Peripheral prizes

Want to know more about The God of the Hive?  Like, how on earth a person like Robert Goodman came to be?  You have a chance to win “Birth of a Green Man,” the illustrated short story about a key moment in Goodman’s history, by sending me the receipt for the book purchased from an independent bookstore.

Mail your receipt to PO Box 1152, Freedom CA 95019, or email it to bees at oldsite.laurierking.com (substitute @)—either way, I need it by Monday, May 17—and I’ll put your name in a hat to draw from on Wednesday at the God of the Hive Grand Finale event in Scottsdale’s Poisoned Pen Bookstore.

And may the best Indy customer win!

At the other end of the story arc, what about those events referred to in the story, the profound changes the Robert Goodman case threatened to have on Britain’s Intelligence community? The final episode of “A Case in Correspondence” is going up here tomorrow, followed next week by the story in its entirety on the web site.  Read, ponder, and ask yourself what effect Mary Russell had on the United Kingdom…

(I find this the fun part of the Web, being able to play the game and share peripheral material about the actual published stories.  I hope you agree.)

Doing good & doing well

Q: What do these names have in common: Glen Miranker, David Scheiman, Richard Sosa, Chris Williams, and Alice Wright?

A: Each of these good folk has a doppelganger in the fiction of one Laurie R. King.

About once a book, I donate a character name to one charity or another.  This year, the charity is Heifer International.  On May 19, I’ll draw a name from a hat, based on people who have donated $60 to the Team LRK page since December.

You have until Sunday to catch your chance at a naming.  Multiples of $60 will be entered multiple times.  And every donor will win my thanks, and the warm feeling of helping people help themselves.

A Case in Correspondence: Week Twenty

What’s this I see? Mary Russell has a new post over on her MySpace page? Episodes of “A Case in Correspondence” will appear there Wednesdays throughout our Twenty Weeks of Buzz, and on Fridays you can find them here at Mutterings.

What on earth are the world’s greatest detective and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, up to now?

Whew—twenty weeks!

Back in December, we opened up a new and beautiful web site, and kicked off the Twenty Weeks of Buzz, to celebrate and speculate about my books. I chose the number because The God of the Hive would be my twentieth novel, and I wanted to write a brief essay about each book.  I also wanted to create a Mary Russell short story in 20 parts—its final episode will post on MySpace Wednesday, and here on Mutterings Friday.  Next week, we’ll put up the entire thing so you can read it from the beginning.

During these 20 weeks, readers have matched me every step along the way, contributing art works, doing crossword puzzles, writing essays for the various contests, participating in library events, and shooting a whole lot of Twitters back and forth across the ether.  We’ve given away books, ARCs, and illustrated short story broadsides.  Readers sent me Sherlockisms, donated money to the Heifer International page, and wrestled with the aspidistra and got tipsy at Mary Russell’s Twitter party.

We are now in the twentieth week.  The God of the Hive has been on shelves for thirteen days, and because of you, is on bestseller lists across the country, from the Independent booksellers to the New York Times.

Thank you, for all of it.

I hope you’ve found something to enjoy here (even if you didn’t win a prize!)  I hope you think this social networking business worthwhile, and the idea of shaping a community around the love of a particular kind of book brings you pleasure and some stimulation.

Frankly, it fills me with wonder, and humility.  I sit in my quiet space and chisel a novel out of the air, and when I look up, people are clapping, and reading, and discussing happily, and madly volunteering to help.  I wrestle with words and a logical sequence of events, and when I finish, those words bring an utterly unexpected degree of meaning and vitality to the lives of the most astonishing variety of people.  I work to shape ideas and characters, then find myself as the key link in a community whose members may live in Oregon or Toronto or Sydney or Jerusalem, but whose imaginations dwell part of the year in a stone cottage in the South Downs.

Again, I thank you.

**

However, we still have ten days until the Grand Finale in Scottsdale on May 19, during which:

*I will be announcing a Grand Prize Winner for the art submissions, to be immortalized as a CafePress t-shirt.

*You have this week to send me your receipts showing you bought The God of the Hive at an independent bookstore, to win “Birth of a Green Man”—for you AND for your bookstore.

*You have until Sunday to send Heifer International $60 for your chance at getting a name in the next Russell & Holmes story, Pirate King.

*And next Tuesday, as a 21-bonus to our set of book essays, I’ll post a blog here called, “Writing a god into being,” about Robert Goodman in The God of the Hive.

(…and then next month, the Virtual Book Club begins their discussion of the book, and we’ll find out how they really feel…)

A Case in Correspondence: Part Nineteen

A series of communications (employing means as varied as re-used post cards and the agony columns of the Times) has come to light between Mary Russell and Other Important People, which will be revealed during the Twenty Weeks of Buzz. It follows the 1992 (not a typo!) tale published last year as MyStory (or, The Case of the Ravening Sherlockians.) The current saga posts in its legible version Wednesdays on Russell’s MySpace blog, then as the original documents Fridays here on Mutterings. To review the story, follow the sequence here.

Many of the messages seem to have been delivered by messenger service or in envelopes since lost—unfortunate for the sake of our research, but perhaps understandable when one considers the momentous gravity of matters at stake.

(I should mention that the full significance of the story will not become clear until one has read The God of the Hive, available now–although members of the Virtual Book Club are debating it nonetheless…)

The Times of London, May 7, 1992:

A Case in Correspondence: Week Nineteen

What’s this I see? Mary Russell has a new post over on her MySpace page? Episodes of “A Case in Correspondence” will appear there Wednesdays throughout our Twenty Weeks of Buzz, and on Fridays you can find them here at Mutterings.

What on earth are the world’s greatest detective and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, up to now?

Penultimate week

Here are the new covers for the three backlist paperbacks, gorgeous things all (click image to enlarge):

And now that you’ve had a week to read (and perhaps reread?) The God of the Hive, you can download a brand new official LRK reading guide on the Reading Guide page. (Careful, there are spoilers.) Make sure to head over to the Virtual Book Club and share your thoughts!

As if that weren’t prize enough, here are the winners for the past weeks’ art contests:

For the Beekeeper’s Gallery contest, it was a close call, but in the end you preferred Rebekah Tilley’s picture of her ARC. Well done Rebekah!

After much debate (and some overenthusiastic voting for one particular contestant), I decided that the Illuminated MyStory entries were all too gorgeous to choose just one. So in the end, we will be sending a broadside of “Birth of the Green Man” to all five contestants. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your marvelous art with us!

For the Russellscape contest, the winner is Joyce Weiner, who submitted Russellscape #28 (as seen to the right). Congratulations Joyce! She will also win a “Birth of the Green Man” broadside.

Over at the Letters of Mary site, we had a tie for first place in the Mary Russell Fan Fiction contest. What suspense! After flipping a coin, the moderator determined the winners to be as follows:

1. Another Case in Correspondence by roseriter
2. Pilgrimage by merrily1945

And last but not least, this week’s contest: the Mary Russell Colo(u)ring Book. Kim has been kind enough to dedicate her entries to another project, which leaves us with the winner: Tamra A. Congrats Tamra, and look for the official colo(u)ring book in the not so distant future!

A very big thank you to all who participated in the art and fan fiction contests. Only one week of the twenty left to go, but the biggest prizes are yet to come. So if you haven’t done so already, make sure to send us your independent bookstore receipt for The God of the Hive or make your donation to Heifer International today.

A Case in Correspondence: Part Eighteen

A series of communications (employing means as varied as re-used post cards and the agony columns of the Times) has come to light between Mary Russell and Other Important People, which will be revealed during the Twenty Weeks of Buzz. It follows the 1992 (not a typo!) tale published last year as MyStory (or, The Case of the Ravening Sherlockians.) The current saga posts in its legible version Wednesdays on Russell’s MySpace blog, then as the original documents Fridays here on Mutterings. To review the story, follow the sequence here.

Many of the messages seem to have been delivered by messenger service or in envelopes since lost—unfortunate for the sake of our research, but perhaps understandable when one considers the momentous gravity of matters at stake.

(I should mention that the full significance of the story will not become clear until one has read The God of the Hive, available now–although members of the Virtual Book Club are debating it nonetheless…)

(Click on the image below to enlarge.)

A Case in Correspondence: Week Eighteen

What’s this I see? Mary Russell has a new post over on her MySpace page? Episodes of “A Case in Correspondence” will appear there Wednesdays throughout our Twenty Weeks of Buzz, and on Fridays you can find them here at Mutterings.

What on earth are the world’s greatest detective and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, up to now?

The day before the day…

I started writing this post in London on Sunday morning, in a family kitchen, listening to the click of the heating system sending warmth towards the radiators.  This is a location achieved after one local French train, one high-speed French train, one highly entertaining Paris taxi ride (French/Algerian rap music and a warning about the gypsy pickpocket girls at the gare), one Eurostar chunnel ride (during most of which I slept, although I was awake enough to regret not getting a first class seat), a tube ride on the Piccadilly line (packed with teenagers—I’d forgotten it was the weekend), and a local London bus.  From pre-dawn in a village in France, listening to birdsong while the dark gave up its secrets, to evening in a garden in London, drinking tea and listening to the Polish neighbors at their barbecue, twelve hours and 500 miles.

And tonight, I am scheduled to be on a flight to New York.  About which, as we have just been strongly reminded, we take nothing for granted.

(UPDATE: Yes, the plane made it, I made it, and I am writing the rest of this in NY.)

However, if everything goes as planned, tomorrow I will be on another train, heading north out of New York towards Boston.  Tomorrow morning, people will open their computers and see a newsletter, reminding them that it is launch day for The God of the Hive. Tomorrow, bookstores will display that luscious cover in a prominent place, people will rush in and snatch it off the shelves (one hopes, paying for it before they leave) and dive inside.  And tomorrow night, I will stand up in Boston’s public library and celebrate the publication of the book.

I love this book.  I am happy with it, and proud of everything about it, from my own writing to the way the characters came to life, from the title we eventually settled on to the artwork on the cover.  It has a couple of the characters I’ve most enjoyed writing, both protagonist and antagonist, and it has what I think is perhaps my best-ever ending.

And lest the other new additions to the family feel slighted, this week’s drawing is of ALL THE RUSSELL PAPERBACKS.  That’s right, a copy of all nine trade-sized paperbacks, to go to someone who opens the e-newsletter we send out tomorrow.

This week, which is Eighteen of the Twenty Weeks of Buzz, we’ll announce the winner of the Illuminated MyStory contest (after some discussion—there was a question about the validity of some of the votes) and we’ll open voting on the Russellscape contest (one vote per person, please!)

Next week we’ll be posting a readers’ guide to The God of the Hive—although it’s rich in spoilers, so you might want to wait until you’ve read the book.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in these past eighteen weeks, and stick with us for the final two: prizes and surprises to come!

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