Catching up

Dear curious reader,

First let me say thank you for all your messages and emails. It would be a lonely endeavor to write a blog and maintain a website if it all just disappeared into a great, silent void. I’m so glad to hear from you.

During the past few months, some of you have asked questions that I want to catch up with today:

Is The Snow Child cover art available as a print or in another form? I agree —  both the US and UK editions have covers beautiful enough to hang on the wall. So far no one has gone that additional step and offered prints to sell.  The art for the US cover is by the Italian artist Shout, also known as Alessandro Gottardo. You can see more of  his artwork here. Cover designer Keith Hayes with Little, Brown and Company then took the art work and designed the overall cover. In the UK, credit for the cover goes to Patrick Insole at Headline Publishing. I will certainly mention your request to buy prints to both my publishers.

Will there be a movie of The Snow Child? If and when a film is in the works, I will certainly let you all know.

Do I have any US book tours planned? Not currently. I will be in New York City at the beginning of December for the Center for Fiction Awards Dinner, and later in the spring I will be Oregon (more on that soon.) And as I mentioned in my last letter, I will be in London on a short book tour soon. I so appreciate your kind requests that I come to bookstores in your part of the world. If the opportunity arises, I will certainly announce any travel plans here on my blog.

Can you still enter Little, Brown and Company’s Snow Day Sweepstakes?
Yes, the contest is open until Dec. 6 to win a basket full of Snow Child goodies for your book club. Click here to learn more. Unfortunately, it’s only open to US readers.

Am I working on another book? Yes, whenever time allows. It won’t be a sequel to The Snow Child, but so far it includes some similarities — set in historical Alaska with mythological elements.

What am I reading right now? I was down with a cold-flu illness this past weekend, so I read a lot. At the enthusiastic request of my 13-year-old, I finished The Night Circus, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  Then I read Alif The Unseen by G. Willow Wilson. Imagine One Thousand and One Nights meets Harry Potter meets 1984. A great read! Next up — Louise Erdrich’s The Round House, which just won the National Book Award.

Do we have snow yet? It’s funny because we are having the exact kind of winter I describe in the beginning of The Snow Child. Typically by Halloween we have enough snow to sled and build snowmen. But it is nearly Thanksgiving and  it is dusty, gray, cold, windy and snowless. Our two daughters are doing their version of a snow dance — they cut out paper snowflakes and taped them all over our living room windows.

Are there any questions I missed?

And how about you — what are you reading? And do you have snow?





UK National Book Award shortlist

Dear bookish reader,

Exciting news from London this week — The Snow Child has been shortlisted for the UK National Book Award’s International Author of the Year. The awards dinner, where they will announce the winners, is Dec. 4. So I’m returning to London!

You can read more about the UK National Book Awards here.

There are several prizes given out, including UK Author of the Year, Popular Fiction and Nonfiction Books of the Year, and New Writer of the Year. All this means I might have the chance to spot someone like JK Rowling, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, or Hilary Mantel. I’m not usually one to go ga-ga over celebrities, but famous authors of fantastic books? Well, that’s a different story. And I might also have the opportunity to meet the authors of two wonderful books I’ve read recently — The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce and Care Of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles.

Equally exciting, my travels to London mean I’ll have time to visit some bookstores. In case you are in the area and would like to stop by and say hello, here’s my signing schedule:

Monday Dec. 3:

9.30am    The Wallingford Bookshop   (10c St Martins Street, Wallingford)

10.45am  The Book House (93 High Street, Thame)

12.30pm  Chapter One Bookshop (136 Crockhamwell Road, Woodley)

3.00pm  The Chorleywood Bookshop (4 New Parade, Rickmansworth)

4.00pm  The Gerrards Cross Bookshop (12a Packhorse Road, Gerrards Cross)

Tuesday Dec. 4:

11.00am Waterstones Guildford (71-73 High Street  Guildford, Surrey)

I hope to see some of you during my travels.



Win a snow party

Dear book clubbing reader,

In celebration of the paperback release of The Snow Child here in the United States, my publisher Little, Brown and Company is hosting a fun giveaway on its Facebook page. This week they will announce  a chance to win a snow party gift basket and copies of the book for your book club.

So watch the Little, Brown and Company Facebook page, and I hope you all win.



The Snow Child in paperback!

Grizzly bear tracks in the snow.

Dear snowy reader,

Today I am excited to announce that The Snow Child is now available in paperback here in the United States. It’s being shipped this week, and I’m already hearing reports of its landing in bookstores around the country.

Those of you in the UK or Australia or New Zealand might be baffled. The paperback was published there in August, but each publisher sets its own schedule.

So here in Palmer, Alaska, we’re celebrating. I’ll be at Fireside Books on Saturday to sign copies from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. And I might have a glass of bubbly and a snowflake cookie.

It has been a remarkable journey. This past year since The Snow Child was published in hardcover has been full of surprises. There was a five-week world tour, reviews and award nominations. I received word that The Snow Child was shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, which means a trip to New York City for the awards dinner in December.

I will also be returning to London this December for some book events and other excitement. I’ll share more details soon.

The Snow Child has been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award, determined by readers. You can cast your vote here.

And there are more surprises coming up this winter in Alaska that I will write about as soon as I can.

I did have one disappointment, though. The world tour meant that I missed autumn, my favorite season in Alaska. I wasn’t able to pick wild blueberries on the tundra, and our family wasn’t able to go on our annual caribou or moose hunt.

But last week my husband Sam and I had a rare gift — he and I spent a quiet day hunting for caribou north of our home. The sun was sparkling off the snow. We saw grizzly bear tracks, caribou too far away to shoot, a curious coyote. It was the kind of spectacular Alaska day that keeps me grounded even as I enjoy the whirlwind of The Snow Child.

And thanks to Sam, our family gratefully worked all weekend butchering and packaging meat from the caribou he got on another trip. We’ve also managed to get the firewood split and stacked, so with a well-filled freezer and a warm fire, we are feeling quite content.
I hope you are, too.



The winter sun sets on tracks in the snow — caribou, hunters, coyotes, and bears.