(Amazon links: Hyperion, USA; Doubleday, Canada; Electric Monkey, UK)
Tuesday 15 May 2012! That’s when Hyperion in the USA and Doubleday Canada both release their editions of Code Name Verity. In addition to taking my teenage daughter to the orthodontist and watching the boy play in a cricket match against his sister’s school, I thought it would be nice to celebrate a little with a North Atlantic Operations party online. Indeed, a worldwide party, open to anyone from the far-flung corners of the globe.
Well, here on my ridiculously underused blog. But you can pretend we are holding it in the drawing room of Craig Castle, Castle Craig. Or someplace like it.
(that's the drawing room, way over on the left, with the big bay window. And the little short round tower at the extreme left is one of the tiny libraries. Probably the one where the manuscript ends up.)
Guests of Honor
Meet some of the real life spies ’n’ pilots, and, um, a few others, who inspired CNV.
Noor Inayat Khan (SOE agent)
Alix d’Unienville (SOE agent) (She’s still alive and her Wikipedia entry doesn’t tell you anything about her life after her escape attempt that was foiled by the Gestapo in 1944. This link tells more about her life, but it’s in French. This is the not-so-great English translation of the previous link. Here’s my Goodreads review of one of her books, which I adore, a sort of cross between Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Antoine de St. Exupéry from the p.o.v. of an early flight attendant… unfortunately only available en français as far as I know.
Violette Szabo (SOE agent). She is allegedly the role model for the game Velvet Assassin. (okaaaay.)
Odette Hallowes (SOE agent), who has just been put on a UK First Class postage stamp! (It doesn’t happen often that you spend the day writing about the Ravensbrück concentration camp, then walk into a post office and recognize a Ravensbrück survivor smiling enigmatically at you from a display in the new stamp window.)
Lettice Curtis (ATA pilot)
Diana Barnato Walker (ATA pilot)
Betty Lussier (ATA pilot; she also did Intelligence work for the OSS)
Hans Kiefer (German Intelligence officer. Yes, Amadeus von Linden has a prototype too.)
Virginia Hall (SOE agent)
Jane Anderson (American broadcaster and Nazi collaborator)
This blog entry includes portraits and bios of most of the SOE women I mentioned, except Alix d’Unienville.
Sorry, we are out of butter again. Have some virtual whisky. It’s pre-war. If you don’t drink, I’m afraid it’s nowt but cold beans straight from the tin (I am shameless).
ETA: Oh yay, the Moon Squadron has smuggled us some champagne on their return flight. I *knew* this party was missing something.
A sneak peek at the first ‘chapter’ of CNV!
An audio sample of Morven Christie reading Verity. Yes, the whole 10+ hour unabridged audio is this good. I am in love. No, my name is not pronounced Vine, despite the Gaudy Night-ish overtones. The mispronunciation of my name is my punishment for probably mispronouncing estara’s and tiboribi’s names in the ‘Author’s Debriefing’, which they let me read myself. (My name is pronounced Ween, in case you are wondering.)
So, here is an interesting artefact for you. It is an early version of a short story called ‘Findo Gask’, featuring Theo from ‘Something Worth Doing’ (she also makes a cameo appearance in CNV), piloting a Spitfire over Scotland and encountering ghosts. No, it is not historically accurate. It is a draft and was written in 2006. The finished version is much shorter and about a boy (a fighter pilot). I posted it here in 2008 for International Pixelstained Technopeasant Day, but the link is broken. This is the original in all its glory.
And I have a picture to show off, too! Becky Yeager, BLESS HER, has produced a lovely piece of fan art coincidentally in the nick of time. (It was Sara who noticed the character differences in the way their names are written in this picture. I am in love with the neat, smug, not-actually-sleeping-cat expression on Queenie’s face, and her control and poise in spite of her small stature. So perfect.)
How about some music?
‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’ (*sob*)
‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’…
Here’s the Mendelssohn from Colonel Blimp that makes Verity cry. Daft thing. I chose this version not for its sound quality but because I am tickled by the serious earnestness of this student orchestra.
Ready to leave?
If you’re heading out, here’s a list of museum exhibits some of you may be lucky enough to catch:
Women in Aviation: World War II is an exhibition going on at the moment in New York City at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (it’s on the Intrepid aircraft carrier) – this exhibit closes 8 July 2012. I am SO SORRY to be missing it, so I hope some of you will enjoy it vicariously on my behalf.
Beauty as Duty, Textiles and the Home Front in WWII Britain, is another exhibit it is KILLING me to miss. It is on at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA until 28 May 2012. GO SEE IT OR ANSWER TO ME PERSONALLY. (tiboribi, THIS MEANS YOU.)
The Imperial War Museum, London, has a permanent display on Special Operations and spies during World War II as part of their ‘Secret War’ exhibit.
The ATA Museum in Maidenhead (45 minutes west of London on the train). There is a special permanent exhibit there dedicated to the women of the ATA (the exhibit is called ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’).
Giveaway: One of each!
I’ve got one US edition, one Canadian edition, and one UK edition to hand out, all signed of course - Giveaway now closed. Will post results soon, when I've got the Random Scratch Generator Boy to pick numbers.
This is your chance to join the CNV Special Ops. Here’s what’s going on: A V-Day Invasion. On 15 May, stop in at your local bookstore, your local library, your school library - any place you’re likely to find or borrow or purchase books, and demand they make CNV available to readers. Or indeed, mention any book you’re passionate about. Tweet, Facebook, comment on Goodreads, blog - boast about your encounter and ask all your reading friends to go do the same. Readers in the UK, the book’s already out here, so for goodness sake please join in - your job should be easier here. An Allied Invasion of Literary Establishments!
SO! Get out there in the bookstores and libraries and museums, get tweeting, spread the word about the giveaway, and above all, enjoy.
Minesweeping, for those of you who are still around…
These links are to interviews and discussions that I’ve mostly written myself, not to reviews. So if you want to find out more about How I Wrote CNV, it’s all (mostly) here somewhere.
Mini-interview with Spaceonthebookshelf - my favorite thing about CNV, 24 May 2013
Carnegie interview video clips, April 2013
Blog interview on CNV with Sarah Todd of Girls Like Giants, 1 April 2013
CILIP Carnegie filmed interview - discussion of title and code names in Code Name Verity, posted 1 April 2013
"20 Years to Overnight Success," interview with Candy Gourlay for SCBWI BI online magazine Words & Pictures, 28 Mar 2013
Talk given on behalf of Egmont Uk at the Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG) conference, Culford School, Bury St. Edmonds, 23 Mar 2013
Blog interview with Bibliofiend, 5 March 2013. Caution - spoilers on page 2!
Blog interview with Ruby Ham on Feed Me Books Now, 2 March 2013
The Green Flash and Narrative Motif, for Lorrie Porter at This Craft Called Writing, 1 March 2013 (warning: spoiler alert!)
Epic podcast interview with Deirdre Johnson of the Mount Kisco Library, 23 January 2013
Brief interview with the Mod Podge Bookshelf, 27 December 2012
Interview with J Monkeys at Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes, 22 December 2012
Interview with Amber at the Page Turners Blog, 13 December 2012
Interview with Ann Giles, aka Bookwitch, 12.12.12 This one is illuminated with some interesting pictures including Maddie's house in Stockport and Lysander "Pilot's Notes"!
'Me and My Kindle" - Smugglivus 2012 Guest Author post on the Booksmugglers, 8 December 2012
YA's The Word interview with Katja Weinert, 27 November 2012
YA Wednesday Exclusive: Maggie Stiefvater chats with Elizabeth Wein on Amazon's Omnivoracious blog, 5 September 2012
Bookbridges conversation, 10 August 2012
Interview for School Library Journal with Rick Margolis, 1 July 2012
Interview with YPulse, 28 June 2012
Wizard Interview with Bookshelvers Anonymous with Shelver 506 (part 2 of 2), 20 June 2012
Wizard Interview with Bookshelvers Anonymous with Shelver 506 (part 1 of 2), 19 June 2012
How I Researched CNV, blog entry for Figment, 24 May 2012
Verity Speaks, which is actually an interview on women's roles in wartime and a comment on writing the book... from Verity's point of view, since essentially we share the same views on writing the book. Over on Figment, 22 May 2012
Interview with Monica Edinger in the Huffington Post, 22 May 2012
Flying, Friendship and Theme Songs: interview for Figment, 18 May 2012
Telephone interview with Kirkus, 11 May 2012
Roger Sutton interrogates E Wein. Ha ha, not really. One question from the Editor of the Horn Book on flying and writing! 10 May, 2012
‘The Plot Kept Surprising Me’ - Interview with Shelf Awareness for a Maximum Shelf issue, 26 April 2012
Bookbag Interview (by Jim at YaYeahYeah), 22 April 2012
International Women’s Day guest post and interview with Amy at Turn the Page, 8 March 2012
A CNV birthday gift: Electric Monkey post about the dolls Amanda made for me, 17 February 2012
The literary inspiration behind CNV, for the Booksmugglers, 10 February 2012
On the real life people who inspired CNV, for Daisy Chain Books, 9 February 2012
Guest post on the inspiration for writing CNV on Bookbabblers, 6 February 2012
Tanita Davis’s original V-Day CNV blog tour post at Finding Wonderland, 6 February 2012
E Wein’s encounters with wartime aircraft, on I Want to Read That, 5 February 2012 This post includes LOTS of links to museums with wartime aircraft collections, and also youth aviation schemes within the UK.
Inspiration, work in progress, and Why I Live in Scotland with the Scottish Book Trust, 2 February 2012
Q&A interview with Bookbabblers, 1 February 2012
Telephone interview with Reading Zone, February 2012
On the theme of friendship in CNV with Booktrust, 30 January 2012
IT’S A BOOK ABOUT A PILOT. IT HAS PLANES IN IT. For some reason, this seems to take some people by surprise.