Things are happening. Many things!

(This post comes to you only slightly modified from my newsletter, Lo & Behold. If you want to get it in your in box before it hits the web, consider subscribing.) We are eight months away from the publication of my next young adult novel, A Line in the Dark, on Oct. 17, 2017.

Eight months! Which means things are getting real around here. There are a million things that have to happen before a book hits the bookstore shelves, involving everything from double- and triple-checking every word (shout out to copyeditors and proofreaders, who are invaluable), to designing the book cover (which is totally stunning and you will get to see very soon), to advance planning about book events and publicity and …

It’s a lot! One of the many things I’ve been working on is updating my author photo, because believe it or not, it’s been nine years since I had one professionally taken. That’s right, the author photo I currently use was taken way back in 2008, before my first novel, Ash, was published. A lot of things change in nine years! I definitely got a little older. I also stopped wearing contact lenses and went back to glasses. Because A Line in the Dark is my first YA novel in four years (yes, by the time October rolls around it will have been four years since Inheritance was published), because it’s a new kind of book for me, and because my previous photo is nine years old, I took the plunge and got a new author photo taken.

Unsurprisingly, as someone who spends most of my time writing alone, I’m not a natural model in front of the camera. (Oddly, I do fine on video, but still photography freaks me out a bit.) However, I found an amazing local photographer who specializes in shooting author photos: Sharona Jacobs. She was fantastic and put me totally at ease, and now I have a new author photo that I love. Here it is:

So things are moving along in preparation for A Line in the Dark.

Another thing that happens as you move closer to publication is the collection of blurbs. Those are the little quotes on book jackets from other authors saying things like “This book is the best thing ever!” or “I couldn’t put it down!” I am thrilled and grateful that two of my favorite writers, Justine Larbalestier (author of My Sister Rosa and Liar, two of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read) and Kate Elliott (author of Court of Fives, one of my favorite recent books and a zillion other amazing fantasy and science fiction novels) read A Line in the Dark and offered blurbs for it. Here they are:

"Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark is a gripping, frustrating psychological thriller that delves into the love, desire, hatred, and friendship between four teenage girls, with depth and clarity. As soon as I finished, I had to read it again.” —Justine Larbalestier, author of My Sister Rosa and Liar

“A beautifully written and compellingly well-observed psychological thriller.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Cold Magic

If you’d like to pre-order A Line in the Dark, it’s now up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

In Case You Missed It: I’m giving away an advance copy of the paperback edition of Tremontaine Season 1, which will be published by Saga Press on May 2, 2017. I’m only able to ship to U.S. mailing addressees. The deadline to enter is March 12, 2017. Go here to enter the giveaway.

Also, I'll be at the NYC Teen Author Festival March 19-20. On Sunday March 19, I’ll be at the kick-off event at the Strand Bookstore at 7 p.m., where I’ll be reading from my essay in Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World. I’ll also have bookmarks and other goodies to hand out (including A Line in the Dark stuff) so I hope to see you!

Then on Monday March 20from 6–8 p.m. I’ll be on a panel about Here We Are at the Mulberry Street NYPL, along with several other of the anthology’s contributors. We’ll be talking feminism, of course, and it should be a great event.