Monthly Archives: February 2021

Release Day is upon us! | The Heir and the Spare

It’s Release Day, my friends! THE HEIR AND THE SPARE is now available in print and ebook on Amazon.

First of all, a giant thank you to the pair of readers who not only waited up until midnight for the pre-order to drop, but then read the whole book and reviewed it. I discovered this when I went to check whether the paperback had linked in to the main page yet, and it made my day.

(Addendum: As of the writing of this post, a third reviewer has added their voice. Thank you!!)

New release, The Heir and the Spare, opening line: "Only two people had to die for Princess Iona to become queen..."

Release Day Jitters

Full disclosure: my anxiety always flares whenever I push something new out into the world. I have a crippling fear of failure combined with a crippling fear of success, and I generally try to float between the two by aiming for mediocrity. (But not mediocrity of content, mind you, because I also have severe perfectionism at play. It’s a lovely cocktail.)

When I set up the pre-order, I made what I thought was a reasonable stretch goal, based on previous pre-orders and my intimate little author’s platform. If I reached that number, I could consider the book launch a success.

Well, multiply that “mark of success” by three. The response between my release announcement and today has overwhelmed me with gratitude and a fair degree of dread. I have been humbled again and again by how supportive and excited everyone has been for Iona’s story, and I truly hope it meets your expectations.

But if not…

(Haha, that’s the anxiety talking; I have to laugh it away. But seriously, if you hate this book, you have my apologies, and I wish you luck in finding a more palatable read.)

What’s this About the Author?

And now, for the actual purpose of this post. (Aside from the whole, “Yay! It’s Release Day!” sentiment.)

If you’ve followed my work for a while, you may have noticed that I like to play in the front and back matter. As a reader, prefaces and bios and such were the serious, official bits of a book that I always skipped. And then I started publishing and had to supply those for myself.

But I’ve never really taken myself seriously.

Long story short, I’ve put a different bio in 10 out of 11 books.

In the early days, this stemmed from my hobby-publishing status. I thought it funny to look at my life from different angles, twisted perspectives, etc. Since I haven’t done much more than education (boring) and writing (redundant information for a book bio), this ever-shifting self-definition helped me cope with having such a humdrum history to draw from.

When I formed my imprint in 2017, as part of my Official Publishing Persona, I decided to leave the quirky bios behind. I wrote a very staid, accomplishment-based summary and plugged it in for Namesake (2017) and Brine and Bone (2018).

And I would have continued on that track, except that my mom was like, “That’s so boring.”

My own mother.

Anyway, since then, the quirkiness has perhaps magnified. Soot and Slipper (2019) has a Shakespearean sonnet. Oliver Invictus (2019) has a mock-scientific field report. But if you’re looking at the back of the ebook for The Heir and the Spare, you’ll find a relatively tame, if not oddly ordered, account of my life.

That’s because the paperback bio is a crossword puzzle, and the ebook bio provides all the info you need to solve the starred clues.

I had considered leaving this as a fun little Easter egg for anyone who buys the paperback to find, but gosh darn it, that crossword was SO DIFFICULT TO MAKE AND I’M TAKING CREDIT FOR IT.

About the Author crossword in the paperback of Kate's new release, The Heir and the Spare

Here it is in all its glory. You’re welcome to try solving it if you can read past the blur filter I applied to the corners of the pic.

And that is that.

So anyway, in whichever format you encounter The Heir and the Spare, may you enjoy your sojourn through Wessett with Iona and Jaoven and Lisenn.

Seriously, everyone, thank you. This has been a lovely writing/editing/publishing experience, and I can now move onto the next project a happy little author.

The Heir and the Spare | Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

Well, folks, the cat is out of the bag. My next novel, The Heir and the Spare, will release on February 19, 2021.

This is my first-ever kingdom adventure (fantasy without a magic system), and today I’m excited to bring you the summary and cover reveal!

The Heir and the Spare: A Summary

An evil princess, a ruthless persecutor, a wretched match.

Tormented at home and bullied during her studies abroad, second-born Iona of Wessett hides in the quiet corners of her father’s castle. Her art and music provide refuge, but her cruel sister Lisenn ever lurks like a monster stalking its prey.

Such has been her life for twenty years.

However, a promise of reprieve and retribution arrives when the neighboring kingdom of Capria proposes an alliance between their new crown prince and Wessett’s heir to the throne. The treaty will rid Iona of the toxic Lisenn, and the potential groom is none other than her erstwhile bully, Jaoven of Deraval. The marriage could not be more poetic: each deserves the misery the other might inflict.

Except that Jaoven, humbled by the war that elevated his rank, appears to have reformed, and the fate of both kingdoms now hinges on the disastrous union he’s about to make.

And the wrapping paper…

cover image for The Heir and the Spare: a gold snake and bird face off against a leafy green backdrop

A big thank you goes to my brother, Russell. That’s his bougainvillea decorating the background. When he heard I was looking for a thorny, leafy shrub, he graciously volunteered it for the cause.

(I know you can’t see the thorns, but if you’ve ever encountered bougainvillea, you *know* they’re there.)

If you want a jump on this release, THE EBOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.

Some fun facts

This is the first time I’ve taken a full-length novel from idea to publication within a period of six months. It’s also the first time I’ve used an epigraph rather than a dedication. Because of the quickness of the drafting/editing/publishing process, when it came time for me to make that decision, my mind drew a blank.

See, the family relationships in The Heir and the Spare are kind of strained, so I didn’t want the dedication to come across like, “Hey, beloved family member, this one’s for you!” *wink*

(Although, I guess I could have dedicated it to my cat.)

Dedication vs. Epigraph: What’s the difference?

A dedication marks the book as a formal offering to a person, cause, etc. as a symbol of the author’s respect or affection.

An epigraph is “a quotation that is pertinent but not integral to the text.” (CMOS 17th ed, 1.37)

In this case, I used Luke 17:3 (KJV), because forgiveness vs. retribution plays a thematic role in the plot. Also, that verse uses the subjunctive mood in two of its clauses, and I highly appreciate such nuance. #grammargeek4lyfe

Anyway, this whole project has been a whirlwind of fun from start to finish. I truly hope you enjoy it!