I still remember the first day that Patrick showed me the new novel he was working on.
I should probably say, for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t been reading this blog forever, that Patrick and I first met through our writing. We both applied and were accepted to the Clarion West science fiction & fantasy writer’s workshop in Seattle in 2001. I came from Pittsburgh; he came from Bristol, in England, which I (then) only knew through reading Mansfield Park; and I fell in love with his writing even before I fell in love with him as a person.
Ever since we moved in together less than a year later (living in Vienna first, because I needed to stay in mainland Europe for six months before moving to the UK, so that my dog Nika wouldn’t have to go into quarantine!), we formed a policy of always sharing our new writing, every day. So every day I read out loud what I’d written to him (because that’s the most helpful thing for me), and every day he gave me what he’d written for me to read to myself (because that works better for him).
Since we had kids, that’s become harder, but we still read every single thing that the other person writes, even if now we have to wait a few days sometimes before we can catch up.
So in other words, ever since 2001, we’ve read every single piece of writing that the other one has done, large or small. He’s read chunks of novels and short stories that I’ve never finished, and ones that I’ve finished but never published. I’ve read the same for him…
…And when I read this new opening, I was just totally blown away. Everything he’d ever written, I had loved. But this – it was another level entirely.
It was so, so funny! It was so original and so wildly imaginative! It was SO MUCH fun. I was just filled with delight.
And I am so happy that you guys finally get to share it too – with brilliant illustrations throughout by the fabulous Jeremy Holmes!
It stars one of my favorite families ever. I love Edward, the responsible middle child who tries so hard to look out for his eccentric family and who wishes secretly to be a dashing spy; I love his reckless genius of a little sister, Putty, and his older sister Olivia, who seems so prim on the outside but is full of so much bravery and awesomeness. I love other characters I cannot talk about in public because of SPOILERS!
I love the clockwork crabs and the robot butlers and the fabulous adventure and action and the wacky, wonderful humor throughout.
I love this book.
I hope you guys love it too!
You can read the first chapter on Patrick’s website and meet the characters, too. If you’re in the US, you can buy it from Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon; if you’re in Canada you can buy it from Chapters Indigo…
But no matter where you are, I can’t wait for you guys to read it so we can talk about it!