The new book is out! If you are on the email list, then you've already read the first little bit:
Thank you all for your patience. It was touch and go there on the deadline. But the Amazon archons have given the nod and the ebook is now available for the princely sum of USD $4.44:
It is available in all other Amazon country stores too. Just navigate from the US link.
Pieces of Eight is kindle-only which means it only drinks Amazon juice. So here is how you can help:
- If you are planning on buying the book, please do so in the next 24 hours. The Amazonbots take that as a signal that fives and sixes of people out there are totally interested in chaos magic. Apparently day one is a big deal. Welcome to the future, eh?
- As ever, please, please review it and give it a star rating, particularly my American brethren and sistren. The US site is top of the Amazon 'influence tree' when it comes to reviews. It's just how they've built the network.
This isn't just a writing thing, but more of a creative thing in general.... actually it probably applies across all large or complex projects. Two experiences appear universal:
Firstly, once a project is released -once it's out of your hands- you have a quiet moment where you look out across the wasteland of your life. It's like the closing moments of a martial arts fight scene where the hero looks back across the completely-destroyed inn littered with bodies and broken furniture. The previous week has been a blur of insomnia, line editing pages strewn about the house like a haunted library, oven fries at 2am because you skipped breakfast and piles of clothing and other avoided responsibilities everywhere. There's a quiet but satisfying fatigue involved. It's. Done.
Secondly, you're really only partially in control of the experience, particularly toward the end. The 'whole' emerges from the gloom of your own unconscious and gets more and more solid as the end date gets closer.
About two thirds of the way through any creative project, you fucking hate the thing in a very Frankenstein-and-his-monster way. It feels dead or incomplete. It is only in the last third that the lightning you harness gets taken up by your monster or it doesn't. It was at that two-thirds mark that I thought Pieces of Eight needed a monograph to accompany Campfire's Edge... presumably because I had been working on the presentation at the same time as the book.
The first couple of weeks of July, I wrote most of the monograph and hated every minute of it. The monster wasn't responding to the lightning. Then last weekend I moved some stuff around, took Campfire's Edge out and... there it was. Breathing on the table. (The monograph will come out as a blog post some time in the next few weeks.)
Over the course of the last week of drafting and line editing and such, the personality of the book showed up. It's very different. It's more densely packed into a smaller space than the previous two projects, like Nibbler's poop or something. I guess I find that interesting given that -being an ebook- it also doesn't have any physical form. And I knew from the outset Pieces of Eight was always going to be ebook-only. I just wasn't really sure why. I think that density/ephemerality tension is part of it. But, as promised in the Facebook group, there are also a number of other reasons that gradually occurred/revealed themselves over the course of writing it.
- I need this book to be, in some sense, in your head rather than on your shelf. It needs to be there to unpack that unwriteable fourth book I mentioned.
- I wanted full sovereignty over the whole process, largely out of intellectual curiosity. I get so many comments about how beautiful an object Star.Ships is -which it is- but that is entirely thanks to Alkistis's artistry. I just wrote the thing. Could I commission art and lay out a book and select fonts and so on? It's so much more work than people realise but it is a challenge I was up for.
- As I was laying out the enchantment section I had an odd sensation/future memory of someone needing the Sumerian ghost banishing spell in a pinch and realising she can access it on the kindle app on her phone. (If this is actually a future memory, it happens to a she. Get in touch if it happens to you!)
- There's something about the density of the content and the fact that recall rates are lower with ebooks compared to print that feels to me like each re-read will be a new experience... particularly if you jump from phone to tablet to desktop or what have you, and particularly if you do so in different locations.
From a magical perspective, the book cohered over the last week which was the same week my new digs started to feel like home: I 'found' my spirits again, the wards went up over the property and stuck -which triggered some fascinating phenomena I'll post about in due time- and the presence of Pieces of Eight out in the world feels like a definitive line has been drawn under 'Phase 1/The London Era'.
I hope you like it. It's very personal. The previous two books are on specific topics. This one has my perspectives and my enchantments. It feels a bit like you are reading my diary. And I hope you 'get' what I mean about the unwriteable fourth book. A couple of you have already which is just... well, actually it's a huge relief.
So it's all done now. In the coming months I'm really looking forward to doing some digital rearranging, improving the members section of the site, moving onto some more standalone projects and posting to this blog more.
But first... the laundry.