This Writing Life

The updates keep piling up, and I keep being too busy to post any of them. There was supposed to be a brief window to relax in right about now, but just as I reached it, the copy-edited manuscript for Warrior and Witch arrived on my doorstep. <sigh>

Anyway. Further reports of Doppelganger, all over the place; unless you’re in Hawaii (where my parents are right now), it ought to be in stock.

Or unless they’ve sold out. Which has happened in a few places.


I’ve gotten some extremely nice e-mails from readers, one of which told me to take the Amazon reviews with a grain of salt, since I’d probably end up with people declaring me the coolest thing since sliced Tolkien and others howling that I can’t write worth a rat’s ass. This prodded me to go check Amazon again (which I hadn’t done in a couple of days), where I found four reviews had been posted: the Harriet Klausner one from a while ago, Mike’s very flattering words, and two others that were entirely new to me. No Tolkien comparisons yet, but I’m entirely fine without those, and more to the point, no rat’s ass comparisons yet, either.

Having nothing whatsoever to measure this experience against, I can’t really evaluate it based on anything more than gut feeling, but so far, my gut is quite happy. Doppelganger is on the “New in Paperback” stand-alone racks in a number of Barnes & Noble stores, and an endcap display in at least one Borders, which is always good to hear; visibility can help sales along. I don’t know when I’ll first see sales numbers — whether those are quarterly, yearly, or what. I also don’t know when I’m likely to start seeing trade-publication reviews; we’ll see how those go.

Now, in writing news that has nothing whatsoever to do with Doppelganger, I just got pointed at a review of Summoned to Destiny, the anthology my first story “White Shadow” appeared in. It very nearly had me fainting out of my chair. A sample:

Brennan’s story achieves the elegance of a Bruce Holland Rogers fable, and is told in a voice as assured as Le Guin in her early Earthsea writings. The same sparse directness of scene; the same simple sentence structure, yielding prose passages of surpassing clarity and power.

I think I’m going to go hug that review and giggle until it’s time to head to class.

0 Responses to “This Writing Life”

  1. unforth

    Well, for more goodness then, the content of Border’s endcaps is largely mandated (though there are occasional “put new stuff on here” ones), which means if it was on one it’s very likely that it’s on many others. 🙂
    Congrats again, I can’t wait til I have time to read Doppelganger, it’s on the top of my pile of books to read. 😉

  2. sapphohestia

    I just finished! I very much liked it, though the number of excerpts at the end made the ending seem too soon. I wasn’t quite sure what there was left to resolve, but I figured that mass of 30+ pages meant something else was afoot until I realized there wasn’t another chapter. *g* I’m looking forward to the sequel.

    • Marie Brennan

      <lol> Yeah, I’ve had that happen to me before. (It’s somewhat less pleasing than thinking I have five pages of an article left to read, and discovering it’s all bibliography.)

      • unforth

        That’s why I’ve gotten in the habit of checking what the last page is – in fiction, so I won’t be disappointed, and in articles, so I can tell myself, “thank god, it’s shorter than it looks” 😉 (I don’t find Library Science articles all that stimulating for the most part, I can’t imagine why not… 😉 )

  3. elizaeffect

    I think I’m going to go hug that review and giggle until it’s time to head to class.

    Oh jeez, that’s exactly what I would do. Party it up. I get vicarious *squee* just by reading your LJ. Hooray for you! (I’ll read the book soon!) 😛

  4. kateelliott

    I saw it yesterday on the new paperbacks table, out in front, of the Waikele Borders, in Hawaii.

  5. deadboxoffice

    When I went into B & N to buy your book last week they had about a dozen copies left. I bought one and gave it to my s.o. Elyse (she reads a lot more than I do). Ryan bought two, and gave one to one of our employees who is a big fantasy geek. I went back this week to buy another copy for myself, and they were sold out. I guess that I’ll just have to wait until the movie version comes out instead. 😉

    You go home-girl!


  6. princess706

    Did you get my message? I was so excited for you!

    • Marie Brennan

      Yes, and sorry I didn’t call you back or anything! It’s fantastic to know that a store employee’s getting excited about the book, because that means they’re more likely to hand-sell it. And that can help a lot.

  7. gollumgollum

    I know someone faaaa-mous!1 I know someone faaaa-mous!1

    (Hey, *somebody* had to do it. 😉

    Congrats!1 I’d better hustle my butt out and get a copy. From what i’ve heard, it’s worth every penny.


  8. Anonymous


    DOPPELGANGER is a good read, but I really wouldn’t compare it to Tolkien. First off, there aren’t very many points of similiarity; Tolkien deals in very clear-cut archetypes, whereas DOPPELGANGER has more of a modern sensibility of gray areas. Plus, Tolkien created an entire mythology in great detail, with a number of well-realized languages and histories spanning 6000+ years; there’s been no fantasy author since him to achive what he did on the level that he did, so comparing a contemporary fantasy writer to him is kind of unfair. Tolkien had an entire lifetime to create Middle-earth.


    • Marie Brennan


      No, and I don’t think the person’s point was that Doppelganger is similar at all — just that people do have a documented tendency to throw Tolkien’s name around when they get enthusiastic about fantasy, even when it’s really not a suitable comparison.

      • Anonymous


        Yes. And if anyone ever equals Tolkien’s achievement, s/he probably won’t be a professional fantasy writer–Tolkien was foremost an academic with an extensive background in language, philology and myth; it was those interests and passions that gave birth to Middle-earth and LOTR. To survive as a pro writer, you have to turn out a good deal of work–one book every 15-20 years won’t keep you afloat financially. (And most of what Tolkien wrote was never published in his lifetime–indeed, it wasn’t even in publishable form when he died; he devoted an entire lifetime to a singular vision; that’s the reason his work is so expansive and detailed; when you can spend 40+ years on something, you have the opportunity to develop it to the maximum.)


Comments are closed.