If you know me, you know I love reading non-fiction. Even though I'm a fiction writer, so perhaps it doesn't behoove me to tell everyone to read more non-fiction, I think it is very brain expanding. I recently read a charming little book that reminded me of Magic Under Glass a bit, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming. She also made a documentary of it, which is Canadian and unavailable in any convenient way, although I'd love to see it.
Long Tack Sam was a handsome Chinese acrobat and magician, born in 1885, who married an Austrian girl and had two lovely daughters. He performed on Vaudeville, traveled the world, and as time went on his daughters performed with him. He made loads of money and was quite a star attraction back in the day. He also had a son who barely saw his parents in his early life because they left him in Austria. When movies came along, he refused to appear in them, and so did his daughters, because of the racist portrayals of Asians in movies. The memoir itself is told in a sort of comic-book-esque style, with cartoons, collages, it's a quick and engaging read.
Of course I couldn't help but draw some parallels to Nimira and her "Trouser Girl" act. And I wished the author (who is Long Tack Sam's great-granddaughter) had been able to dig up more! I'd love to know more about the romance between Sam and his wife, which must have been quite shocking back in the day, especially since it was a quick courtship, although her family reportedly loved him. I'd love to know more about their adventures and trials around the globe across decades, countries, wars.
Anyway, it was a fascinating book, I recommend it.
Now, some miscellaneous news, most of which I've posted around Twitter and Facebook, but I do like having everything on the blog at some point.
First, my fans are awesome! Reader Holly made me Erris and Nimira dolls! (She also made a doll of my character Alfred but you don't really know him yet.) I'm posting a photo she sent me of them but she mailed them to me so I have them now. They are really awesome in person with lots of little details. I also got my very first piece of paper fan mail, which was kind of a thrill. I'm kind of glad most fan mail comes through the internet nowadays since it's much easier to write back, but it's still kind of awesome to get a real letter once in awhile!
Also, the Kirkus review for Between the Sea and Sky popped up not long ago and they were kind: “She [Dolamore] displays plenty of imagination, especially in her setting, with its 19th-century-style clothing and quaint towns. The portraits of her two leads will convince readers, and several of her minor characters, such as ex-mermaid Belawyn and Alander’s father, stand out as quirky and individual. A simple but effective fantasy."
Kirkus is kind of famous for being harsh, but they liked Magic Under Glass too, so...I guess they're just lulling me into a sense of security...
Lastly, I found out Australian audiobook publisher Bolinda is doing an audiobook of Between the Sea and Sky. I've never had an audiobook before so this is kind of thrilling!