To answer your question, I did fall off the face of the earth. And now I’ve managed to scramble back on. Things have been hectic to say the least, but here’s a rundown on the more major accomplishments: I finished The More Known World, the second novel in The Oddfits series, and am really pleased with how it’s turned out. (I hope readers are too!) I completed the English translation of The Birdwoman’s Palate, working in close conjunction with the novel’s author – the inimitable Laksmi Pamuntjak. And I’ve signed a contract with Penguin Australia for a novel wholly unrelated to The Oddfits, which I’m in the midst of revising, so stay tuned for updates once details are a bit more finalized.
Oh yes. And I’m due to give birth to a second child in early to mid December. The pregnancy this time round was, frankly, quite awful. Constant nausea. Thyroid problems. Followed by being depressed and overwhelmed at the thought of having to raise two. (My hat off to those who have two and more. Seriously.) But I think I feel better now. And I hope it stays that way with only minor dips.
By way of apology, I’d love to share the cover for The More Known World! (See above.) Before you break my heart by saying you hate it, I should first warn you: it makes me really, really, really happy. As in sometimes I’ll be doing whatever it is I’m doing, and suddenly think of the cover and smile. The focus of this novel is more on Ann, and my editor and I agreed that the cover should reflect this. My deepest fear was that the cover designs they came up with would exoticize Ann and make her look “Oriental” pretty. You know: flawless porcelain skin, sensuous red lips, perhaps a bare shoulder or a slender neck or a tiny waist. Readers of The Oddfits know that Ann may wear high heels, but is also gruff and tough as nails. And that I’ve tried to playfully confront and complicate the conventions that often shape how race and “foreignness” are depicted in books. Hence my immense pleasure that the design the AmazonCrossing team came up with made Ann look like she’s ready to kick some ass.
The significance of the mosquito and the upside-down umbrella will be revealed upon reading. You can pre-order the novel from the Amazon website here. It will be unleashed upon the world on December 19 later this year.
You will also notice that I’ve changed the layout for this blog. I feel less like I need to “pad my resume” these days. So I’ve made things a bit more streamlined and easier to navigate. I hope this helps!