Good morning everyone! It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? Here at All Souls headquarters (i.e. my home office) things are bubbling along. I don’t know what happened but somebody must have tied me to a catapult in December because I went into the new year with a lot of energy, a lot to say, and a lot I want to get down on paper.

Here is what’s going on with me:

*All Souls Con is back!* This year, we are headed to New Orleans, the city of Marcus’ “boisterous and charming” family, for a full day of history and adventure on Saturday, September 23. The organizers are planning a day that is filled with guest speakers, including the authors and illustrators of the upcoming insider’s guide to the trilogy, The World of All Souls. This will be your chance to hear (and see!) behind-the-scenes details on the upcoming television project and find out more about the next book set in the All Souls world. Live streaming will be available for those not able to attend in person. As with the last Con, it’s also an opportunity to network with me and with fans who are as passionate about the adventures of Diana and Matthew as you are–and get your books signed. New Orleans is a city filled with great food and history. The new NOPSI Hotel, a 1920s era historic building, will be the home base for the convention. And there are direct flights from 43 cities, so getting there will be straightforward for many.

This year, the organizers have simplified the ticket structure to bring you one, all-inclusive, more affordable pass for the on-site event. They had to eliminate the meals, but we think you’ll like what the “package” includes–not to mention the bottom line. Any proceeds from the sale of tickets will benefit the Bodleian Library in Oxford, via Bodley’s American Friends. There will be a special fundraising breakfast with me on September 24 that will be offered as a separate ticket. So this is your chance to have a fun weekend with your friends!

Tickets go on sale on March 18th with early bird prices (20% off) until Matthew’s re-birthday, June 15th. All Souls Con alumni will have access to advanced registration on March 16th. Don’t worry, there are plenty of passes for everyone!

We’ll have more details in the coming months here, in my newsletter (signup on my website), and on AllSoulsCon.org (where you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and sign up to receive updates via email). I’m looking forward to seeing you in the Big Easy!

*TV Update* Things are proceeding along in TV land. I’m learning a lot about the complexities of a big production–and marveling at the magic by which things come together on the screen. Right now the writers are writing, the casting director is casting, and the production designers are finding locations and figuring out how (and where) to construct the sets. If all goes as planned we will be filming this summer. Again, I’m sorry I can’t give you more details, but casting, broadcaster, and scheduling information will all come from the production company, Bad Wolf, and from the network(s) involved–not from me. The show is going to be exciting for viewers whether you’re a fan of the books and have read them all (or even read them all repeatedly) or whether you are completely new to the story. As for Easter Eggs–well, stay tuned as many of them will be revealed in the show!

*I Am Writing* In addition to getting down the storylines for the TV show, I AM writing the next book(s) set in the All Souls World. Marcus remains quite bossy, and has a lot to say these days. Matthew pops up every now and again, too. At this point I honestly have no idea what book you are going to get first. I figure you’ll take whichever is done first–if I’m wrong about that, let me know. :) At the moment, the writing *feels* very much as it did with ADOW. I write 2-3 page every day, and discover new things about characters all the time–like Marcus’s full name and his birthdate, or exactly what Matthew was doing in 1537 and 1541. Because nothing is finished I can’t tell you when the book will be out, but I’m guessing 2018 at this point.

*The World of All Souls* I’ve now seen the full draft–and the illustrations!–for the trilogy companion book. It’s AMAZING. Seriously, entirely amazing. Claire Baldwin, Lisa Halttunen, Jill Hough, and artist Colleen Madden have done Herculean work pulling together information, ferreting out Easter Eggs, getting me to divulge information (like the zodiac signs and full names of various characters, and organizing it all into a beautiful, readable, and fun book. They even got me to go into my computer files and find you some out-takes from ADOW and SON. Like the TV show, no matter how much you *know* the trilogy, you are going to find new insights in this book. And the illustrations include original color art as well as black and white images. We’ll keep you posted and let you know when the publisher sets the release date (probably late 2017 or early 2018) and when the book is ready for pre-order.

*I Am Teaching, Too* In my copious spare time (!) I’m teaching my course on “Queens, Witches, and Courtesans: Women and Power in Early Modern Europe.” It’s one of my favorite courses, and I always learn a lot from my students. This year, we are starting with the witch hunts, then moving on to consider the lives of the elite Venetian prostitutes known as courtesans, and ending up with the “monstrous regiment of women” who ruled 16th-century Europe including Elizabeth I. I haven’t had a moment to post the reading list, but will try to do so in the next week or so.

Whew. That’s it. That’s a lot! See you back here in a few days when I post the link to my February inspiration board on Pinterest and again next month for more updates. Until then, take care and be well.

Deb

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