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Where Are They Now: 2012 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2012 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2012, our theme was tales retold, and our Guests of Honor were Nalo Hopkinson and Malinda Lo. Our third invited guest, Kate Bernheimer, was unable to attend.

Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo HopkinsonFalling in Love with Hominids

Nalo’s recent publications include her second short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids in 2015, and the story “Waving at Trains” in the Boston Review’s 2017 literary issue (check out an interview with Nalo on that work). She is also part of a quartet of fantasy authors re-launching Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Universe, as the writer of the third installment, House of Whispers, coming in September 2018.

Nalo’s book Brown Girl in the Ring was the inspiration for the feature film Brown Girl Begins, which screened in select North American cities in February 2018 and had a limited release in Toronto in March 2018. You can view the trailer here.

You can find more updates on Nalo’s work over on her Patreon page. Her future goals include finishing her novel-in-progress, currently titled Blackheart Man, and making a solid start on her next novel, Duppy Jacket, and continuing her graphic novel Nancy Jack.

Where She Is Now: “I now live in Southern California in the U.S., and am a professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside, where I’m a member of a faculty research cluster in Science Fiction.” (Source) Earlier in 2018, Nalo was named the 2018 recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award, as part of Eagle-Con. (Source)

 

Malinda Lo

Malinda LoA Line in the Dark

In October 2017, Malinda’s novel A Line in the Dark was released to tremendous accolade, with Teen Vogue calling it a “twisty, dark psychological thriller that will leave you guessing til the very end.” It was a Kirkus Best YA Book of 2018, a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2018, and one of Chicago Public Library’s Best Teen Fiction of 2017. Malinda’s next novel is Last Night at the Telegraph Club, a “story of love and duty that explores the complicated overlap between the city’s Chinese-American and LGBTQ communities” set in 1950s San Francisco. Publication is planned for 2019.

Malinda is also a frequent contributor to anthologies and other group works. Her short story “New Year” can be found in All Out edited by Saundra Mitchell, published this past February; she wrote the essay “Keep Doing What You’re Doing” for the Maureen Johnson-edited How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, out this past May; and you can find Malinda’s short story “Meet Cute” in Fresh Ink, a We Need Diverse Books YA anthology edited by Lamar Giles, coming out later in August.

Malinda also collaborates with a team of writers on the Ellen Kushner-led serial novel, Tremontaine, which is about to begin its fourth “season” in September 2018.

Where She Is Now: She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog. (Source) Malinda also provides an in-depth update on her blog for the year 2017 going into 2018.

Upcoming Appearances: Brooklyn Book Festival on September 16, 2018 in Brooklyn, NY; Boston Teen Author Festival on September 22, 2018 in Cambridge, MA.

 

Where Are They Now: 2011 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2011 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2011, our theme was monsters, and our Guests of Honor were Justine Larbalestier, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laini Taylor.

Justine Larbalestier

Justine LarbalestierMy Sister Rosa

Justine’s latest novel is My Sister Rosa, which came out in November 2016 and was recently released in paperback in December 2017. In this contemporary young adult thriller, Che begins to suspect that his “smart, talented, pretty” ten-year-old sister Rosa is a psychopath, while their parents brush off the warning signs as her “acting out.” My Sister Rosa was a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2016 and a Publishers Weekly Best Young Adult Book of 2016. It also recently won the 2018 Adelaide Festival Young Adult Fiction Award.

Where She Is Now: Living in New York City with occasional returns to Sydney.

 

Nnedi Okorafor

OkoraforBinti: The Night Masquerade

Nnedi’s popular Binti trilogy concluded in January 2018 with Binti: The Night Masquerade. The series’s first two novels have received several accolates; Binti won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella, and Binti: Home is a Hugo and Nommo award finalist for 2018. All three novellas will be reissued in hardcover with brand new covers—and a foreword from 2017 Sirens Guest of Honor N. K. Jemisin—on July 24, 2018.

For young readers, Akata Warrior, the sequel to Akata Witch, was released in October 2017. It recently won the Locus Award for best young adult novel.

Nnedi is also making a huge splash in the comics world, having written four issues of Black Panther: Long Live the King and contributed to Marvel’s Venomverse War Stories No. 1 anthology with “Blessing in Disguise.” She also has several projects in the works or announced and coming later this year: Antar: The Black Knight, LaGuardia, and Wakanda Forever (of which the first issue was just released).

Filmmakers and studios are also adapting Nnedi’s work: her short story “Hello Moto” was turned into a short film by award-winning filmmaker C.J. “Fiery” Obas called “Hello, Rain.” Nnedi’s award-winning novel Who Fears Death has been optioned by HBO and is now in early development as a TV series with George R. R. Martin as executive producer. You can also check out Nnedi’s unmissable TED talk, on “Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa,” which was recorded last November.

Where She Is Now: She lives in Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo and family. Nnedi is also a full professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Buffalo.

Upcoming Appearances: Special Guest at AMA-Con, held August 4-5, 2018 in Amarillo, TX. Speaker at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in March 2019.

 

Laini Taylor

Laini TaylorMuse of Nightmares

Laini’s most recent work is Strange the Dreamer, an “epic fantasy about a mythic lost city and its dark past,” featuring a junior librarian and a blue-skinned goddess who appears in his dreams. Originally published in March 2016 as an instant New York Times bestseller, it went on to win a 2018 Michael L. Printz Honor for excellence in young adult literature in the United States. Laini recently appeared at the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans to accept her award. The paperback of Strange the Dreamer was released this past May.

The second and final book, sequel to Strange the Dreamer, is Muse of Nightmares, which comes out on November 27, 2018.

Fans of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy will be delighted to know that Night of Cake and Puppets, the novella featuring Karou’s friends Zuzana and Mik and originally published electronically, came out in hardcover in September 2017.

Where She Is Now: “I live in Portland, Oregon, USA with my husband Jim Di Bartolo, who is an amazing illustrator and who I’m always begging to draw me things, and with our wee droll genius, Clementine Pie.

Upcoming Appearances: With author Jeff Giles, at Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills, Oregon on July 12.

 

Where Are They Now: 2010 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2010 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2010, our theme was faeries, and our Guests of Honor were Holly Black, Marie Brennan, and Terri Windling.

Holly Black

Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince

Holly returns to the dark world of faerie featured in Tithe with The Cruel Prince, which was an immediate bestseller when it came out in January 2018. First in the Folk of the Air trilogy, it features “a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.” Holly went on a six-city author tour for The Cruel Prince—check out a recap here! Fans of Holly’s previous tales of faerie will be delighted to know that this takes place in the same realm as Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, as well as the standalone, The Darkest Part of the Forest. Book two, The Wicked King, releases next January 9, 2019.

In addition to her young adult novels, Holly co-authors the Magisterium series with Cassandra Clare for middle grade readers. The conclusion of the series, The Golden Tower, comes out September 11, 2018.

Where She Is Now: Working on, we’re sure, books two and three of the Folk of the Air trilogy; living in Massachusetts with her husband Theo and her son Sebastian in a house with a secret library. Also, did you know that Holly has real life elf ears now?

Upcoming Public Appearances: Special Guest at ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX

 

Marie Brennan

Marie BrennanWithin the Sanctuary of Wings

We’ll let Marie share the exciting news herself: “It’s been a busy eight years since I had the honor of being a guest at Sirens! My most recent series, the Memoirs of Lady Trent, has done really well: the first book, A Natural History of Dragons, was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award and won the Prix Imaginales for Best Translated Novel in France; the second book, The Tropic of Serpents, was also nominated for the Prix Imaginales as well as the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the fifth and final book, Within the Sanctuary of Wings [editor’s note: published April 2017], recently won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and the series as a whole is a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Series, with results to come at WorldCon in August.”

Marie also contributes episodes to the Serial Box serial fiction novel, Born to the Blade, of which the first season is available now.

Where She Is Now: “I just finished writing a standalone sequel to the Memoirs, a book about Lady Trent’s granddaughter, black market antiquities smuggling, and the translation of a lost epic from the Draconean civilization. I also bought my first house a couple of years ago, which has been an adventure all on its own!”

 

Terri Windling

Terri WindlingDartmoor Mythic Arts

Terri began a Patreon as of Fall 2017, which provides a wealth of glimpses into her life in the Devon countryside. Terri has several projects in the works, including:

  • A lightly illustrated novel for middle grade readers “set in a magical version of rural Devon,” involving her “bunny girl” and animal spirit characters

  • The Moon Wife, a novel for adults, loosely connected to her award-winning The Wood Wife

  • A Story of Stories, a collection of Terri’s essays on folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy

  • With Ellen Kushner, “Rat and Blade,” a novella for Bordertown, a shared-world urban fantasy series for teens

  • Paintings, collages, prints and cards, including a “bunny girls” coloring book

In May 2016, Terri gave the fourth annual Tolkien lecture at Oxford, titled “Tolkien’s Long Shadow: Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era.”

Where She Is Now: From Terri’s Patreon Overview page: “I live in a small village on Dartmoor surrounded by mythic artists and sheep. I work from The Bumblehill Studio, my faithful hound usually curled up beside me, and I write a daily blog about myth, art, and nature, called Myth & Moor.”

 

Where Are They Now: 2009 Guests of Honor

This fall will mark our tenth year of Sirens. With our conference theme of reunion, it’s the perfect chance to reflect on past conferences and revisit some old friends. In this series, we check in with our past Guests of Honor to see what they’ve been up to these days. If you attended Sirens that year, please share with us your memories of 2009 in the comments or on social media, and take a stroll with us down memory lane!

In 2009, our theme was warriors, and our inaugural Guests of Honor were Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, and Sherwood Smith.

Tamora Pierce

Tamora PierceTempests and Slaughter

Tamora’s most recent publication is Tempests and Slaughter, the first book in the long-anticipated Numair Chronicles, which came out in February 2018. The series follows the early life of the Tortall Universe’s most powerful mage, Arram Draper, in his early days as a student, before he grows into Numair Salmalin and partner of wildmage Veralidaine Sarrarsri. Tempests and Slaughter hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and Tamora completed a multi-city book tour a few months ago—you can read her recap post here.

For longtime fans of the Tortall Universe, Tortall: A Spy’s Guide, a full-color, behind-the-scenes collectible guide, came out in October 2017.

Where She Is Now: Hard at work on the second book of the Numair series, for which three books are planned. “She has some ideas for her next series—and there will be a next series!—but for the time being, there are no other projects planned and scheduled after the Numair Chronicles.

Upcoming Public Appearances: Guest at Denver Comic-Con 2018

 

Kristin Cashore

Kristin CashoreJane, Unlimited

Kristin’s latest book, Jane, Unlimited, came out in September 2017 to awe, acclaim, and brain-twisting. Described as “a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices,” Jane, Unlimited made the list of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) 2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults, was an Indie Next Top Ten Pick, and hit both the New York Times Bestseller List and the Indiebound Bestseller List.

Jane, Unlimited’s newly re-jacketed paperback will come out on July 10, 2018.

Where She Is Now: Releasing a tenth anniversary edition of Graceling this September. In October, she’s going to be sailing on a tall ship in the Arctic Circle with other artists: “It’s a two-week artist residency organized by an organization called The Arctic Circle which sends artists into that vulnerable environment in the hopes that it will influence their art, which will then influence consumers to are about saving the environment.”

 

Sherwood Smith

Sherwood SmithA Sword Named Truth

After a few postponements, Sherwood’s first book in a new series, A Sword Named Truth, has a tentative release date of December 8, 2018. For longtime fans of Sartorias-deles, the world in which the Inda and Crown Duel books are set (as well as Banner of the Damned), this series marks a major new arc, in which “young rulers must cooperate to protect their world from the magical threat of the mysterious kingdom of Norsunder.

Also, Traitor, the fourth and last of The Change series co-written with Rachel Manija Brown, will come out this year.

For fans of Sherwood’s Wren series, you’ll be pleased to discover that an omnibus edition (including the long-awaited Wren Journeymage) is available as an ebook.

Where She Is Now: Planning to independently publish The Time of Daughters, set 100 years after Inda, this summer. It deals with “the long shadow cast by Inda & Co. And power. And gender.

Upcoming Public Appearances: Instructor at Viable Paradise 2018

 

Presented by Narrate Conferences, Inc.

 

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