Hello all! This week’s Friday treat is a news roundup. I’m in back-to-school mode, so I’m clearing the decks, dotting my “i”s, and crossing my “t”s.

(portrait of Margaret Laton, c. 1610, and her jacket from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

SHADOW OF NIGHT news: It’s official, the title of the book formerly known as book #2 is SHADOW OF NIGHT. According to many web sites and press statements, the release date has been set for Summer 2012. I don’t know anything more than what you’ve read–not the month or the day. But I will of course keep you posted here. I imagine the exact date will get set sometime this autumn. Meanwhile, you can start looking for a tote bag large enough to hold next summer’s big, fat beach read (with vampires…) When the book is available in stores, Viking plans on sending me out to meet readers. It’s way too early to know where I’ll be going, but I’ll keep you posted on that, as well.

THE (POSSIBLE) MOVIE: Yes, it’s also official that Warner Brothers optioned A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and its sequels in July. This means that the movie is now in the early stages of development, which translates into the producers and studio executives being attached to the project. The producers, Denise DiNovi and Alison Greenspan, are now working to secure a director and screenwriter. I have no control over casting, nor do I have veto power over the script. But I trust WB, Denise, and Alison with Diana and Matthew, so you have to try to do so as well! If/when there is news on this front, trust me I will tell you. In related news, today’s Wall Street Journal includes ADOW and SON in their list of contenders to court the Harry Potter crowd.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES: the ride is not yet over, and all around the world readers are getting their first chance to meet Diana and Matthew. I will be attending the Bienal do Livro in Rio de Janeiro in a few days (http://www.bienaldolivro.com.br/). This is a large, biannual literary festival which will give me a chance to meet South American readers. A paperback edition of the book will release in the UK on 29 September (the final video from their series will go up on Tuesday–and it’s WONDERFUL). German and Italian editions are published in October. And the US paperback is scheduled to release on 27 December. I will be going out for a short time to visit a handful of US cities in mid-January. No places/dates are set yet, but the full schedule will appear here and in the EVENTS links (under the picture in the left sidebar). More wonderful news: the book is a finalist for a SCIBA award in the fiction category, and was named to Amazon’s “Best Books of 2011 (so far)” list.

A DAY IN THE LIFE: You may be wondering “What is she DOING all day and why can’t she write faster?” It took me 9 months to write ADOW and Viking Press and me 18 months after that to produce the finished book. Since I’m still working on SHADOW, you can thank the good people at Viking for their willingness to pull out all the stops and try to get it to you so quickly.

Meanwhile, my days are very full–which is just the way I like it. I’m going back into the classroom after a semester of leave, so Monday brings with it the challenges and anticipation of new classes and students. I spend days when I’m not teaching in two ways. In the mornings I do the business of being an author (answering your emails and notes here on facebook and twitter, handling queries and press, working with my ace assistant Jill on schedules and appearances, etc.) and run errands (even authors need milk!). From about 1:00 to the witching hour of midnight I am at my computer writing, revising, and thinking about SHADOW usually with a break for dinner and a glass of wine. Writers can’t write for 18 hours (at least I can’t), and these breaks are crucial to keeping the story fresh and lively. So if you see me on facebook and twitter and wonder “why isn’t she writing?? I want SHADOW YESTERDAY!” remember that letting my brain rest for a bit makes it possible to dream up new adventures and conversations for the characters you love. Because there are only so many hours, you may see longer than usual lag times before I comment on your post or answer your email, however. Thanks for your patience!

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to everybody on facebook, and to those who follow me on twitter, and to readers here on the website, for your support and enthusiasm for Diana, Matthew, and their world. That the story and characters move you and bring happiness to YOUR busy day is truly the reason this writer gets up and goes to the keyboard.