Alcestis Books Recommendations Writing

‘Alcestis’ on Scalzi’s The Big Idea

The wonderful John Scalzi was kind enough to give Alcestis a place in his Big Idea series, a frequent feature on his blog in which other writers talk about, as he puts it, “what makes their books tick.” For my Big Idea piece, I wrote about why I chose the myth of Alcestis and why I think it’s important not to limit the seduction-by-deity plot to male/female romantic pairs. (I even got to use my favorite line from one of my favorite high school English teachers to explain this!) I’ve discovered many writers through the Big Idea series — most recently, I found Malinda Lo’s Ash through her post on Scalzi’s blog — and I’m delighted to have the chance to tell his readers about my book.

Other exciting Alcestis news:

  • Soho Press is not only giving away five signed copies of the book via AuthorBuzz — if you RT their post about the giveaway on Twitter, you’ll be entered in a separate drawing for one signed copy. Yes, I do want to draw tiny sparkly hearts around my amazing publishers.

This has been an amazing week already, and the book launch party is still yet to come! (Sunday, BookPeople, 3 pm, see events page for links & details. Ahem.)

In non-Alcestis news, I wanted to pass along a few writing-related links, both on topics near and dear to me — the first is a piece by Rachel Cusk in the Guardian asking whether (and how) creative writing can be taught. (I’m still planning to write up my own post about this, whenever things quiet down slightly.) The second is an essay about Virginia Woolf, around whom I would also like to draw sparkly hearts — I have a feeling she’d be all for it, too.  Specifically, this article, written by a neurologist, focuses on connections between Woolf’s mental illness and her style of depicting consciousness. I haven’t had a chance to read it in as much detail as I’d like, but I feel strongly that anyone who begins an essay by stating “Recently I read Woolf’s entire oeuvre chronologically” deserves my support. (And my jealousy. I wish I had time to do the same! Except maybe Jacob’s Room; I’ve never quite been able to get into that one.)


  1. The Woolf article is quite interesting (though I need to read it fully later), and may have similar ideas to a chapter on Woolf in an excellent book I’m reading that explores scientific ideas that c19 artists intimated long before researchers made the actual discoveries, if that makes sense. It’s called Proust was a Neuroscientist, by Jonah Lehrer, who is also a neuroscientist. I haven’t gotten to the Woolf chapter yet, he also talks about George Eliot and Proust of course. I think you’d really like it.

  2. Lovely blog! I just came by from Scalzi’s blog to have a look around. I have found some very fine authors thanks to his Big Idea series, including Malinda Lo, and your book is going right at the top of my list. I can tell from your list of favorite books that we have a LOT of similar tastes.

    Good luck with the new release. I hope your book sells REALLY well; I’ll be spreading the word.

  3. SonomaLass, thanks for dropping by, and thank you so much for the kind words! I think the Big Idea series is great too — it’s a really generous thing for Scalzi to do, considering that he has such a big readership.

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