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.

6 Responses to Release Day is upon us! | The Heir and the Spare
  1. Okay, that’s seriously clever. And making me rethink my bios. Just popping in to say that I LOVED the Heir and the Spare. It’s a new favorite. I pre-ordered the ebook, but the paperback is going to appear at my house ASAP. Your books always make me excited. And I always need more!

    • Kate says:

      Not sure I’d recommend the shifting bios. On the one hand, they create a fun playground for wordplay. On the other, I’m constantly battling the sense of needing to outdo my earlier efforts. Part of me wishes I’d started with a regular, sane bio and stuck with it.

      But then again, that crossword was so satisfying when I finally figured it out. And wordplay itself has infinite possibilities, so… *shrugs*

      Thanks for popping in! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book! I had several worries/reservations about this one, so your positive feedback means the world.

  2. W.R. Gingell says:

    legit my favourite author bio now

  3. S G says:

    A bit of a belated reply but I think I did notice, to some extent, the shift since namesake though I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was? But the books since then (including namesake) feel a bit deeper for lack of a better term (makes it sound like I think Inge and the Ruses books etc are shallow, I don’t, I just don’t know what better term to use).

    But I can see the perspective shift since you’ve called it out, and I enjoy it. I enjoy all your books, but they all leave me feeling a different kind of thoughtful or wistful. Which I think is a testament to their quality, I can’t read brine and bone without tearing up even though I’ve read it a handful of times now.

    Anyway, always happy I’ve read your books, can’t wait for the future ones! (Especially the namesake sequel if that’s still coming – no rush of course!)

    • Kate says:

      Thanks for adding the “no rush.” The Namesake sequels are still theoretically coming, which is to say that the second book is written but the third has for the moment stalled after too many plot misfires. I had to step away to let the muddiness of it settle in my own mind, but I’ll revisit soon and resume drafting with a (hopefully) clearer vision for where it needs to go to reach its proper ending. Fingers crossed. 🙂

      And, as always, I appreciate your insight. It’s given me good opportunity to reflect on how (and why) my storytelling has shifted in recent years.

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