Are You An Orphan?

The day has finally arrived–and it couldn’t be a more perfect day for a book-birth. My not-so-little conglomeration of dark and dastardly fairy tales enters the world on Halloween. The Orphan’s Tales: Vol. I: In the Night Garden is out and toddling in the world, available all over the internet and at most any bookstore you can walk into–she is born, she has at least fourteen fingers and toes, and the attendant angels are still wandering about asking after cigars. So it’s time for this post, which some of you know all too well and some of you don’t. Everything you every wanted to know about my first major-press book is in here, and many things you probably didn’t. Here we go!

The Basics

  • First off, thank you to everyone who bought copies, pre-ordered copies throughout the last year, beta-read and followed the LJ through this whole insane process, supported me and helped this book see print. I started this project four years ago ’round about now, and I can’t really believe, even still, that the random “Hey! You know what would be cool?” moment is actually manifest in a huge stack of books in the corner of my room. To everyone who has helped in the smallest way and bore witness to this craziness, which has included the blogosphere since before there was a blogosphere: thank you, thank you.
  • The Orphan’s Tales is available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Clarkesworld, and basically anywhere you care to look for books. The cheapest price currently is at Clarkesworld, and they also have signed copies for pre-order here. However, you should be able to get it on the ground at the big booksellers, unlike my previous books.
  • If you want your copy signed, mail it to me with the cost of return postage and I will sign it for you. Email me for my address if you don’t already know it. Or find me at any one of the readings and conventions I’ll be doing over the next year. Chances are I’ll be near you sooner or later–next cons are World Fantasy, Arisia, Boskone, and Lunacon.
  • I know there are some of you who just can’t afford it, but genuinely want to read it, even at Amazon’s 30% off. If you really, really honestly can’t afford it, I have a few spare copies and I’ll consider trades. Good old bartering system.

How You Can Help (if, you know, you’re inclined to do things like helping out young authors. And if you like the book, which is by no means certain.)

  • Buy the book. Obviously. I mean, this is the most direct way–if you haven’t bought a copy already, snap one up.
  • Link to the book in your journals/websites–colloquially known as “pimping.” Please to be pimping. And if you are or have the ear of any of the high-traffic bloggers, see if they’d/you’d like to wear the pimp hat for a day. This is kind of my big shot at making a career out of this whole writing gig, so if you ever wanted to help out, now is the time, and this is the book to spread around. Please do get the word out, if you can. If you want me to cross-link to any of your work in exchange, let me know.
  • Review it. On your blog, or elsewhere if you work for a review site or a magazine. This is a little different than my small press books in that I don’t have a pdf to send you. If you work for a review venue I might be able to get you a review copy, but I have far less control over this part of the process than I used to. Also, if you don’t like the book and give it a bad review, I am not going to hate you. I promise not to flame you or call you in the middle of the night. Obviously, I hope you like it, but if you don’t, you don’t. It’ll sting, but I won’t curse your progeny unto the end of time or respond to your Amazon reviews or anything.
  • Host a house concert at which SJ Tucker and I will read and sing you silly. Contact me for more info–this is by far the easiest way to get us out to your part of the world.
  • Put up a review on Amazon. Totally easy and a nice way to get the ball rolling over there. Amazon provides a couple of ways to help out–you can make a Listmania list or a So You’d Like to guide that includes The Orphan’s Tales, too.
  • Ask your local booksellers to carry it, if they don’t already.
  • Join

    and discuss the book! Please note, though, that I do not run and have no control over that community. I have a discussion board on the Night Shade Books site if you want to chat about it there, which I do run.

  • Use one of the icons below.

Ultimately, read the book and talk to people about it. I have never worked so hard or so long on any book, and if you were to only read one of mine, this would be it. It is far more accessible than my previous work, so if you were scared off by the crazy surrealist prose, have no fear, come inside. And if you were ever inclined to give me a hand by linking to something or reviewing something, please, please do so now.

Fun Stuff

  • The Podcast Collage will be up soon–I’ll get everyone their lines ASAP after World Fantasy. This will go up on, which is the central location for all subsequent fun Orphans things, of which more will be going up over the next weeks. You can listen to SJ Tucker’s EP there, and buy a copy, read excerpts, take quizzes (soon), and suchlike. It is also a singularly beautiful website, and you should go see it just for aesthetics.
  • For The Girl in the Garden is Tucker’s stunning EP of music based on the book–listen to the title track here!  You can buy it from the merchandise page of, and really, really should. I’ve now heard the whole thing and…just wow. I’ve been singing the songs in my head for days. I’ve never heard anything like it, and the pirate crew song alone moves me to tears with its utter fabulousness.
  • Icons! Below are 24 icons–some old, most new. Use them as you like–just tell me which ones you took and credit me in some post or other. If you want me to make an icon of your favorite character or line or what have you and I haven’t covered it, I’ll take requests. Also, feel free to make your own Tales-themed or “my fandom” icons–I’m an icon nut (clearly) and I’d love to see whatever you come up with. If nothing else, a scan of these will give you a pretty good idea of what the book is about.

I think that’s about it. Thank you to anyone who uses an icon or does any of the above Helpful Things. If there’s anything I didn’t cover, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer.

It’s happening, actually happening. Pinch me–once I finish the next book. In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy the stories–and in case you forgot along the way what this book is actually about, I leave you with the back cover copy:

Every once in a great while a book comes along that reminds us of the magic spell that stories can cast over us — dazzle, entertain, and enlighten. Welcome to the Arabian Nights for our time — a lush and fantastical epic guaranteed to spirit you away from the very first page.

Secreted away in a garden, a lonely girl spins stories to warm a curious prince: peculiar feats and unspeakable fates that loop through each other and back again to meet in the tapestry of her voice. Inked on her eyelids, each twisting, tattooed tale is a piece in the puzzle of the girl’s own hidden history. And what tales she tells! Tales of shape-shifting witches and wild horsewomen, heron kings and beast princesses, snake gods, dog monks, and living stars — each story more strange and fantastic than the one that came before. From ill-tempered “mermaid” to fastidious Beast, nothing is ever quite what it seems in these ever-shifting tales — even, and especially, their teller. Adorned with illustrations by the legendary Michael Kaluta, Valente’s enchanting lyrical fantasy offers a breathtaking reinvention of the untold myths and dark fairy tales that shape our dreams. And just when you think you’ve come to the end, you realize the adventure has only begun…

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