Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I'm in Portuguese! I'm in Portuguese!

Thanks to Editora Jangada, I am now in Brazil! I'm thrilled to be published there, and I can't wait to get my hands on copies. It looks like Frostborn has been retitled Journey on Ice. Cool!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Reflections from the Road: Highlands School and Cliff Valley School

I've hit two schools in the last two weeks. Last week, on Thursday the 10th, I visited Highlands School in Birmingham, Alabama where I spoke to the 4th-8th grades, about 121 kids in total. Afterwards, I went to the library where a smaller group of kids, some of whom had brought books to sign and some of whom had questions, got to talk with me in a more intimate setting for a bit. It was a great visit, and the students had some fantastic questions.

Also, originally I was slated to speak to only the 5th-8th grades, but it turns out I had a lot of fans in the 4th, so they let them join. Was that nice to hear? Yes it was. Thanks very much to Lisa Lorenz, Middle School English, Elise Blackery, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and Kavita Vasil, Head of School, for making this happen.

Then yesterday, Thursday the 17th, I drove 2 hours and 20 minutes to Atlanta, Georgia to speak to Cliff Valley School. I got into town in time to grab a (very) quick bite to eat at Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, where I had the chicken with injera bread, and it was excellent. Spicy and tangy and just the right amount.

Then it was on to the school, where I gave two talks, one to the 3rd and 4th grades and one to the 5th and 6th grades. I had a fantastic time, the kids were really engaged, and we signed a ton of books after each talk! Thanks to Little Shop of Stories for facilitating booksales, and to Librarian Rose Garrett for arranging my visit!

Two great schools in two weeks! 

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Reflections from the Road: A Week in San Antonio

The last week plus has been an amazing time. I spent Monday to Monday in San Antonio, visiting three schools as part of the Skyborn tour, speaking to a literary council, and participating in a writing workshop and comic convention.

I flew in Monday night, where my dear friend John Picacio picked me up and we went out for pizza and beer at Barbaro. We both had a big week ahead and this was a great way to take a moment to spend time together, as well as to prepare for the days ahead.

Then Tuesday morning, bright and early, off to Hector P. Garcia Middle School, where I presented to the 170 or so students of their sixth through eight grade all at once. They were a great group of kids and we had a wonderful time. Thanks to Stacie Tharp, Library Media Specialists, for reaching out and making this happen.

Afterwards, I discovered my hotel was located half a block from one of my favorite restaurants, Acenar.  Then I roamed the Riverwalk for a bit, though not enough to
walk off the delicious baskets of chips!

Then that afternoon, Carolyn Denny (of the Keystone School) picked me up and took me to speak to the Alamo City Reading Council, a group of educators and others interested in promoting children's literacy. I gave a talk to the council, followed by a book signing. With cookies and lemon squares!

And then the council board took me out for a fabulous dinner at Mi Tierra Restaurant & Bakery, which is open 24/7, covered in Christmas lights year round, and full of roving Mariachi bands. It was a really fun evening with fun people!

Wednesday I went to San Antonio Academy, a private military school for boys. I gave three presentations, to their sixth, fourth, and fifth grades respectively, interrupted by a lunch with a select group of students. The school previously held an auction, and my new friend Thomas' parents won, so he and 11 of his friends joined me for pizza and Mexican food in the library. Thomas' very cool mother even brought a Thrones & Bones themed cookie cake from Great American Cookies. (I think next time I revise I need to add a page just for cakes!) This was my longest day, from 9am to 3pm, but a very fun and rewarding time. Thanks to librarian Elizabeth Snow for making it happen!

Wednesday night John Picacio and I went to dinner at Hot Joy, and Indian/Thai fusion restaurant, where we had edamame, spicy hot wings, and something called a Chicken Tikka Masala Taco, which wasn't really anything like chicken tikka masala or tacos but was absolutely delicious. Then we hit Bar 1919 for a quick drink. It was there that I discovered the pleasure of Prairie Artisan Ales' Bomb!, an imperial stout aged on coffee, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chili peppers, and named a RateBeer Top 100 Beer in the World for three consecutive years!

But no rest for the wicked (or the good or the tipsy) because we were off to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center to load in the first of the supplies for the incredible Worlds Beyond Gallery that John was helming. We worked for several hours loading in, then one of us at least called it a night.

Thursday John got me early, we ate breakfast burritos on the move, and then we spent the morning hanging about half of his gallery space. Then we rushed to the Keystone School, which John himself attended from 1st to 3rd grade, for two presentations to their third and fourth and then fifth and sixth grades respectively. It was so great that John got to see my presentation in a school that was formative for his own journey as a creator and artist! And in between presentations, library Carolyn Denny and Jeanette Vilagi, Head of Lower School, treated me to a fabulous lunch at La Fonda. (Thank you!)

Thursday night was preview night for Alamo City Comic Con, where I "helped" John in his booth. Then it was back to the con hotel, Hotel Indigo San Antonio-Riverwalk, where I had a drink with Bruce Coville, one of the six authors, myself including, coming in for the Young Adventurers programming. Bruce is the author of over 100 books! (I kept saying "over 60 books" but you know what, that's true too. 100 is more than 60.) He's also a charming, witty, funny, interesting guy and great writer.

Friday was the day-long Young Adventurers Writing Workshop, from 10:30 am to 8pm, featuring writing instruction from (in order) Matthew Cody, myself, Melissa Marr, Bruce Coville, Holly Black, and David Liss. I sat in on everyone else's workshop (as did most of us), and it was a fantastic day! Bruce blew us all away, both with his performance-based presentation and with his ability to remember every single
attendees name instantly. But everyone in that group is talented, funny, smart, and really cool, and I am so grateful for a weekend spent hanging out with them, friends all, old and new. Overall, it was a long day for authors and audience, but I think everyone came away feeling it had been a rewarding experience.  Then that night, the Young Adventurers headed out to Acenar again, for a wonderful end of evening wind-down. With guacamole. 

Saturday was the first of the open-to-all "Fan Days", two days of programming featuring all the authors above in celebration of middle grade fiction. We had some great panels, one of the highlights being Writing Process and Writing Schemes: How to Write One Million Words In Your Sleep, as well as Melissa Marr's weapons demonstrations. The day ended with a private party hosted by John Picacio and Sara Felix, president of ASFA,  for all the Worlds Beyond artists and Young Adventurers authors. So so glad John and Sara put our two groups together! And glad we got to hang with John, Todd Lockwood, Ruth Sanderson, Brom, Jeffrey Alan Love, and Peter Mohrbacher, amazing artists all!

Sunday was another day of Young Adventurers Fan Day programming, after which we were all well-and truly exhausted. I was in bed early and out even earlier. But what a convention, what a group of talented folks, and what a week!

Tremendous gratitude to Alfredo "Apple" De La Fuente, Wes Hartman, Austin Rogers, and everyone who made Alamo City Comic Con the amazing event that it was. You took great care of us and we really appreciated it. Also, a huge huge huge thank you to Andrew Torres, the Community Relations Manager at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers located at The Shops at La Cantera for facilitating book sales at every one of these events, for me for the week at the schools and reading council visits, and for all of us at Alamo City Comic Con. And finally, thank you to all the librarians, students, and fans who made this a phenomenal, unforgettable visit to a fantastic city!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Challenger Middle School

This past Wednesday, October 19th, I drove up to Huntsville, Alabama for a visit to Challenger Middle School. They were taking standardized tests all day, and I was the much-needed break. I gave three talks, to the sixth, seventh, and eight grade respectively, and had two lunches in between with select groups of students (one of which is pictured below). These lunches are always a highlight of school visits whenever they are held and Challenger was no exception. I had a great time. Thank you to Jennifer Prince, Library Media Specialists, my handler, teacher Dia Phillips (who took this great picture), to all the students and staff at Challenger, and bookseller Kim Brown-Barley from the Barnes & Noble on Carl T. Jones Parkway for facilitating sales of Frostborn, Nightborn, and Skyborn!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The World's Most Beautiful Thrones & Bones set

Readers of my Thrones & Bones series know that each book's appendices includes rules for an original board game, games that actually appear in and are important to the plot of their respective story. For the very first book, Frostborn, the game was called Thrones & Bones. A popular pastime among the people of Norrøngard in the world of Qualth, it is inspired by a real-world Viking game called hnefatafl. The rules borrow from several hnefatafl variants (no one knows how the actual Vikings played the game but there have been many diverse reconstructions) and add some new-to-Thrones & Bones elements that make it a unique game in its own right. In fact, I was deeply honored when Board Game Geek created a page for it christening Thrones & Bones a real game!

But one of the best things about being an author has been interacting with my fans and a real delight has been seeing the amazing Thrones & Bones fan-made sets that readers around the US and in the UK have created! Then, earlier this year, my good friend and fellow author J. F. Lewis (Staked, Grudgebearer) decided he wanted a really nice, wooden Thrones & Bones set. He commissioned an artist named Jack Windsor of Ignited Arts & Design to craft one. And suddenly the world's most beautiful Thrones & Bones set was born. And it held that position... until now!

Behold! This is a custom hand-made Thrones & Bones set, created for me by the very same Ignited Arts & Design. The board and pieces are all built and decorated by hand; all components made from hard maple wood.

The playing pieces are based on the designs done by Justin Gerard for the novel itself, while those dragons in the corner are inspired by a shield carried by my character Ynarr Ulfrson of Norrøngard, as drawn by Andrew Bosley. The Shield Maidens stand on raised spaces decorated with, what else, their shields, while the throne where the Jarl starts play features the Norse rune known as the Ægishjálmr, the Helm of Awe, a powerful symbol of protection. Meanwhile, the barrow mounds, the starting position for the Draug attackers, are decorated with the swords and axes that the playing pieces themselves wield.

Frankly, I'm blown away! Grateful to Jack Windsor for his talent and J.F. Lewis for being driven to finding him.

(And I'm happy for Lewis' set and mine to jointly hold the title of "Most Beautiful Set(s) in the World.")


Monday, September 19, 2016

The GM Showcase: Alchemy and Intrigue Along the Red River (Salt in Wounds)

This week, I'm one of the players on The GM Showcase podcast.  

"Alchemy and Intrigue Along the Red River" is a Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition role playing game being run by JM Perkins and featuring Chris Thompson, Phil Mainprize, Jeremy Land, and Yours Truly as the players.

The adventure takes place in and around Perkin's own creation, Salt in Wounds, an incredible city that was actually built on the back of a bound Tarrasque.  I'm playing Shestendeliath Orlamorn, a green dragonborn fifth level Herbwarden, a type of Alchemist, which is a character class created by Rich Howard and available on DriveThruRPG via Tribality Publishing.

This was a very fun adventure in a truly unique (and somewhat disturbing) world. Check it out! Be sure to check out the Salt in Wounds setting and the Alchemist class as well, and keep your eyes open for Perkin's forthcoming Kickstarter.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Book Deal: The Dragon Squire

I have some BIG NEWS that I've been sitting on for a while.

I've sold a fourth novel!

From Publishers Weekly's Rights Report: Week of September 12, 2016:

Phoebe Yeh at Crown has bought The Dragon Squire by Lou Anders, a middle grade medieval twist on Freaky Friday, in which an arrogant dragon and a hapless young squire switch bodies after a spell goes awry. Publication is slated for summer 2018; Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary sold world English rights.

Thanks to my agent and my editor! I'm very excited.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pioneer Con 2016

I'm honored to report that I'll be the Keynote Speaker this coming October 14th at Pioneer Con 2016, a new event described as "3/4 Comic-Con and 1/4 academic conference" being put on by the Sigma Kappa Delta English honor society of Jefferson State Community College. Here are the details:

Pioneer Con 2016

Sigma Kappa Delta English honor society is proud to announce Pioneer Con 2016 will be held on Friday, October 14, on the Shelby-Hoover campus in the Health Sciences Building room 129.

Your ticket provides all day come-and-go access.

General admission ($15)
Jefferson State students ($10)
SKD members ($5)

This event will be 3/4 Comic-Con and 1/4 academic conference, focusing on the theme “Re-Creation.” We have confirmed several exciting off-campus speakers, but we want to involve Jefferson State students and faculty as much as possible in this celebration of all things geeky.

Confirmed Events Include:
Keynote presentation by Lou Anders, author of Thrones & Bones series
Kyle Sullivan, creator of Trekspertise
Classic film talk & screening, Ryan Kindahl of 2threefive
Steampunk craft session
Faculty discussion of “The Literary Merits of Science Fiction”
Costume contest
Food truck lunch
Pizza party dinner (included in registration)

We Are Now Seeking ROUND TABLE PRESENTATIONS By Members Of The Jefferson State Community in a round table, 4-5 speakers present a point of view in a brief speech and then lead discussion with members of the audience. Although SKD is the English honor society, we welcome proposals from participants in any discipline.

We are seeking presentations on the following topics—or on a topic that you propose:

The Medical Ethics of Frankenstein
How to Survive the Apocalypse
Harry Potter: The Gateway Drug to Literacy
Cult Fandoms
Tips for Successful Cosplay
My Favorite Monster
Introduction to Anime
Best and Worst Film Re-Makes
What You Don’t Know About Vampires
Discussion of The Walking Dead, 12 Monkeys, Jessica Jones, Star Wars, etc. – focused look at film / TV.

Presenters will be admitted free to the day-long event and can come and go to sessions that interest them. Please note: Faculty and community members are welcome to submit proposals, but priority selection will be given to Jefferson State students.

To make a round table proposal, send us a description of your topic 100-200 words in length. Tell us as much as possible about what you want to cover, and remember that your presentation must fit comfortably in a one-hour session. (25-30 minutes for presentation; 25-30 minutes for audience discussion.) If you plan to have more than one presenter for your topic, please provide the name of each participant. Up to five people may participate in a round table.

Send your proposal by 12 noon on Thursday, September 22 to SKD sponsor Jamie King, We’ll make final decisions and inform selected participants through email by September 28.

Win Prizes
Preregister and to win one of five graphic-novel interpretations of a classic literary work. Email or contact sponsor Katie Boyer ( by October 10.

Registration must be paid in cash on the day of the event.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Skyborn Launch Event

Yesterday was the Launch Event for Skyborn, the third book in the Thrones & Bones trilogy. We held it at the Barnes & Noble at The Summit Shopping Center from 2 to 4 pm, where each of the previous two novels launched.

And it went fantastic! We had a huge crowd! A high percentage of kids in the audience as you can see (plus that one weird bald guy in the red shirt who seems to show up at all of my events. Don't get him started on David Bowie or role playing games.)

This time out, through the ingenuity and foresight of B&N's Community Relations Manager and the generosity of several librarians, the event counted as a Book Fair for five schools (four of which I've visited and one of which I hope to), and I'm pleased to say that we had attendees from all  five of them.

We opened the event with a short talk in which I discussed the origins of Thianna Frostborn way back in 2008 or 2009 and what bringing her narrative to a conclusion (for now) means to me. Then I did a quick reading and  Q&A. Then it was on to the signing. I signed (and rune stamped) for most of four hours and when I was winding down at 4pm, more folks showed up!

Afterwards, there was a victory dinner at Asian Rim, where we continued the tradition of incredible Thrones & Bones themed cakes (loud shout out to the bakers at Whole Foods Market, who do an incredible job.).

Thanks to everyone who came and helped make the Skyborn launch a fantastic event. Special thanks to Pam Tindal, Community Relations Manager at B&N, all the B&N staff, the staff at Asian Rim, and all the students and media specialists at the Altamont School, Highlands School, Liberty Park Middle School, Mountain Brook Junior High, and Vestavia Hills Elementary Central!

Meanwhile, stay tuned for some exciting news soon!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Paul Durham and I: Telling Lies to Children (podcast)

I'm a guest today on episode 6 of author Paul Durham's wonderful new podcast, Telling Lies to Children. It's a great day for it, as Skyborn (Thrones & Bones book 3) just debuted! As Paul puts it, we talk about "we talk about Lou's many accents, video-gaming as inspiration, and the utility of collapsible Viking helmets."

You can follow the above link or listen on iTunes. It was a great talk and I hope you'll check it out!

Happy Book Birthday: Skyborn (Thrones & Bones Book 3)

Today is the day!

Skyborn, the third book in the Thrones & Bones trilogy, is out now! The story that began with Frostborn has come to a close, as has a journey that I began over six years ago when I penned an unsold short story that first introduced the half-giant Thianna. I'm enormously proud, deliriously happy, and even a little bit sad to have reached this point.

Furthermore, if you are in or near Birmingham, then you can join with me in celebration for a special Launch Event at the Barnes & Noble at the Summit Shopping Center, on September 11th from 2pm to 4pm. They'll be a short discussion of and reading from Skyborn, followed by a book signing.

What's more, if you are from one of five Birmingham-area schools, you can come to the event and support your school at the same time.

The Altamont School, Highlands School, Liberty Park Middle School, Mountain Brook Junior High, and Vestavia Hills Elementary Central have all registered as a Book Fair for this event. This means, if you are from one of these schools or have a child at one of these schools, tell the cashier the name of your school when you purchase a copy of Skyborn (or Frostborn, or Nightborn or all three) and a part of your purchase will go to support your school!

I hope to see you there. But if you aren't anywhere near, why then, here is Skyborn at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, and Indie Bound! What are you waiting for? Perhaps an enticing book description:

For fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull comes the epic conclusion to the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy that began with Frostborn.

Find the Horn. Free the City.

The chase continues for the legendary Horns of Osius. Thianna and Karn’s quest to retrieve the horns from those who wish to abuse their power takes them to Thica, an ancient land where two tyrant queens reign supreme and where years earlier Thianna’s mother was labeled a traitor. Soon the two heroes are caught up in an epic battle for control of the kingdom, one that puts their very lives at stake. The only way to overthrow the queens is to beat them at their own game. But with an entire empire against them, how can Karn and Thianna hope to compete—or better yet, survive?

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game the Queen’s Champion, a Thican timeline, and King Herakles Hammerfist’s recipe for the Best Spanakopita Ever. Visit for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Praise for the Thrones and Bones series:

“Future fans of Tolkien and George R. R. Martin can happily cut their serial-fantasy teeth on this first book of an eventual series.” —Kirkus Reviews 

“A powerful, fast-paced tale. . . . The setting is rich, the characters well-defined, and the danger ever-paramount.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

Friday, August 26, 2016

Alamo City Reading Council

I'm going to be in San Antonio in October, making three school visits and appearing at the Alamo City Comic Con as part of the brand new Young Adventurers writing workshop and programming track. It's going to be an exciting week, and one reason for that is that I'll also be making an appearance at the Alamo City Reading Council's monthly get together. The event is to be held Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 4:30 PM - 6 :00 PM. The event is free to all Alamo Literary Council members and full time students and you can register here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dragon Con Schedule

This coming Labor Day weekend, I'll be appearing at Dragon Con on Saturday and Sunday. Here's my programming schedule as well as news of a special signing at The Missing Volume on Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, Sept 3, 7:00 PM
Writing for the Young Adult Market
Location: Hyatt Embassy CD
Since Harry Potter exploded on the young-adult book scene, the market itself is on fire. How do writers take advantage of this challenging and lucrative market? (Lou Anders, Eric R. Asher, Lindsay Cummings, Leanna Renee Hieber, Mari Mancusi Catherine M. Scully)

Sunday, Sept 4, 10:00 AM
Book Signing
The Missing Volume
Booth 1301,1303,1400,1402

Sunday, Sept 4, 2:30 PM
YA Publishing Tips and Tricks
Location: Marriott A707
You have a new novel, now what? Learn about publishing, agents, marketing & more. Aspiring writers, bring your questions. (Lou Anders, Sarah Beth Durst, Moe Ferrara, A.J. Hartley, Catherine M. Scully)

Sunday, Sept 4, 10:00 PM
The Writing Process
Location: Hyatt Embassy AB
We know writers write. But how do they write? What process do they follow to generate wonderful stories we love to read? Our panelists discuss this and maybe give us a few surprises. (Lou Anders, Eric Flint, Lois H. Gresh, John G. Hartness, Dayna L. Linton, Lee Martindale)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

A History of the Continent of Katernia

This is not a book trailer. This is something different.

All three novels in my Thrones & Bones series contain substantial appendices. In these, you will find rules for board games from my world, timelines, song lyrics, even a recipe.

In Nightborn, there is a detailed history titled "A History of the Continent of Katernia." When Listening Library was recording the audiobook of Nightborn, they very kindly and thoughtfully had our amazing narrator, Fabio Tassone, record this as well, just so we could do something fun with it later.

So here is that "something fun." Please understand that while we have copious illustrations of the characters and creatures in the Thrones & Bones series, artwork that can be repurposed in service of events that occurred hundreds or thousands of years before the time of my novels is in short supply. Still, Fabio Tassone's audio narration is masterful, and there are several very cool images accompanying it. Also note that some of the information herein could be considered "slightly spoiler-y" for the novel Nightborn. With those caveats, here we go:

Monday, August 01, 2016

The 22nd Annual Norfolk Public Library Literature Festival

This past Saturday, July 30th, it was my privilege to be a guest at the The 22nd Annual Norfolk Public Library Literature Festival. The event was held at the Lifelong Learning Center and featured three current nominees for the 2017 Golden Sower Award, myself,  Jill Esbaum (Teeny Tiny Toady), and Sally M. Walker (Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh), along with Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087), a 2015 Golden Sower Award winner.

All four of us flew into Omaha on Friday, where the wonderful Karen Drevo, Youth Services Librarian and general festival head honcho, picked us up and drove us the two and a half hours north to the city of Norfolk. After checking in to our hotels, we went out for a great dinner along with more library staff and volunteers.

After dinner, Alan Gratz and I got a ride to downtown Norfolk. As it turned out, it was "Cruise Night," a couple-times-a-year event where classic cars, muscle cars, and, well, just car-cars drive up and down the main street and the whole town turns out on lawn chairs to sit and watch the parade. There was live music and food trucks, although we were both stuffed from dinner so we didn't sample. After walking up and down the strip several times, we ducked into Black Cow Fat Pig, where I sampled a local stout. Then Alan and I walked the 45 minutes back to our hotel, catching several Pokemon along the way!

Then it was Saturday and time for the festival! Things kicked off at 9am with attendees choosing between five offerings, writing workshops taught by the four guests or a preview of all the Golden Sower nominated works. I taught a permutation of the writing workshop I perfected in the trenches in my recent sojourn in Columbus. The room was full and the students were great. Special shout out to two particular fans, the brothers who came in early and talked Pokemon Go with us!

After the morning, the rest of the festival was only one programming item at a time. This was solo presentations from each of us, two before lunch and two after. I don't often get to listen to
my fellow authors talk, so I was thrilled to be able to be in the audience for all three of them. And Alan's "Choose Your Own Adventure" style presentation was inspired! (We got killed by a tornado.)

The day ended with a huge signing where we all autographed for long lines of fans.

Then we drove to Omaha --thanks Sam for the ride; hope we didn't drive you crazy with authory-businessy talk! Finally, our weekend ended with dinner on the upstairs outdoor patio of the Upstream Brewing Company.

A huge thank you to Karen Drevo, all of her staff and volunteers, my fellow authors, and all the enthusiastic readers who make the Norfolk Public Library Literature Festival a great time for all! I'll have to get nominated for another Golden Sower one day so I can come back!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Nightborn arrives in paperback today!

Today is the day.

Nightborn, the second book in the Thrones & Bones trilogy, is out in paperback!

Nightborn is identical to the hardcover in every way, except that:

a) it's cheaper! and

b) it has a preview of book three, Skyborn, in the back!

We authors love first week sales, and our publishers love them even more, so if you've read Frostborn but you haven't picked up the sequel yet, today's as good a day as any and better than most!

For fans of Lloyd Alexander and Brandon Mull comes Book 2 in the acclaimed Thrones and Bones fantasy-adventure trilogy that began with Frostborn.

Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.

Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand—the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.

Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?

The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

Praise for Nightborn:

“Anders presents a captivating world.” —Kirkus Reviews

”[A]n adventure story with good pacing, well-drawn characters, and engaging action scenes.” —Booklist

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pottery Barn Kids Presents Author Spotlight with Lou Anders

Yesterday, I was the guest of Pottery Barn Kids at The Summit Shopping Center in Birmingham, Alabama for "Pottery Barn Kids Presents Author Spotlight with Lou Anders." I was there from 11am to 3pm, selling and signing copies of Frostborn and Nightborn at the front of the store.

I have never done an event at Pottery Barn Kids before. Thus far, I have appeared in over 40 schools around the Unites States, as well as numerous bookstores, libraries, literary festivals, and conventions. But never a Pottery Barn. I had no idea what to expect.

Also, it should be mentioned that I have a Viking helmet that has gone with me on most of the aforementioned travels. But there's a full costume with it that I have never worn publicly anywhere but Trick-or-Treating with my kids. At the last minute, on my way out the door, I decided to break it out, because if you can't go The Full Viking at Pottery Barn Kids, where can you?

Well, the day was great. I spoke with a lot of great kids and parents, sold and signed a lot of books, meet several educations interested in school visits, and had a blast!

Though, mind you, the choice to wear a fur-lined cape in July in Alabama might not have been the wisest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Alamo City Comic Con's Young Adventurers

This October, Alamo City Comic Con has announced a brand new programming track, the Young Adventurers!

Young Adventurers is a celebration of children's literature featuring Yours Truly, Holly Black, Matthew Cody, Bruce Coville, Melissa Marr, and Obert Skye.

Friday will be the Young Adventurers' Writing Workshop, a day long series of workshops and sessions with all of the authors above. This is a ticketed event, limited to 75 attendees, so sign up now.

Then Saturday and Sunday will be panels and discussions of children's books in two days of kids & kids' lit themed programming. The Saturday and Sunday events are open to all Alamo City Comic Con attendees, so bring your kids or your kids-at-heart and join us for what's going to be an amazing weekend.!

Alamo City Comic Con is held in San Antonio, Texas the weekend of October 28th to the 30th. See their website for ticket and hotel information. Meanwhile, here is their press announcement about Young Adventurers as well as bios for the stellar author guests (though I don't know who that first guy thinks he is). Also worth noting, the great David Liss (The Coffee Trader, Randoms) will be MCing and moderating the Young Adventurers programming! Check it out:
Alamo City Comic Con and Barnes & Noble have partnered up to provide ACCC2016 attendees a whole new and exciting experience: YOUNG ADVENTURERS! Held at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center from October 28th-30th, 2016, our Young Adventurers experience focuses on 6 award-winning middle grade authors. Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles series, The Modern Faerie Tale series), Bruce Coville (My Teacher Is An Alien, Unicorn Chronicles series), Lou Anders (Thrones & Bones series), Obert Skye (Leven Thumps series, The Pillage trilogy), Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely series, The Blackwell Pages series), and Matthew Cody (Supers Of Noble Green trilogy, Will In Scarlet) will be in attendance to meet fans, sign books, and offer children's programming (panels) that is open to all ACCC attendees. SPECIAL LIMITED-SEATING EVENT: On Friday, October 28th, join our special guests and emcee, David Liss (Randoms, The Day of Atonement), to get first-hand knowledge of the ins and outs of creating best selling works. Our in-depth WRITERS WORKSHOP is limited to 75 attendees, so act fast to secure your seat to this unique and informative event geared towards amateur and professional writers alike. For more info, and to stay up to date. Keep up with the Facebook event Page.

Lou Anders:

Lou Anders is the author of Frostborn, Nightborn, and Skyborn, the three books of the Thrones & Bones series of fantasy adventure novels written for boys and girls ages 8 to 80. The first book, Frostborn, has been nominated for the Beehive Book Awards, the Golden Sower Awards, the Young Hoosier Book Awards, and the Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards. Recently, Anders was named the 2016 Children's Writer-in-Residence at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. He is also a Hugo Award winning editor and a Chesley Award winning Art Director. He and his family reside in Birmingham, Alabama. You can visit him online at and, on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, and on Twitter at @Louanders

Holly Black:
Holly currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a Tudor cottage with a secret door. There, she enjoys caffeine, reading, and revelry. Holly is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare) and The Darkest Part of the Forest. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor.

Matthew Cody:
Matthew Cody is the author of several popular books including the award-winning Supers of Noble's Green trilogy: Powerless, Super and Villainous. He is also the author of Will in Scarlet and The Dead Gentleman. His books have appeared on Amazon, Bank Street and the New York Public Library Best Books of the Year lists. He is currently at work on a new trilogy for young readers, The Secrets of the Pied Piper, and book one, The Peddler's Road, is available now from Knopf Books. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.

Bruce Coville:
Bruce Coville has published over 100 books for children and young adults, including the international bestseller My Teacher is an Alien, and the Unicorn Chronicles series. His works have appeared in a dozen languages and won children's choice awards in as many states. He is
also the founder of FULL CAST AUDIO, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings of material for family listening. Mr. Coville lives in Syracuse, New York with his wife, illustrator and author Katherine Coville.

Melissa Marr:
Melissa Marr is the internationally bestselling author of books for teens, children, and adults. Her books include the faery series, Wicked Lovely; a children's Norse mythology series (The Blackwell Pages, co-authored with Kelley Armstrong), Graveminder (dark fantasy), and Bunny Roo (a picture book). Additionally, she has co-edited several fantasy anthologies. Her books have been published in 28 languages and have been bestsellers in numerous countries. Prior to being a writer, Melissa taught university literature, worked an archaeology dig, and worked at a daycare. She is the mother to three children, and most of her books were written for them.

Obert Skye:
Obert Skye is the bestselling author of the Leven Thumps series, the Pillage Trilogy, Witherwood Reform School, and The Creature From My Closet. He can be found at

Friday, July 15, 2016

Thurber House: Day Twenty-One (Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen)

And so we come to the end.

Today was my last full day at Thurber House, the culmination of my month-long stint as their 2016 Children's Writer-in-Residence. Tomorrow, I get up at 5am and catch an early flight back to home and family.

I celebrated today by taking the last of my long walks around the city. I hit the historical town, Topiary Park, downtown, and then went to Wolf's Ridge Brewing for my last taste of Duck Confit Tacos, Habanero Cheesecake, and their amazing Dire Wolf stout (though they were out of the habanero spiced variety). My farewell meal from my favorite Columbus restaurant.

Then in the afternoon, I signed copies of my books for the last batch of campers. Afterwards, I got a lift to The Book Loft of German Village for another signing.

Then it was back here for dinner and packing.

I accomplished a lot done here in Columbus. I finished the second draft of a book I'd been working on since January. I did an enormous amount of research for my next project, part of which involved world-building two fantasy cities. I wrote a stand-alone short story. And I knocked out the first 10,645 words of the new book. And they're good words. (I have the best words!)

But equally or maybe more importantly was the time I've spent teaching children, from the six sessions of camp at the Thurber Center that I taught, to the workshop at Worthington Park Library, to a High School writing group, to trips to the Homeless Families Foundation's Dowd Education Center, the Gladden Community House (a United Way affiliated non-profit agency), and the John Burroughs Elementary School summer school camp (a grant-funded program to provide food and activities to students in a low-income area). All the kids were wonderful, and I've learned so much. Mostly I've learned that children, whatever their backgrounds or opportunities, are bright and polite and positive and hopeful and imaginative and fun-loving and kind. Some of the kids I spoke to have a leg-up on life. And some of the kids I spoke to are starting out several rungs down the ladder from the rest of us. And they were all the same kids. Everyone of them, as capable of anything as anyone of us. Anything that can be done to lift these kids up and let the seeds I saw in them flower is the lord's work, whatever lord you believe in (except maybe Lord Voldemort). I'm really grateful to have met them all in ways I'll never fully express.

And speaking of grateful....

I’m eternally grateful to Thurber House for this amazing opportunity. I’ve loved living in my words and worlds. The people who run Thurber House and make it work are marvelous, and I hope I stay in touch with them and they with me. More than just a place I visited or a vacation I took—I’ve been alone in the house, I’ve received mail to the house, I’ve had guests visit me in the house,  I’ve done multiple loads of laundry and cleaned the kitchen countless times, I’ve even answered the doorbell. And I’ve walked all over Columbus, taking 1.5 to 2 hour walks nearly every day I've been here. This isn’t a place I visited. In a subjective, but very real, sense, Columbus is a place I’ve lived, joining the other cities around the world that I count as places that made me who I am and form a part of my personal narrative. Am I sad to be leaving? I love my family, and miss them, so sad isn't the right word, but this feels like a move does. You know, when you leave a place that you really lived and you know you'll only ever come back as a tourist. Thurber House and Columbus will always be a part of me, and I’ll always be a part of it (unless they paint over my fat signature in the closet and they better not!) Thank you all very, very much! I'm outta here!
                                      — Lou Anders, 2016 Children’s Writer in Residence.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thurber House: Day Twenty (PokemonGo, Camp, Bananas, and Farewells)

Last night I stayed up writing very late. But before I turned in... I gave in. I needed to know what unseen forces I might be unwittingly sharing Thurber House with. That's right. I downloaded Pokémon Go.

It turns out that Thurber House is a PokéSpot, as is the statue of Muggs in the garden outside (mislabel in the app as Snoopy!), as is the David Deming stainless steel and brass installation Terrestrial Gest in the park outside (mislabeled as the Donn Vickers Gazebo, which is nearby). With so much Pokémon activity, how could I not?

So, this morning, while I was trying to make my coffee, I found a Krabby loitering in my kitchen! Fortunately, I was able to catch him and continue with my caffeination. Though he did take a few swipes at me with those nasty claws!

In the afternoon, I wrote my first ever attempt at a romantic scene. The current project isn't a children's book like the one I just finished. Rather, it's a YA or adult novel staring an older version of a character who is an adolescent in the Thrones and Bones books. Maybe because the character was 12 when I created her, I found myself oddly protective and parental. I had to fight the urge to let her be herself with *gasp* a boy. I kept wanting to come in and chaperone. It was the strangest sensation, and one I never would have predicted. If I'm this protective of a fictional creation, boy am I going to be in for it when my children are a few years older!

After lunch, I taught my last two sessions of the Thurber summer camp. The kids at all of these workshops have been great, and this week's batch were no different. We had a great time learning about the basics of character creation and story construction.  Also learning how to say "Norrøngard" as the old Norse would have pronounced it. (Although it's not a land found on earth, my Norrønir pronounce the name of their land in the same fashion.)

When the workshops were over, as I'm on my penultimate full day here as Children's Writer-in-Residence, this was the day I got to sign the closet as well as sign my photo for the wall. I thought it was the downstairs closet in the room with James Thurber's typewriter that I was to sign, but that's apparently for famous folks and such who drop by the house or contribute in some way and not for author residents who live in the apartment upstairs. We get a closet on the third floor (where, I suppose, only we can see it!). But I signed it and drew a little Viking too.

Around four o'clock a bunch of the campers came to the house with their parents to pick up my books. Since I was downstairs (doing laundry!), I volunteered to go ahead and sign them so they wouldn't have to bring the books to camp with them tomorrow.

Sadly, the next thing I dd was to say my goodbye to Meg Brown, Director of Education. Meg has to go out of town this evening, so I won't see her again. It was Meg that first interviewed me on the phone when I applied for this residency and made it through the initial round of applicants. It was Meg who called to tell me I'd made it to the final three. It was Meg who called to tell me I'd won. And it was Meg who has chauffeured me around to all the workshops and classes and to and from the airport. She is an amazing Director of Education, and I've gotten to see first hand how hard she works for all the outreach that Thurber House does.

Afterwards, the plan was to return to Wolf's Ridge Brewing one last time, for a dinner and another taste of the amazing Dire Wolf Canis Mexicanus Russian Imperial Stout. But I was barely a block away when it started to pour down rain. In minutes I was drenched, my shirt soaking wet and water streaming off the brim of my baseball cap. So instead of dark beer and duck tacos, it was more laundry and a turkey sandwich. But I did try taco sauce on a banana, and, despite how it sounds, it wasn't too bad.
And on the bright side, I caught another Pokémon on the way home.

Tomorrow I'll have an afternoon signing for the campers and then I'm doing a signing at 6pm at The Book Loft of German Village. And that will be it for me and Columbus.

But now I'm going to spend the bulk of what's left of my evening finishing that romantic scene. I need to make sure my girl and her boy take their hands off each other. And I want to send him packing before it gets any later!