Cover Reveal: “The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles #3)”

Yesterday, Rick Riordan unveiled the title and cover art for the final book in The Kane Chronicles!

He’s b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sadie Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes’ only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent’s own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld.

Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.

Publication Date: 1 May 2012

Ooh, an obelisk! Is that where the Kanes’ mom met her demise, or is that in Egypt? Hrmmm…

Riordan also gave more details about The Demigod Files (Publication Date: 14 August 2012). The story that I’m most excited to read is the one about the early adventures of Luke, Annabeth, and Thalia, which is told from Luke’s POV. I kinda miss him. 😀

Additional Information: On Rick Riordan’s blog [click!]

Miscellany #01: 24 November 2011

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)
Anne McCaffrey, a legend in the SF/F community, passed away yesterday. As someone who loves fantasy, I understand what her loss means to the genre and to the people who were inspired and influenced by her works. I must, however, take this as a cue to confess that I have not read any of her books. I know, I know. Feel free to send out your fiercest dragons to hunt me down for this blasphemy (Warning: I wear a Ring of Dragonfire Protection). Or if you don’t have any dragons to send out, maybe you can hit the comments section and send me suggestions for which of her books I should read first instead. ;p

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” clothing line to be launched
I still haven’t managed to get past the first chapter of the book, but I’m excited to see the movie starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Trish Summerville, the costume designer for the film, is going to launch a men’s clothing line inspired by Mikael Blomkvist’s outfits in the movie, and a women’s clothing line inspired by Lisbeth Salander’s. This warms my little movie geek’s (and my little closet fashion fan’s) heart.

Speaking of fashion, I love Rooney Mara’s dress on the cover of Vogue. 😀

10 Themes Shared by Science Fiction and Historical Fiction
It explains a lot. 😉 [Link to article]

Also, Keith Thompson is ♥, and here’s proof:

Ronreads Interview: Junot Diaz
My friend Ron was very lucky to have interviewed Pulitzer prize winner Junot Diaz during the Manila International Literary Festival. He seems like such a fun guy to talk to (color me envious, Ron!), and I love that he’s taken the time to get to know the Philippines and the Filipinos. [Link to interview transcript]

Open Call for Submissions: “Horror: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults”
Hit the link if you’re interested to submit something. [Link]

A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this fun Twitter meme, #bumperstickersforwriters. Here are some of the funnier entries:
– “Support our tropes.” @3rdplacepress
– “I’m not lost; I’m procrastinating.” @katelhunter
– “I just killed someone.” @LisaDMartinez
– “Cut me off and I’ll break your fourth wall.” @IrisBlasi
– “It’s not cheating if he’s only an imaginary lover.” @EbonyMcKenna. I suppose this counts for the #bumperstickersforbookworms meme too, if ever one gets started. :p

Notable Children’s Books of 2011
The New York Times released their Notable Children’s Books of 2011 list a few days ago. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone are on it! This makes me happy.

Other Stories:

Salvador Dali + Walt Disney = Destino
I just had to post this link because the short film that Dali and Disney collaborated on is made of pure awesomeness. You can spare 6+ minutes of your time to see it, right? 😉

Star Trek sequel: 17 May 2013
My Star Trek men in IMAX 3D. World, please don’t end in 2012. That is all. [Link to report + JJ Abrams is seriously considering casting Benicio del Toro]

I hate season breaks
The Vampire Diaries is on season break, so I’ve had to resort to re-watching the first 8 episodes of season 3 and some from the tail-end of season 2 (Klaus walks into a bar and confronts Damon and Alaric…) Sometimes news breaks the monotony: lo and behold, Ausiello comes through with a spoiler!

For the record, though, I see all the other characters as “somewhat less evil” than Klaus even if he is actually more complicated than just plain “evil.” So that description from the spoiler doesn’t really tell us much about Finn. The flashback occurring in the 1400’s, though, makes for more interesting Originals Speculation Fodder and also begs the question: is there a curse on the Petrova doppelgangers that has something to do with brothers falling all over or fighting over them? ;p I wonder if the writers will spin an Elijah vs. Finn angle on this one.

Enough rambling. It’s time to post a gratuitous photo of Klaus. Just because.

Please note that the caption should be read with Klaus' American accent from S03E01. :p | Image Source: The TVD Facebook App

Now, I’m gonna go open my media player and listen to some Coldplay while I work. 😉

Lauren Kate: On Luce’s lifetimes and writing bad guys

This is the penultimate installment of the transcript of my interview with New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Kate last July 15th. Here, she talks about Luce’s past lives, free will vs. destiny, and Bill. (Muwahaha!)

Spoiler Warning: Some plot lines and outcomes in Passion were discussed here.


Meann: In Passion, how did you go about choosing which time and place you would like to include in the book?

Lauren Kate: There were different reasons. Some of them are vacation spots that really affected me, like her life in Chichén Itzá. I went there 2 or 3 years ago, I think. I always thought the culture is so startlingly different from anything I know—it’s so fascinating how violent they were, but how much they value their lives. That strange juxtaposition of those 2 things really startled me.

I remember thinking at the time, I’d love to write about those, but I’m not gonna write a whole book about a character who lives there. So it’s really cool to just drop her [Luce] in for a chapter, let her sit there and deal with it, and then take her somewhere else.

A lot of them actually were based on novels that I really liked and settings that I had read about and wanted to explore, like when she’s in Milan, that’s A Farewell to Arms. So I reread that, and pulled a lot of those images and little bits of the story there into the book. Same thing with the Halston, England chapters; I’ve always loved Victorian novels. Further back, some of them are just fantasy, settings that I’ve always been intrigued by and wanted to learn more about.

M: I really love the Egyptian one.

LK: Do you? I like that one, too.

lauren reads

M: Which one was the hardest to write?

LK: The earliest ones—the ones that appear latest in the books, or earliest in time—those are just so foreign to me. It’s a lot easier for me to write about the 1920’s, the 1940’s, or even Shakespeare’s time because we’re so familiar…or I guess American culture is so obsessed with Shakespeare’s time that we see it a lot in movies, we read about them all the time in school.  But yeah, like the Egypt chapter, and the Shang dynasty chapter—I had to take a different approach to ground the reader and myself in the scenes.

M:  In the China chapter, I kinda envisioned her looking like Mulan.

LK: [laughs] Yeah, me too, me too! I don’t know… That’s funny, but yeah, me too.

M: I like the Mayan one, too. It was kinda scary. And there’s an actual pit where they throw in their human sacrifices?

LK: Yeah, it’s like this very green, acid green water, and you can still see the skeletons there.

M: Did you have any discarded ideas for places or time periods?

LK: Yeah. Yeah, I have a scrap pile that has little bits and pieces from here and there. I’ve gotta figure out what to do with them. Someday, I’ll figure out a format, whether it’s online or something in print.

M: What do you think Luce and Daniel would have been like in a Philippine setting?

LK: [laughs] They would’ve eaten a lot of balut. I can picture them on a little deserted island, one of the 7,000 islands here.

M: Bill. Is he really who we think he is… you know…

LK:  Yeah! He really is. Bill is going to be a force to be reckoned with in Rapture.

M:  He was fun, though, when he was a gargoyle.

LK:  Yeah. He was a very interesting character to write. Obviously, I knew exactly what was going to happen to him, I knew exactly who the readers are going to find out he was in the end.  But I had to make him… I think most readers are suspicious of him, at least in the beginning.  But those characters, there’s always a fine line between how much evil should I show, how much darkness should I show.  We still gotta stick around with this guy for several thousand more years, so you have to make him enjoyable, but also the foreshadowing has to be done just right.

M: And he’s also the guy in the Prologue.

LK: Yeah, he is. Yeah.

It’s hard for me to write bad guys; a truly vicious bad guy is no fun to read about.  You’ve got to give them some sort of charm. And then when I do that, I start to like them and I start to not want them to be quite so bad. I had to figure out how to do that.

Passion Tour Manila

M:  In Passion, we go back to The Very Beginning. I had a sort of Hermione Granger Time-Turner thing going on in my head when Daniel went back to the very start and realized that it was his intervention that changed everything. Can you explain a bit more about how that works?

LK:  I don’t think I should; that’s going to be in Rapture. The first meeting [with Luce] that he thinks he’s going to, he doesn’t end up there. He ends up further back—he ends up in Heaven before he ever met Luce. That moment, that is like the Elusive Mystery Moment of the whole series: when did they actually meet, why did they fall in love originally? And I’ve been teasing and teasing and teasing it, and I gave a little bit in Passion, but still, I’m backing away from it. But we’ll get there in Rapture.

M:  There’s also the element of Luce’s choice alluded to in The Ethereal Monarch’s judgment. Can you also explain that a bit, or is that going to be in Rapture as well?

LK:  Those are probably the biggest issues in Rapture. Because she’s not aware of it yet in Passion, I don’t think I should disclose it to the reader yet.

M:  The choices that the angels and Daniel make, I like that part in the book because the choices themselves are not really black and white, or good and evil, and not exactly a bad choice or a good choice. Someone said before that “Free Will is an illusion,” but is it, in the context of the mythology of Fallen?

LK:  That’s a good question, because even the characters that are operating as if they have free will, it was given to them by God. But I think what Luce and Daniel are proving is that free will is a very very difficult thing to achieve, but they’re always in pursuit of it. Their choice to love each other is constantly being swatted away, and the forces of good and evil are always trying to suppress it. I think, if and when they succeed, they’ll prove something about free will—that it’s possible.

M:  So is it more free will or destiny for Luce and Daniel, again, in the context of Fallen?

LK:  It’s very hard to tell one from the other, I think, especially with regard to their relationship. At times, it seems a lot like destiny, but in the end, I’m leaning towards free will. This is what bothers Luce a lot—she’s frustrated by the fact that they love each other because they’re supposed to. That they love each other for the right reasons is something that she’s thinking about a lot.

M:  Which is also part of the reason why she went back.

LK:  Yeah.

M:  Why did Daniel go back to that time with Cam and Lilith?

LK:  Oh.  Ummm…we’ll see.  We’ll see more of that.

M:  Because it was a little different from the other times; Luce wasn’t there.

LK:  There are a couple moments when he sort of loses track of Luce, like in the Greenland one.  I like those scenes where she’s not in it.  I mean, her role is obviously the most important, but it’s fun to show the other characters talking without her there.  That Greenland scene is one of my favorite ones.


Next time:  What to expect in Rapture, random bits of Fallen Series trivia, playlists, the movie, future projects, and Lauren talks about writing.

Image Credits:
– Lauren Kate: The Passion Tour photo by Gary Mayoralgo
– Gargoyle front page featured image from

Related Articles:
–  Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On the WSJ debacle and writing for teens
–  Previous excerpt — Lauren Kate: On visual inspirations and angel wings
–  An epic, romantic journey with Lauren Kate (on GMA News Online)