all good conventions should be. I've sat in on some excellent readings, shared coffee and pie with some truly excellent people and now I am collapsed on a truly excellent couch while I wait for the Guy Gavriel Kay reading to start.

Probably the highlight of last night was finally getting to meet Scott Lynch. I didn't work up the courage to ask him about his next book, but we did get to chat about how ladyjaida and I have supplanted him as Bantam's "young authors." He's a really nice guy.

Right now Jaida is off getting my giant bag of free books that we received at registration. \m/
 
 
mary margrave
23 October 2007 @ 01:18 pm
So, we got our first foreign rights offer for Havemercy today!

It's from Russia, which means that while I will not be able to read it, I will fondly refer to it as the 'Volstov edition.'

I've got to figure out a way to start calling our agent without feeling like I'm going to vomit all over the place first.
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mary margrave
21 October 2007 @ 09:28 pm
So, for those of you who haven't already heard it from my much more prolific other half, ladyjaida, Havemercy is now available for preorder on Amazon. It's waaay earlier than I expected, but I guess since they cemented the release date (June 24, 2008) they're allowed to put it up!

It's pretty neat. Jaida and I spent the entire day looking up Amazon's various extensions (.ca, .de, .co.uk, etc.) and sending each other the Havemercy links.

In German, it is Havemercy (Gebundene Ausgabe).

I have no idea what that means, but I'm still freaking out over it.

Coming up! A post about Guy of Gisbourne and his giant obsessive crush on Robin Hood. Or, alternatively, Eight Hundred Improbable Reasons Why Weiss Kreuz Is Actually The Greatest Story Ever Told.
 
 
mary margrave
14 October 2007 @ 01:45 pm
Today ladyjaida and I got our pictures taken for Havemercy. She's got some of our favorites up at her journal for the choosing. For what it's worth, my favourite is this one:

Vote 8!Collapse )

I'm very much enjoying fst's Dead Characters month, if only because it is inevitably focusing on all my favourite characters from any given series. ;___; I have the worst luck ever, you guys. The worst luck ever or the kiss of death. Either way, it's not working out so well for me. Except for the part where I get all this great music now, I guess. ANYWAY.


Anyway, today is Sunday, which means that Jaida is making me bacon sandwiches and hot cocoa. Oh, and this particular Sunday it also means watching two more episodes of Mononoke.

I love fall. ♥
 
 
mary margrave
07 September 2007 @ 11:24 am
So Animal Crossing: Wild World has pretty much taken over my life. This means that when I ride the subway with ladyjaida I am often hollering about catching fish and raising turnips and growing apples while she tries to do her homework. Sweet.

Anyway, my point is, it'd take something pretty spectacular to drag me away from the game these days.

Then, we got another email from our editor this morning.

“Delicious! The characters are unique, entrancing and believable: dinner-party guests you never want to see go home. I will gladly walk again in this city, now that I know my way around.” — Ellen Kushner, author of The Privilege of the Sword


“A dazzling cast of memorable characters! Havemercy is a wonderful debut from two talented new authors.” — Lynn Flewelling, author of Shadows Return


I think it's pretty needless to say that I am thrilled beyond words. Never in a million years did I think--back when I was awkward and boring and fifteen--that Ellen Kushner or Lynn Flewelling would even know I existed, let alone that their books meant so much to me, at a time when I hadn't known that you could write books about the things they did. Ellen Kushner was my first introduction to mannerpunk, Lynn Flewelling my first introduction to canonically gay characters. I've never looked back.

The idea that they've both not only read Havemercy, but took the time to give us such wonderful quotes for it is mind-boggling. My mind, it is boggled.

Later today, Jaida and I are running the copy-edited manuscript down to Random House. I hope that I can calm down before I have to behave like a functioning human being for our editor.

You guys, seriously.
 
 
 
mary margrave
30 August 2007 @ 11:06 am
When I was a young goose who enjoyed nothing more than repetition and the comfort of routine, and who would pester my poor father into reading to me during the day when he'd been working all through the night, there was only one story I wanted to hear.

The Last Unicorn.

As far as I was concerned, there was nothing better. It was a perfect story. It still is. When I discovered the movie, I watched it countless times at my friend Zola's house, so that to this day, she remembers me as "The girl who made her watch The Last Unicorn eleventy-hundred times."

There are books that have shaped me into the person I am today. Books that to this day, I remember where I was when I first read them, and how they made me feel.

I have no doubts that in some ways, The Last Unicorn changed my life.

This was in my inbox this morning.

"HAVEMERCY is an absolute charmer of a book: at once exciting, romantic (in the best, oldest sense of the word), and funny, which I know from my own experience is the trickiest parlay to pull off. The most remarkable thing of all is that it's a first novel. You couldn't tell it from the smoothness and skill with which these two young writers have created their tone, their narrative voices, and their world. It's one hell of a beginning!"

- Peter S. Beagle -
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mary margrave
29 August 2007 @ 06:02 pm
WFC  
Update of the day:

ladyjaida, cerulean_sky and I are heading out to World Fantasy Con this November.

We just booked the hotel.

Is anyone else going? :)
 
 
mary margrave
17 August 2007 @ 01:50 pm
Progress on "Untitled Fantasy Novel #2" continues apace. We're running at 45,000+ words so far, which I think is a good start. The idea is to get as much done as possible before ladyjaida has to go back to school, and I think we're doing well.

Our minimum per day is about 10 pages, but over the last couple days we've hit a really nice groove, and so we decided to go with that and do 20 a day. We'll see how long this lasts!

It's a very different experience from writing Havemercy though. It gives us time to pause and think about where we're going, rather than writing from sunup to sundown and then jumping straight into it again the next morning. Havemercy clocked in at 158,000+ words, and we wrote it in less than three weeks.

It isn't something I'd recommend, since we then had to go back and do a massive editing overhaul on the beginning. The problem with writing the way we wrote Havemercy is that it doesn't give you much opportunity to do any foreshadowing. We couldn't hint at where we were going, because beyond having a vague idea, we didn't know ourselves.

With this book, I feel like we knew where we were going the moment it kicked off, and that's a great feeling.
 
 
mary margrave
13 August 2007 @ 03:20 pm
I made a post in the Jones & Bennett WordPress account today, presumably about the way a story ends, and having to deal with writing your own ending, bibble blabble, but I think it ended up being half about Japanese culture as relates to endings. Whoops.

Tell me what you think!

Alternatively, you may tell me what you are downloading from jdramas. How gay was the last episode of Yamada Taro Monogatari? Last night ladyjaida and I downloaded The Blue Wolf, which is about Genghis Khan and Mongolian warlord culture. It's TOTALLY FOR RESEARCH, GUYS.
 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
 
 
mary margrave
09 August 2007 @ 03:40 pm
Current progress on the second book goes as follows:

Word Count: 12,040
Pages: 40

I think we're going to take a break now. I plan to drink some tea, and to prevail upon ladyjaida to teach me how to use WordPress.

She's made us an account here: http://havemercy.wordpress.com/

I think it looks pretty spiffy! I guess that's where I'll be talking about all our questionable content from now on.

Go go and comment on how pretty it looks! I was writing away and when I looked up, Jaida had created something marvy.
 
 
 
mary margrave
26 July 2007 @ 12:09 pm
Today ladyjaida posted Riesling, the original fiction we wrote in between Serious Editing and Serious Sleeping.

We wrote it for Valisis (lawrencered), who drew us an amazing picture and was basically responsible for a ridiculous amount of screaming and jumping up and down.

Link to first part is here, with a link to the second at the bottom.

EVERYONE GO AND READ IT FOR THE ART, PLEASE, IT IS SO RIDICULOUSLY GORGEOUS.

Or as Jaida says: If the idea of two princes doing it on a polar bear rug does not please you, then you should not read this story.
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
mary margrave
03 May 2007 @ 01:20 pm
So I lied and apparently we can talk about it now, having just got off the phone with our agent.

Uh, ladyjaida and I just sold our book to Bantam.



More later when I can get up off the floor.
 
 
Current Mood: CHRIST ON A CRACKER
 
 
mary margrave
03 May 2007 @ 12:50 pm
So, yesterday was a very good day, for reasons I can't quite talk about yet.

Today is a very good day because Starbucks paid me an extra $150 dollars in vacation hours. Schwing!
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
 
 
mary margrave
14 October 2004 @ 11:30 pm
I love Veronica Mars.

And here's why you should too...

Cut for being longer than all my posts this month combined.Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: The Good That Won't Come Out -- Rilo Kiley
 
 
mary margrave
01 August 2004 @ 01:44 pm
Once more onto the breach, dear friends...

Unfortunately I'm reading it a little late, as I was kidnapped by my mum and brought to the Land of No Internet. I am at my mum's apartment now, magically hooked into someone else's wireless connection. Probably illegal.

OH GOD THE LETTERS HERE WE GO.
 
 
Current Mood: nervousapprehensive
Current Music: Evanescence- October