In Which I Squee Over the Latest Caitlín R. Kiernan
Oh wait. It’s not March 6 in the Western Hemisphere yet. Dammit. Which means I’ll probably have to wait a few more hours or so before I can purchase Caitlín R. Kiernan’s latest novel, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Such is the life of an expat on the other side of the planet from his home hemisphere; you get used to it. I’ve waited this long. I can wait a little longer.
Kiernan, while perhaps not as prolific as compared to some in the popular fiction biz – she’s not given to writing 5-book story arcs of a 1,000 pages each – she nevertheless publishes short fiction regularly and will have nine novels to her credit with The Drowning Girl, as well as several collections of her short works. She also publishes a monthly series of vignettes, Sirenia Digest, self-described as “a monthly journal of the weirdly erotic (to which yours truly naturally subscribes).
It was within the electronic pages of Sirenia Digest (Vol. 7, No. 1) early last year that Kiernan presented us a glimpse of what was to come in The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, with the release of the first chapter. To say that I’ve been waiting with bated breath since then would be an understatement. It would also be a lie, because I naturally have had to breathe every moment of every day since then, in order to remain in this plane of existence. But it was one those things that while patently false in terms of fact, is nevertheless absolutely true in terms of truth.
I suppose I have to confess to being a Kiernan fan; I have been since I read her first published novel Silk, upon the recommendation of a bookstore employee who saw me perusing Poppy Z. Brite’s shelf, looking for any works that I had missed – remember, this was the early days of The Aughts (the previous decade), before ebook readers and Kindles and whatnat, and authors’ online presences were somewhat limited.
Each subsequent novel has not disappointed. If a writer can be said to paint, then Kiernan is a master painter; she creates impressionistic works of a vivid, colorful-yet-dark reality in which her characters come alive. She is definitely among my top favorite authors living or dead, and amongst the tippy top of authors who are alive that publish fiction.
I find Kiernan’s Livejournal blog compulsive reading; recently she concluded a stint of posting everyday for a year. Her blog provides a unique insight into the working writer’s life and world of publishing popular fiction. It should be required reading for everyone aspiring to “The Writer’s Life;” be careful what you wish for. Even when she talks about the weather, she makes it an interesting read, putting it into a personal context: she longs for the springs and autumns of her native American South, but finds the culture of the Northeast much more compatible, making its bitter winters bearable.
Kiernan recently announced on her blog that the video trailer for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir was now live on her site. I’ve embedded it below. As a devotee of her previous work I can say that the video effectively captures the spirit and tone of Kiernan’s work. I can’t say that specifically about the novel, not having read it yet – God, it’s been so hard not to read some of the reviews based on advanced review copies that have cropped up already – but again, I think I’m familiar enough with her work to say this.
Besides, this isn’t some snazzy claptrap put together by her publisher’s marketing people; Kiernan herself did the hiring and was directly involved with the production – she often wrote about the experience on her blog.
Needless to say, it made me “squee!” with delight – figuratively speaking – when I saw this trailer. The fact that I’ve had to wait almost three years since her previous novel, The Red Tree, makes the fact that he next novel is almost here that much more special. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in this context anticipation is sweet torture.
You can also find The Drowning Girl trailer on Caitlín R. Kiernan’s website, along with more information about it and her previous novel, The Red Tree. Click through to YouTube to see the video in all its HD glory; it’s worth it.
P.S. By the time I finished writing this it was already 1:35 a.m. EST in the United States – and yet I still couldn’t buy The Drowning Girl: A Memoir off Amazon; it was still offering me the preorder link with the helpful statement that it would be released March 6.
P.P.S. At 5:30 a.m. EST, I checked back and was able to purchase. Squee!