Friday, June 5, 2015

Remember the Past, Await the Future. US tour Pt. 2

Remember the past—and await the future.  ~ A Discovery of Witches

Our giveaway is still going on!  Be sure to get your entries in (ends June 8, midnight EST)! One lucky U.S. winner will receive an All Souls Trilogy themed prize pack that includes the paperback edition of The Book of Life, a signed Diana’s commonplace book, an ouroboros mirror and six alchemical buttons (pictured on the giveaway post - US only). 

AllSoulsCon host frequent giveaways on their AllSoulsCon Twitter page, such as the flash #100Days2AllSoulsCon giveaway they did this week. One random winner won a custom weaver bookmark!

Penguin Books gave away 5 more board games on Twitter.  Congrats to our followers, Larissa and Leah! See winning twitter exchanges here:  Larrissa, Leah.  We've been itching get our hands on one of these AST board games to get an idea of what it's about.  We didn't manage it, but we know someone who did!  You'll see that later on in this post.

Ingram May Issue features TBOL
in their Summer Reading Season Launch
Deb Harkness Interviews, Articles

Trib Live
“Harkness' witches, vampires take on life for readers” - Trib Live Article

“Deborah Harkness: ‘I set out to write a story about Diana, Matthew, and Ashmole 782 in three parts and I stuck to that plan.’” - GalleyCat Article

FlavorwireA Discovery of Witches is included in this article
“22 Thrilling, Imaginative, and Twisted Genre Books By Women” - Flavorwire Article

New York Times
This article titled “Medicine’s Hidden Roots in an Ancient Manuscript” is an interesting read and details are eerily similar to the All Souls Trilogy and Ashmole 782. - NYT Article

“Deborah Harkness Opens Book Of Life, Ends Trilogy” - Read here. Listen here.

Petoskey News
"'All Souls Trilogy' author visits Petoskey" - Petoskey News Article

Santa Fe New Mexican weekly
"A discovery of fantasy: Author Deborah Harkness" - Pasatiempo - Article/Q&A

Richard Armitage Interview/Article

Film industry Network
For a change of pace, we have this article interviewing Richard Armitage: Richard Armitage takes a stand against cyberbullying – Exclusive

You can find some of these articles archived in our downloads library in .PDF format.

Image © FetchGoodyAlsop.  Visit her Tumblr Blog

Tour + BookCon Bonus!
Deb and the Penguin: DC or Bust!

Picking up where we left off on Deb's book tour - plus other news and whimsy! We had some more boots on the ground providing reports for us.  Thank you to our friends Jean Siska, Tommie McMillan, Jennifer Wood and Nancy for being our eyes and ears!

•  May 29th - Washington DC
We were glad to hear that Deb was in better health.  She, her Rice Krispies and the Penguin headed to the nation’s capital.

Politics and Prose Bookstore filmed Deb's talk with her readers. Great to watch if you don't make a signing event!  Great to watch if you do!

Video courtesy of Politics and Prose on YouTube.

•  May 31st - Pittsburgh, PA
Deb visited The Hillman Center for the Performing Arts.

•  June 1st - Frisco, TX
We were very lucky to have one of our own, Jean Siska, on the ground to give us some insights on this visit!  Tommie McMillin, a follower and friend, was kind enough to give us her own impression of the events!  Thanks Jean and Tommie!

Awaiting Ms. Harkness' arrival at the Barnes & Noble in Frisco, TX.
From Jean:

    Deb's appearance at the Dallas area Barnes & Noble was a rare treat.  There was a good sized
Deb gets ready to speak...
crowd for a Monday night, and there were a lot of excited friends and fans - including some friends of the Daemons.  Whether it's your first or fifteenth time, participating in a signing and Q&A with Deb is a rare experience. She's so warm and friendly, and makes sure that it's a festive, fun learning experience.  This appearance was no different.
   She opened up with an overview of the journey covered in A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night—we had several attendees who had not yet read The Book of Life, and she tried to keep spoilers to a minimum—
and avoided specifics about The Book of Life.  We were entertained with Gallowglass' attempts to charm Corra into some semblance of behaving, as well as Alain’s ceremonial return of Diana's gifts to her, which were in Alain's safekeeping all these years.
   She talked about her feelings on the importance of history - it's meaningful and relevant and has a lot to teach us.  She believes that the past is a good place to develop empathy.  She also mentioned she's teaching a class on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in the fall and used Henry as a quick demonstration of how the past can teach empathy.
   We apparently have Deb's master thesis on Chapman's Shadow of Night to thank/blame for Matthew de Clermont.  It was during the research for that thesis she met an "annoying" man named Matthew Roydon.  What little she learned about him was intriguing - poet, spy, scientist, lots of interesting, famous friends - a fame adjacent man who appears on the scene and just as quickly disappears.  She built the character of Matthew de Clermont on the bits and pieces of Matthew Roydon in the historical record.  She also mentioned that Matthew was born in 500 AD, the beginning of the Western European cycle, and has experienced all that entails. Deb admitted that it was part of her diabolical plan to get her readers to stop and think “is this real or did she make it up” and to get us to dig deeper, research and tumble down those rabbit holes.  Yes, she said “rabbit holes.”
   Deb explained that as a historian, she is limited in the analysis by the evidence - something she's managed to drill into my head over the years :-) - but when she is writing as a novelist she can render
Items signed: Book, CP book & witch!
a truer, "more real" picture of history. Another benefit of being a novelist over a historian is that her travels are so much more fun.  When she has her historian hat on, she travels to a place and spends every waking hour in the library.  When she travels as a novelist, she immerses herself in the location soaking up the people and the atmosphere.  In Prague, she spent over two weeks walking the neighborhoods featured in Shadow of Night, exploring and learning.  She also spent some concentrated time in a remote village in the Auvergne (26 souls inhabiting the place) to find the feel of St Lucien. To hear her talk about the sound of goat bells she heard during her days there conjured a picture in my head  of Matthew fixing the village roofs just before their parting from Philippe. 
   BBC news - the All Souls Trilogy is in development.  That means they are working with the story - deciding what stays, what can be let go, how it's going to look, selecting writers, directors, etc. - getting green lit and funded. Basically, they are laying the groundwork.
   Deb definitely has more tales to tell - she likens her infant ideas to squirming puppies - they're all cute and intriguing at this stage, but she hasn't hung on to one long enough yet to make it hers.
    The Q&A offered up some great tidbits:
    When asked why the Iliad was the source of so many threads of story and eggs - Deb "blamed" Philippe. She explained that she knew very early on that Philippe would be an Ancient Greek (hero) and that the Iliad ended up woven through AST because of it’s the ultimate Greek heroic myth –it’s the source of many of our archetypes.  While the trilogy was Matthew and Diana's story, Philippe was always "in charge" because he is the axis at the center of the AST universe. (I tried to get her to tell us whether the Iliad reflects more than just Ysabeau and Philippe’s early journey, but you know how well Deb keeps secrets – especially those of the de Clermonts).
Jean and Deb!

   When asked "Why Prague?” in Shadow of Night, Deb blamed that annoying Matthew Roydon.  As the story developed it became clear that they would be in the past well into spring 1591. Well, the scant record Deb pieced together included a letter that Roydon wrote to William Cecil from Prague in the spring of 1591.  So Matthew and Diana were off to Prague – Deb was as well since she had never been.  The Prague question took us down a mini rabbit hole about familiars.   Deb noted that the concept of familiars figured prominently in the transcripts and histories of witches from the time period of Shadow of Night but are not really a feature of the modern lore of the craft.  From that she created the concept that only weavers have familiars and, of course, no one knows about them anymore because the weavers are in hiding or dead.
   Deb knew someone would die during Matthew and Diana's time away but didn't know who.   Em drew the short straw because Sarah "wouldn't let Deb kill her off".  Killing off Sarah was a consideration at one point.  Deb was affected by the images from the Middle East and the victims of the conflicts – especially the civilians – which influenced the development of the plot point. 
She mentioned the concept of being separated from loved ones and assuming they’re living their lives during the time apart, only to find out they’ve been dead, and the survivors unaware of their passing. 
   Another question focused on why we learned about and interacted (as readers) with Stephen and not Rebecca.   She wanted to go against the grain and explore the magical heritage from a father -daughter perspective rather than the traditional matriarchal approach.
   Harkness also explained how Gallowglass was never planned and the character just “burst through the door”exactly as he did in Shadow of Night.
   We also got a mini-lecture on a branch of mathematics called topology and how she used it to come up with the magic of the weavers. 
   As always, Deb signed a wide variety of items - including Bodleian book bags and witch antennae balls - and visited with everyone. All I can say is thank you, Deb, for being a woman of grace. You teach and nurture in every encounter, and my life is richer for it. And forgive me if I put words in your mouth.  Until we meet again!
The "Tattooed Lady"
From Tommie:

Tommie posted on our FB page... "I am ready to meet Deborah Harkness tonight!" Books in hand, she sure was!

We see her!
When asked of her impressions: "I was thrilled to finally meet so many Armitage fans in the flesh. Usually I'm the only obsessed fool. I don't even remember this picture being taken. I didn't have to ask my casting question though. She answered it....guess she gets asked that question a lot!"
Deb and Tommie! "She was so nice. I would love to attend some of her history classes."
•  June 2nd - Wichita, KS

Photo by Watermark Books & Cafe
•  June 3 - Boulder, CO
Boulder Bookstore - We refer you to this blog post from Trish at Between Here and There.  Read her account here: 'Book Nerds Anonymous'

•  June 4 - Ann Arbor, MI
Thanks to Nancy who attended the book signing at Nicola’s Books, we get even more color on an event with Deb:

Early readers waiting for the event at Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, MI
Photo by Nicola's Books
From Nancy:

It was a great event.  Deborah Harkness was introduced by Nicola herself, the former owner of the bookstore. Apparently, Nicola's enthusiasm for 'A Discovery of Witches' made a huge difference for the book, as Nicola (and her bookstore) has a national reputation as a savvy bookseller. When she endorses a book, people listen!

Harkness gave an excellent talk about the experience of writing the book (for instance, not telling her department chair until it was about to be in stores!) and her approach to history. The signing was well attended with over 55 line tickets issued. Her audience asked really good questions about her writing process.  Her advice: Try for two pages a day. If you're blocked, don't let yourself write anything for seven days--by then, you'll be itching to write.  Also, she doesn't write the final few sentences that will end a scene at each writing session. That way, she has material to start with the next day.

She is currently advising the BBC as they have her series in development, but it is far too early to do any casting, sadly.  Also, she has lots of ideas for upcoming projects, including ideas that tie into the All Souls world.  However, none of the ideas have solidified enough to become a project yet.

Another highlight was that a local self-identified witch thanked Harkness for writing about witches so well.  Harkness left the podium and shook her hand.

Nancy and Deb

Attendees at Nicola's intently listening to Deb talk about the AST! 

•  That AST board game!
Thanks goes to Jennifer Wood for thinking to share this with us while she was at BookCon in NY!

From Jennifer:

As an avid obsessed loving fan of all things AST, imagine my surprise to discover that there is an AST Board Game!  Designed by Penguin marketing staff geniuses, this little beauty was innocently hanging out at BookCon last weekend.  After my friends spotted it at the publisher’s booth, I screamed exclaimed how cool it was, and could I spoon buy it?  The kind staff were so frightened touched by my crazy-lady enthusiastic response that they gifted me with it right then and there.  Now me and my AST obsession interest can live happily ever after.

Jennifer offering her first born child cash for the board game...
The game board front/back view - Click image to enlarge.
Jennifer went on to explain to us that it was an up to four player game, and the player chooses their path + corresponding game pieces: human, daemon, witch, or vampire.  Thanks, Jen!  Our curiosity was killing the proverbial cat!


Reminder on Deb’s book signing tips: 

•  Please check her EVENTS feed on Facebook for complete event information, including signing line policies and ticket buy links (if they have them).

•  She recommends always checking back with the venue to make sure your pre-orders are set (if you made them). This is especially vital if you want to order the new paperback boxed set of the trilogy (on sale now), the hardback boxed set of the trilogy (with commonplace book included), or hardbacks of ADOW or SON. They will have these items on hand in limited supply.

Remaining tour locations and dates:

June 5 – 6:00 pm
Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey, Michigan

June 7 – 2:00 pm
Anderson’s Book Shop, Naperville, Illinois

June 8 – 7:00 pm
Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe, New Mexico

June 9 – 7:00 pm
Central & Unser Public Library, Albuquerque, New Mexico

June 11 – 7:00 pm  EVENT CANCELLED see below for rescheduled date.
Pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, California
For more information, see Deb's FB announcement

June 14 – 3:00 pm
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Washington

July 8 – 7:00 pm 
Pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, California
For more information, see Deb's FB announcement
Keep an eye on Deb's event calendar for detail updates on this rescheduled event.

As always, to see any additional details Deb has added to any of the events we posted, please visit her Event page on Facebook.

That's all for this week, friends!  If you have an experience to share with us, go for it!  Email us at  Share an experience, some pictures, or both!