Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sit, Write, Bleed... Talk!

Today, Sit.Write.Bleed posts a review of Frostborn (Thrones and Bones).I'm very gratified by the
words, which, though not without criticism, say:
This isn't my Hobbit, but after reading it twice through, I am almost certain it would have been if I was eleven in 2014. Anders has crafted a tale filled with ages-old themes and lessons that I think are often missing from a lot of today's fantasy, be it Middle-Grade or Adult. Friendship, Courage, Intelligence, and Trust--these are things that are often assumed to be in the background of every children's novel, but rarely are they talked about openly and pursued passionately, let alone done well. I believe this to be a major reason why I dislike Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series so much--when it is done out in the open it is too campy to my taste, and when it hidden in the background I just don't care. Anders falls more in with JK Rowling and Lloyd Alexander, so much so with the latter that I almost felt like I was reading The Book of Three (another classic everyone should read.) To put a point on it, I was taken on a great adventure and learned something.
Meanwhile, I'm interviewed on Adventures in SciFi Publishing. I used to be a frequent guest of the show, though haven't been on since host/founder Shaun Farrell stepped away. Now Shaun has returned (yay!) and I join him, Moses Siregar, and Brent Bowen for a discussion of:
  • Worldbuilding with the help of modern technology;
  • Gaming culture and how that works in medieval societies;
  • The distinction between YA and middle grade writing;
  • Traveling to Norway to research the setting and cultural inspiration for Norrengard;
  • Working with Robert Lazzarreti;
  • The incredible video game found on the Thrones and Bones website, not mention other media tie-in products and experiences!
  • Fractal Terrains 3, which Lou used to design his world;
  • Shooting Vikings (context in the interview!);
  • How important gaming can be to developing world-building skills. Lou loves Skyrim, by the way;
  • Testing the module for the Thrones and Bones game with Howard Andrews Jones, Howard Tayler, Scott Lynch, Dave Gross, and Saladin Ahmed.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Two Personal Pieces

Today, oddly, sees two different guest posts for me; odd because both of these pieces are rather personal. One is about the challenges I faced during the process of revising  Frostborn (Thrones and Bones), and the other is about some of my reasons for writing it.

First, I'm on speculative fiction magazine Bull Spec's blog, the latest author to accept the challenge of their "The Hardest Part" series, in this case writing about what it was like for the editor to be edited.

Then, thanks to Ellen Oh, I am a guest on The Enchanted Inkpot, talking about writing for my biracial children as relates to Frostborn's half-giant, half-human character.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Writing for My Kids... And Yours

This week, I'm a guest on Random House Kids' Random Acts of Reading blog, where I contribute a piece called "Writing for My Kids... And Yours." In it, I talk a little bit about my influences, a little bit about the process that lead me to conceive of Frostborn,and a little bit about my own children. Please check it out.

Dragon Con Schedule

Dragon Con is right around the corner. Held in Atlanta, Georgia from August 29th to September 1, this is a massive convention that is always one of the highlights of my year.

Here is where I, and a ton of other awesome authors, can be found. See the bottom for Frostborn (Thrones and Bones) signing information. Additionally, I'll be manning the Pyr booth in the exhibit hall throughout the con when I am not needed elsewhere (booth # 424,425).

Title: Dragons, Magic, & Mystical Lands: High Fantasy in YA 

Description: The orphan of uncertain heritage, the talisman discovered, a kingdom under siege... how YA is putting its stamp on fantasy tropes.

Time: Fri 10:00 am Location: A707 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Leigh Bardugo, Susan Fichtelberg, Lou Anders, Kat Zhang, A. J. Hartley, Todd McCaffrey)

Title: Strategies for the Catastrophes of Publishing 
Description: Learn what options exist for authors if a publisher bankrupts or a editor quits midstream, among other catastrophes.

Time: Fri 11:30 am Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Lou Anders, Janny Wurts, Chesya Burke, Laura Anne Gilman, Elizabeth Moon, James A. Moore)

Title: Pyr Rising!
Description: Lou Anders returns to Dragon Con to tell fans what Pyr is planning.

Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Regency V - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel 
(Tentative Panelists: Lou Anders, Jon Sprunk, Clay and Susan Griffith, Mike Resnick, Joel Shepherd)

Title: The Young Nerd Life
Description: There are many shows families watch together! Let's discuss those shows & how kids fit into the world of fandom.
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: A708 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Lou Anders, Davey Beauchamp, Ronald Thomas Garner)

Title: Whadya Wanna Know?
Description: This roundtable discussion will address questions from the audience about all aspects of writing.

Time: Sat 10:00 am Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Nancy Knight, Georgia McBride, Claire M. Eddy, Lou Anders)

Title: I Have This Idea
Description: How to develop an idea into a novel. Basic tools to take an idea from that little germ into a full-blown blockbuster.

Time: Mon 10:00 am – 11:00am (Length: 1 Hour) Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt
(Tentative Panelists: Jim Butcher, Lou Anders, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Janny Wurts, Peter David, Gene Wolfe, Nancy Knight)

Additionally, I will be doing a signing at the Missing Volume booksellers booth, on Saturday at 12 noon, along with Frostborn (Thrones and Bones) cover and interior artist Justin Gerard. Come see us and get your copy of Frostborn signed by both the author and the artist at booth location 328, 329, & 330.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews: Q&A

Today, I am on Kirkus Reviews, in a Q&A with Lou the Editorial Director of Pyr, where I talk about trends in SF/F publishing, things I look for, things I avoid, and the joy of working with fabulous artists. Please check it out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SFF180's Mailbag Monday (on Tuesday)

Thank you SFF10 of the very nice Frostborn (Thrones and Bones) shout out and kind words on yesterday's edition of Mailbag Monday!

The Jon Sprunk Interview

My friend, and awesome fantasy author, Jon Sprunk interviewed me for his blog. We talk about RPGs, Norway, cartography, world building, and wearing too many hats! Please check it out. Here's a sample:
Lou: Music is always a big influence on me, whatever I’m working on. For this series, I’ve made a playlist that mixes Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring and his The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (extended versions of both of course), with Jeremy Soule’s Skyrim soundtrack, and, in preparation for book three, I’ve just added John Powell’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 and two versions of Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna,” (which you may remember from its use in the climax of the film Excalibur). Also, I blasted “O Fortuna” on the way to my first reading/signing to help get in the mood.

Monday, August 18, 2014

SF Signal Interview

This morning, I am interviewed by the wonderful Kristin Centorcelli for SF Signal. We talk about RPGs, Norway, children's literature, and more. And through the generosity of Random House Children's Books, there's a contest to win 1 of 5 copies of Frostbornas well.

Read the enormously titled, "A Chat with Lou Anders about World Building, Influences and What Makes FROSTBORN so Special (PLUS: Giveaway!)"

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Frostborn Tour

An update of all the tour dates:

Saturday August 09, 2014 4:00 PM
The Official Launch: Barnes and Noble Reading/Signing
 Barnes and Noble @ The Summit Birmingham
Summit Shopping Center, 201 Summit Boulevard Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35243

Thursday August 29 - Monday September 1, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia
Panel Appearances
Signing with Justin Gerard at The Missing Volume (booth location 328, 329, & 330)
Saturday, August 30th at 12 noon
Come see us and get your copy of Frostborn signed by both the author and the artist!

Wednesday September 03, 2014 5:30 PM
Barnes and Noble Reading/Signing
Crossroads Commons
2999 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80301

Thursday September 4th, 2014 (time to come)
Old Firehouse Books
232 Walnut St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524
*school visits and evening signing

Friday September 5th
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClinktock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
*school visits only

Saturday September 6th, 2 PM
Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClinktock Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85283
*daytime event with the Changing Hands Kids Book Club (and general public)

Wednesday Sept. 10th, 4:00 PM
Page & Palette
32 S. Section St.
Fairhope, AL 36532
*school visits and in-store signing

Thursday Sept. 11th, 6:00 PM
Little Professor Book Center
2717 18th St. S.
Homewood, AL 35209
*school visit, local library visit and in-store signing at 6PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 6:30 PM-8PM
Young Authors Program
Vickery Creek Middle School 
6240 Post Road
Cumming, GA 30040
Event and location details forthcoming. Time subject to change.
Open to any student in Forsyth County and their families.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:00 PM
757 Brookwood Village, Birmingham, AL 35209
Phone:(205) 870-0213

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 4:00 PM
Avid Bookshop
493 Prince Ave
Athens, GA 30601
Phone:(706) 352-2060
*school visit and in-store signing

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Tweens Read Book Festival
South Houston High School
3820 Shaver St, South Houston, TX 77587

Thursday, October 9, 2014 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM
New York Comic Con
Panel Name: Coffee Talk with Dragons and Monsters
Description: What makes a monster something to be feared? To become a force to be reckoned with? To be bigger than life? Are its eyes too big, teeth too sharp and does it have a tail? Is it Human? A Creature? Supernatural? Powerful? Diabolical? Insane? Or Maybe just misunderstood? Join R.L Stine (Party Games), Caitlin Kittredge (Black Dog), Lou Anders (Frostborn), Brandon Sanderson (Steelheart and Firefight), Paul Pope (The Rise of Aurora West), Ethan Reid (The Undying), Ransom Riggs (Hollow City; Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) and moderator Thomas Sniegoski (Walking in the Midst of Fire) as they discuss the “monsters” in their books and what makes them truly something or someone you would not like to meet alone in a dark alley...or a dark forest, or a dark cave....

Thursday, October 9at 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Description: Lou Anders presents a Frostborn Reading and Game Night
Calling young gamers: come meet author Lou Anders, learn about the Viking-inspired adventure Frostborn, and play the game that goes along with the book! Recommended for ages 8 and up, open to all.

Friday, October 10, 2014 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
New York Comic Con
Title: Geek Geek Revolution
Description: GEEK GEEK REVOLUTION is a no-holds-barred geek culture game show featuring six science fiction/fantasy authors competing for the chance to be TOP GEEK. In addition the audience members will be asked to 'write-in' questions in hopes of stumping the authors and winning a prize pack of books. Hold onto your hats, nerf herders, this might get ugly. Featuring authors: Peter Brett, Maureen Johnson, Django Wexler, Rachel Caine, Lou Anders, and Lev Grossman

Saturday, October 12, 2014
wik'14: Writing & Illustrating for Kids*
Spain Park High School (Birmingham)
4700 Jaguar Drive
Hoover, AL 35242
* Not a Frostborn-specific event. I am teaching a two part lecture "ScripTips: Hollywood Screenwriting Techniques from 10am-11:45am, but I will happily sign books.

Friday-Sunday, November 14-16, 2014
Windycon 41*
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148

*Not a Frostborn-specific event. I'm Editor Guest of Honor, but will happily sign books.

Additional dates in other cities are being added. I'll update this list as they are confirmed.

A Life Worth Telling

Earlier this week, I was honored to be a guest on "A Life Worth Telling", a writing-centric show on UAB's Blaze Radio, hosted by Mary Doss. We talked for an hour about Frostborn (Thrones and Bones), covering everything from the three decade journey to get to the point of having a book published to my research trip to Norway while working on revisions. The interview can be downloaded in mp3 format here for those interested.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Latest Frostborn Roundup

This morning, the wonderful Jay Requard hosts a Q&A with Yours Truly on his blog, where we discuss Frostborn,dragons, RPG games, and Norway.

Meanwhile, yet another bookstore has chosen Frostborn as a Staff Pick. Sue Mason at the Waucoma Bookstore of Hood River, Oregan recommends the novel and says:
"This is being touted as being in the same league with John Flanagan and Rick Riordan. It does have the feeling of a Flanagan story. Frostborn is a great adventure of a young boy and a girl who is half human/half giant.... The boys and girls will love this. Our giantess, Thianna, is a very brave adventurer and saves Karn mostly from himself. This will be a series so it will be fun to see where Thianna ends up next." 
Reading Rumpus Book Reviews, run by librarian Barb Middleton at the Taipei American School in Taiwan, has an incredible review this morning. WARNING: The review is very, very SPOILER heavy, but really says some wonderful things, particularly about Frostborn's depiction of being biracial and a minority. Such as:
"The action-packed, well-plotted story has plenty of humor and a female character that defies stereotypes. A biracial girl named, Thianna, searching for her identity along with the message to girls to embrace yourself no matter what your size makes this story rise above your average fare."  
"Thianna's biracial background captures what it is like to be a minority." 
And concludes: 
"This will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson, The Lord of the Rings series, and The Inheritance Cycle. Don't miss it."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some more news roundup

Frostborn is a week old today. And the good things just keep happening., Portland's giant independent bookstore chain, has just selected Frostborn as one of their Staff Picks! Richard C. of writes, "Drawing on Norse legends is the first of a series involving Karn, a farm boy who would rather play board games, and Thianna, a half-frost giantess. They join together to battle trolls, walking dead, and a fire-breathing dragon. This is a wonderful summer read filled with humor and adventure."

Storytime Hooligans called Frostborn "A great addition to public and upper elementary/middle school libraries" and said that, "When a writer pack a fantasy novel with this many mythological elements, the resulting book can feel like a checklist instead of a story. Anders, however, knows how to create a believable backstory and personality for each species and individual, resulting in an exciting pseudo-Norse world in which our heroes may romp."

And Black Gate is kindly hosting a guest blog from me where I discuss my fantasy-upbringing in "Why I Write What I Write How I Write It."

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Frostborn Launch Event

This past Saturday, we launched Frostborn in style at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers at the
Summit Shopping Center in Birmingham, Alabama. I'm deeply grateful to Community Relations Manager Pam Tindal and to the entire B&N staff, and to all the people who came out and supported the launch. As I said at the event, last week marked the culmination of a journey that began decades ago, and apart from my marriage and the birth of my children, feels like one of the crowning moments of my life thus far.

For over a decade now, I've been speaking 6 to 10 times a year to audiences all over America (and sometimes overseas), telling them how amazing other people's books are. This is the first time I've ever really done it for myself. T'aint easy! I'm deeply grateful to everyone who came and helped break me in to this new phase of my professional life.

It was an amazing launch for the Thrones and Bones series. So many friends, acquaintances, and new faces too. It was an amazing time. I signed books for over an hour!

And everyone who bought a book got it not only signed but stamped in Norse runes, and went home with all four of the custom trading cards in "series one" of the Thrones and Bones collectable card set. I hope everyone had as good a time as I did.

So, how did we do?



I would call that a success!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Frostborn, Day Two

So, one day past Frostborn'sdebut, and the interweebs are booming.

Publishers Weekly, who also gave Frostborn a Starred Review, selected it for one of only eleven PW Picks: Books of the Week, August 4, 2014. They write, "Though a lot of elements are in play, Anders ties the novel’s threads together in a neatly satisfying way, crafting a powerful, fast-paced tale."

io9 selected Frostborn for their list "All the Amazing Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Books for August."

I answer questions like what is my Patronus and what my favorite sandwich is on's The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, go into my story's origins in "On the Conception of a World and Birth of a Giant" on Suvudu, and also on Suvudu, discuss trends in "The Truth about Trends."

I am interviewed by Dave Gross for his Creative Colleagues series, and also at My Bookish Ways.

And there's a contest running on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist.

The wonderful John Freeman reviewed Frostborn for SciFi Pulse, calling it "a terrific debut novel in what I’m sure is going to be a great trilogy, crammed with action and adventure, believable characters you can genuinely care about and some wonderfully funny moments as Karn and Thianna battle all manner of foes, including the undead and a really petulant dragon," and adding, "I’m looking forward to the TV series/ films, the game, the figurines… because I can see them coming!"

Fantasy Literature calls Frostborn, "a sweet middle grade story" and says, "Middle Grade readers are sure to love Frostborn and, as an adult, I liked it, too. It’s an exciting fantasy adventure and I’m looking forward to the next THRONES & BONES novel. I listened to Listening Library’s audio version which is 8½ hours long and narrated by Fabio Tassone, a European actor. He gave a great performance. I’ll definitely choose this format for the sequel."

The Librarian of Snark was very unsnarky when they wrote, "I will definitely be recommending this to my fantasy-loving tweens and I think it will easily find its audience."

Mom Read It says, "I thoroughly enjoyed this book; fans of mythology-based fantasy will, too. Anders is a Hugo Award-winning editor; this is his first book, and kicks off a promising fantasy series that will appeal to boys and girls alike. I love that Karn is a 'gamer' – and so are other characters in the book, which will appeal to gamer boys and girls out there, who try to explain to their disapproving parents that games help sharpen their mental acuity. The characters have rich backgrounds, with the promise of more to be revealed in future books, and Anders’ description of various terrain is so vivid, I could feel the chill of the frozen land of the frost giants. If you’ve got middle graders looking for a fantasy series along the lines of Kelley Armstrong’s Blackwell Pages, this is a great place to steer them. The book hits stores today – go get your copy!"

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Frostborn has arrived!

Today, I am a published author.

This has been a very long journey across many years. But today, Random House Children's Books, through their new imprint, Crown Books for Young Readers, has released Frostborn,my debut novel, and the first book in the Thrones and Bones series. Frostborn is a middle grade novel for boys and girls ages 8-12, inspired by Norse mythology and my love of fantasy worlds. There is an amazing website that Random House has built at as well as the series Facebook page. You can also follow Thrones and Bones news on Twitter @ThronesandBones.

The book has been garnering multiple positive reviews, including a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly, and it currently has a rating of 100% on Goodreads.

For those in and around the Birmingham, Alabama area, they'll be an official reading/signing and launch of the Frostborn tour at the Barnes and Noble at the Summit Shopping Center on Saturday, August 9th, at 4 pm. You can find out about this event here and you can order Frostborn from B&N here.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Knattleiker Training Game

Today the Knattleiker Training Game just debuted on the Thrones and Bones website. Try you hand on computer or mobile and see how you rank at this ancient Norrøngard sport!

Cycling for Cancer

Starting this Saturday, science fiction and fantasy author Joel Shepherd is cycling from Bangor,
Maine, to Washington, DC, a journey of about 800 miles, while raising money for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). You can find out about the ride here, and you can follow Joel's progress on Facebook and on Twitter @ShepJoel. More importantly, you can sponsor Joel's ride by donating to the Cancer Research Institute here.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Pick of the Week, Pick of the Month!

Two bits of wonderful news today.

First up,  Publishers Weekly has selected Frostbornfor their PW Picks: Books of the Week, August 4, 2014. They say:
Frostborn by Lou Anders (Crown) - In this Norse-flavored adventure, Anders pits a clever boy and a resourceful half-giant girl against numerous enemies and the hazards of the frozen wilderness. Twelve-year-old Karn has no desire to learn the family business of farming; he’s much more interested in playing the strategy board game Thrones and Bones. Thianna’s human ancestry makes her an oddity and object of derision among her full-blooded giant peers. Nevertheless, Karn and Thianna become reluctant allies and friends when trouble threatens: Karn runs afoul of a malevolent undead lord, while Thianna must flee from her human mother’s people, who seek a long-lost artifact. Though a lot of elements are in play, Anders ties the novel’s threads together in a neatly satisfying way, crafting a powerful, fast-paced tale.
And second, Amazon has picked Frostborn as one of only four Best Books of the Month: Ages 9-12 (Middle Grade)!