Friday, December 21, 2012


Just received two boxes. One with the reissued Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City. The other contained the reissued The Empress's Tomb. I gotta say--the new covers look fantastic. A digital image doesn't do them justice. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised when you see them in the bookstore!

I'll probably give a few of them away as well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So You Didn't Win a Book?

Don't despair. I'm going to be having a HUGE BLOWOUT GIVEAWAY after Christmas. Seriously. I live in a New York apartment. I simply don't have enough space for all of my books. So I'll be giving away copies of . . .

The Eternal Ones
All You Desire
Kiki Strike in French, Spanish, German and just about every other language known to man.
The Empress's Tomb (can't believe I got the name of my own book wrong) in a bunch of languages.

And pretty soon, I should have a couple of HARD COVER copies of The Darkness Dwellers and How to Lead a Life of Crime to give away!

And the Winner Is . . .

This was another close one. In order to pick a winner, I had to go back and have a look at the contest question. I specifically asked for ONE Irregular and ONE gift. In other words, the winning entry could only have one of each. And that winner is . . . BeAmbidextrous!

I'd ask Oona for a copy (in English of course) of the guidebook or rulebook she gives to her employees. As her employees paint toes and file nails they listen for secrets, but how do they know what's important or what isn't? Sure, Ms. Zebra stripe gold necklace might say her husband works with a man who knows that the alfalfa company called HrsesRK is going to be the next big thing but how do you know if she is bragging or telling the truth? How do you know which gossip could equal cold hard cash and what gossip is just gossip? Does it have to do with the tone of voice? Do really rich people not wear much jewelry at all? Does blue nail polish mean a compulsive liar and green mean gullible?

Yes, knowing Oona's secrets could take me far in life.

It was that last line that really got me. I agree completely! Congrats, BeAmbidextrous! Send your address to (BTW, I fixed a few typos in your entry. Hope you don't mind.)

Other entries that really made me laugh . . .
Irregular Kiki's giant squid costume.
Sunbear's cherry blintzes.

And though it didn't make me laugh, Selene's stolen art heist might have won--had it not involved more than one Irregular. (Great idea, though, Selene!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

To the Genius Responsible: You Are My Hero

This package was recently received by UChicago College Admissions. I am beyond impressed.

This Week's ARC Giveaway!

A Darkness Dwellers ARC goes to the first person to correctly answer the following question . . .

If you could ask one of the Irregulars for a hand-made present this holiday season, who would you ask--and what would you ask her to make for you?

Please leave your answer in the comments section of this post. (As always, a correct answer is one that amuses me.)

This contest will end tonight (Monday, December 17th) at 11:59PM. The book will be sent priority mail and should arrive by Christmas! Good luck!

PS: I hope you all gave your parents lots of hugs this weekend. I have a feeling they needed them. And don't forget: If you want the world to be a better place, you're never too young to make a difference.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reverse Graffiti

If you read this blog, you know I love street art. You probably don't know that I am also a certifiable neat freak. I never thought I would find a product that could appeal to both sides of my personality. Today I did.

Finally, there's a way to leave your mark all over town--without ending up in police custody. Simply add a little soap and water to the Grime Writer pen, and clean away. It's called reverse graffiti--and I'm pretty sure that it's perfectly legal almost everywhere.

If I could buy you all a little something this season, this is what I would get you. (Remember, it's the thought that counts.) And maybe, after a little practice, one of you would eventually create something like this . . .

I'm a Little Perturbed . . .

. . . about the comments that have been coming in regarding the last contest. If we're not having fun, there's no point in having any more contests.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Here's my count of the top 5:

Entry #4: 7

Entry #6: 5

Entry #14: 4 (There were two identical anonymous votes that came in within a minute of each other. This almost always means that someone's comment has been accidentally posted twice.)

Entry #15: 4

Entry #7: 4

PS: I really wish I could give books to ALL CONTESTANTS. But even if I were to give copies to the top five, that would mean I wouldn't have books left for any more contests! I had to beg (OK, ask nicely) for the last few I got!

And We Have a Winner . . .

This one was super close. Congrats to the artist responsible for entry #4, which by my count is the winner.

An ARC will also go to the artist responsible for entry #6, which took second place.

(Both of you, please send your addresses to And make sure your parents approve!)

As for those of you who did not make the top two, there is absolutely NO CAUSE for tears! There will be more contests in the weeks to come. In fact, I will be sure to post another contest early next week for anyone out there who's desperate to get a book in time for Christmas.

(Unfortunately, it's probably too late for Hanukkah. But HAPPY HANUKKAH, everyone!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Here's How to Vote!

If you're a blog reader (and not just a contestant's grandma), please vote for your favorite entry in the comments of this post! One vote per person, please. Feel free to vote for yourself, but anyone suspected of cheating will be disqualified. (Sorry for the warning! I know you're all completely honest.)

Voting will end tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6PM New York time (EST).

Good luck, everyone!

Contest Entries 13-15

Number 13: Kiki's hidden lair?

Number 14: A secret tunnel

Number 15: Definitely dangerous

Contest Entries 10-12

Number 10: Some people never make it out of the Shadow City alive

Number 11: An Irregular (or an impostor--you decide)

Number 12: The Atalanta School for Girls

Contest Entries 7-9

Number 7: The logo marks an entrance to the Shadow City (love the headgear!)

Number 8: The lovely Luz Lopez

Number 9: A truly ominous sky

Contest Entries 4-6

Number 4: The logo!

Number 5: Kiki Strike (obviously!)

Number 6: This would have made a great cover!

Contest Entries 1-3

Number 1: Very creepy

Number 2: Entrance to the Shadow City

Number 3: This one had a few problems downloading. The bottom half is missing, but it still looks pretty cool!

OK, I Just Had a Better Idea

I can't pretend to be a great judge of the visual arts. The entries all look pretty darn amazing to me. So I think I'll post them all and let YOU GUYS be the judge. How does that sound?

If you sent in an entry that you DON'T want posted on this blog, please let me know right away. Otherwise, I will post them all this evening!


The Contest is Over!

And there will be a winner! But I have to get some other work done first (sorry)! I'll announce the winner before 2pm today.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

There Is No Winner Yet!

In case you were wondering. The contest doesn't end for another 7 hours or so! (At 11:59pm tonight.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Contest Time!

Yes, I do read all of your comments and emails! It seems quite a few of you would like a good-old Bank St. Irregular/Ananka's Diary contest involving photography.

So let's go for it. Take a picture that could be used to illustrate a scene from one of the Kiki Strike books. The photo might show one of the characters. Or perhaps a setting. Or a mysterious object of some sort. Use your imagination--then send your pictures to by midnight New York time (EST) on Sunday, December 9th.

The winner (or winners, you never know) will get an ARC of the Darkness Dwellers . . . and have their photo posted on this illustrious (some might say infamous) blog.

Good luck! **UPDATE** Drawings will be accepted, too!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Not in New York, But Still Pretty Amazing

The BIBLIO-MAT from Craig Small on Vimeo.

"The Biblio-Mat is a random book dispenser built by Craig Small for The Monkey’s Paw, an idiosyncratic antiquarian bookshop in Toronto. Biblio-Mat books, which vary widely in size and subject matter, cost two dollars. The machine was conceived as an artful alternative to the ubiquitous and often ignored discount sidewalk bin. When a customer puts coins into it, the Biblio-Mat dramatically whirrs and vibrates as the machine is set in motion. The ring of an old telephone bell enhances the thrill when the customer’s mystery book is delivered with a satisfying clunk into the receptacle below."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Quick Update!

Yay! I've been given more ARCs, which means I have more to give away. Enough for the fun to continue each week until The Darkness Dwellers comes out in January!

P.S.: Hey EQ! Send a note to so I can send you a copy of the book!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Week's Winner Is . . .

My old buddy, EQ! Nice to see you back!

This was a really tough one, guys. Your ideas were all amazing. Moscow, Cairo, Portland . . . I'd love to set a book in any of these places!

But I'm afraid EQ had me at the word "kraken." And I have yet to weave my fascination with cryptids into a book. (Though I did just publish an essay arguing for the existence of Bigfoot.) Plus, nothing is cooler than a kelp forest. The Irregulars have already spent a lot of time underground. Perhaps their next adventure should be underwater.

Congrats, EQ. And to the rest of you . . . don't give up! This has been so great that I'm going to demand (OK, beg) that my publisher send me more books to give away!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

This Week's ARC Giveaway!

Yeah, I know. It's last week's giveaway, too. What can I say? I'm running out of books!

A Darkness Dwellers ARC goes to the first person to correctly answer the following question . . .

If I write Kiki Strike #4, where should it be set? And which of the Irregulars should be the heroine?

Please leave your answer in the comments section of the blog. (In this case, a correct answer is one that amuses me.) Good luck!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Irregular Guide to New York City: Magical Libraries

It's time to open another chapter of The Irregular Guide to New York. This one is titled Spellbound . . .

There’s nothing I love more than libraries and bookstores. Without them, I probably would have landed in jail a long time ago. (When I get bored, I start causing trouble. Just ask my mom.) These days, every time I step into a library or bookstore, my brain begins to tingle. I can’t help but imagine that there’s some strange, magical book tucked away on the shelves, just waiting for me to discover it.

I couldn’t even begin to list all of the great libraries and bookstores in New York. Many (like Books of Wonder at 18 W. 18th Street) are known to book lovers all over the world. So I’m going to introduce you to a few special spots you might not have heard of. In fact, a couple are so secret that only the most persistent explorers will even be able to find them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Impalements: My Favorite Brooklyn Traditon

I stumbled across the "Impalements" for the first time in 2010. I had no idea why anyone would impale dozens of jack o' lanterns on the spikes of an old iron fence. But it was absolutely marvelous to behold. So creepy. So bizarre. And the display just gets even better as soon as the pumpkins begin to rot.

If you're ever in town around Halloween you must check them out! More pics--and the full story--here.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We Have Two Winners Again This Week

I gotta stop naming multiple winners. I'm running out of books! But this was the best contest so far. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts.

The first ARC goes to Isabella, who wrote . . .

They would find this bakery, whose name I'm not going to say because I don't want everyone to know where I live. :-)

Anyway, on the outside, there's this rickety porch, rocking chairs and all. It's hard to explain, but just by looking at it, you get this generally creepy feeling. Like you should stay away. This sounds weird, but it looks like a witch's hovel. And it's a bakery . And they don't even make any good desserts, which leads me to believe that something sinister is going on in there. (Plus, it's right next to the local orthodontist. Who puts a sweet shop next to an orthodontist's office?) What ever they're covering up in there, I might never know. I don't have the guts to figure it out, but I know the Irregulars wouldn't be able to resist.

You have excellent instincts, Isabella. A run-down bakery that sells icky desserts--right next to a dentist's office? I think the Irregulars would have that place staked out 24/7!

The second ARC goes to Kristen, who wrote . . .

What might be most interesting to the Irregulars is the site of the mansion where Jack Parsons -- famed occultist, one-time friend of L. Ron Hubbard, and founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory -- lived and carried out unusual experiments (and, well, some not so middle-grade appropriate rituals). Jack, born "Marvel," led a "lodge" of Aleistair Crowley's magical order, the Ordo Templi Orientis. Although he was a well-known, successful scientist, he was obsessed with the spiritual, as well. Before rocket launches at JPL, Jack/Marvel would invoke the Greek god Pan and allegedly he spent considerable time trying to conjure elemental beings...however, he's most famous for inventing rocket fuel.

He died by blowing himself up to smithereens in his workshop while experimenting with mercury...

Something tells me there would be plenty for the Irregulars to dig up by visiting the site of his former home...

That post was a million different kinds of awesome.

Isabella and Kristen, send a note to

PS: Hayden, if you send some pictures of that neighborhood to the same address, I'll see if I can get my hands on a few extra ARCs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This Week's ARC Giveaway!

A Darkness Dwellers ARC goes to the first person to correctly answer the following question . . .

If the Irregulars were to visit your hometown, what's the most interesting thing they'd find there?

Please leave your answer in the comments section of the blog. (In this case, a correct answer is one that amuses me.) Good luck!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

And the Winner Is . . .

Conuly! Because, as someone from Staten Island, you could probably use a little good news right now. (Though I doubt a book is the kind of good news you need most.) All the best to you, your friends and family.

Send me a note at to collect your prize. I just hope the PO can get it there.

This Week's ARC Giveaway!

A Darkness Dwellers ARC goes to the first person to correctly answer the following question . . .

If you could pay a visit to ONE underground attraction, which would it be? (You can choose any subterranean site in the world--except the Shadow City.)

Please leave your answer in the comments section of the blog. (In this case, a correct answer is one that amuses me.) Good luck!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers a Skeleton in Connecticut

I'm going to be paying close attention to all the overturned trees in my neighborhood. If you can find a skeleton in New Haven, just IMAGINE what you might find in Brooklyn!

Story and pics here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Took a little walk around my Brooklyn neighborhood this morning. It wasn't pretty. Sandy did some serious damage here--but it sounds like she really gave the other boroughs a beating. I hope everyone is safe. And I hope your power and water is restored soon. Good luck, New York!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Hey everyone. Sorry for not posting yesterday. I've been a little distracted by the hurricane that's ABOUT TO SLAM INTO MY HOUSE! Had to spend most of the weekend stocking up on canned soup and beef jerky.

May I take this opportunity to point out that, in the last two years, I have experienced an earthquake, a tornado, a major blizzard, and now TWO hurricanes. New York City has always been a dangerous place to live, but this is getting ridiculous.

I'm going to see if I can capture some good hurricane footage from my living room windows. If I get anything interesting, I'll be sure to post it here!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Irregular Guide to New York City: The City Beneath Your Feet

At last we move to a new chapter in the Irregular Guide to New York City. For the next week, we shall begin exploring underground places!

If you’ve ever thumbed through one of my Kiki Strike books, then you know they take place in a Shadow City under the streets of New York. You probably assumed I made it all up. I didn’t. Beneath your feet lies a subterranean world of secret tunnels, abandoned train stations, and forgotten rivers and streams. Only the bravest explorers would dare set foot in the real-life Shadow City’s dark, deserted passages. If you count yourself among them, grab a pair of boots and some rat repellent. I hope you’re not afraid of the dark.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And We Have Two Winners! ('Cause That's How I Roll)

The first correct answer was given by Natalie at 4:45 PM. I wanted to be an archaeologist. Other acceptable answers: "paleontologist" and "extremely wealthy." (Natalie: Email me at

But I must reward the person who sent in the answer that made me laugh loudest . . .

"When you grew up, at first, you wanted to be a FBI agent, but not just any FBI agent, the FBI agent they only brought out for 'special' cases, such as mass murders at the Empire State Building. But soon after you realized, being on the FBI left you no room to be creative, which was an idea you hated with all the blood in your body. You were around the age of thirteen when you wanted to fight crime, not in the police, not with the FBI, but by yourself or with a couple of close friends; you weren't sure. You stopped thinking about that after a while.

Then a stroke of epicness (not a real word) came to your mind 'Maybe, just maybe, I can be an author.' And that's what you are today, Kirsten Miller, Author."

Sara, you get an ARC, too!

Weekly ARC Giveaway!

The first person to answer the following question correctly wins a Darkness Dwellers ARC . . .

When I was a kid, what did I want to be when I grew up? If you can't be accurate, be creative.

Good luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Irregular Guide to New York City: Poop

I think we've seen enough ghosts and graveyards for now. (Though there are still more to come.) For the next few days, I'll be posting entries from my favorite chapter of The Irregular Guide to New York City. It's a very special chapter with a very simple name:


I know what you’re thinking. I can see poop anywhere. What’s so great about the poop in New York? Nothing—aside from the fact that we have an awful lot of it. So much, in fact, that it’s played an important role in the history of this city. Before we figured out how to deal with all the poop we produce, it poisoned our water, befouled our rivers, and spread diseases that killed hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers. It’s the twenty-first century, and we still haven’t cleaned it all up. So grab a pair of nose plugs, and let’s take a look at how we got into this mess. I promise—it’s going be fascinating.

Friday, October 19, 2012

This Week's ARC Winner

The first correct answer arrived in my kikistrike@gmail inbox at exactly 10:22PM last night. Congrats, Ms. Warrior!!!

If you didn't win, don't despair. There will be another giveaway next week!

On a side note: Boy you guys are GOOD. I thought that was a pretty hard question.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

ARC Weekly Giveaway!

The first person to answer the following question correctly wins a Darkness Dwellers ARC . . .

Where does Ananka Fishbein end up going to college?

Good luck.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Free Kiki!

In only a few short months, Kiki #3, The Darkness Dwellers, will hit bookshelves everywhere! (Better late than never, right?) In the meantime, let's have some fun. Every week from now through November, I'm going to be giving away an ARC! So be sure to keep an eye on this blog if you'd like a chance to read The Darkness Dwellers before anyone else!

And there's more! A while back I mentioned a special "book" I wrote just for Kiki fans. It's called The Irregular Guide to New York City. I was inspired by Glimpses of Gotham to put together a guide to all the strange, creepy and wonderful places I've discovered over the years.

Every day until the end of the year, I'll be posting a new entry. On January 1st, I'll post a full PDF version of the book. For free!

So let's get started, shall we? Since Halloween (my favorite holiday) is right around the corner, I thought it might be good to kick off with Irregular Guide with a ghost or two . . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Darkness Dwellers Giveaway!

So I haven't been blogging. What have I been doing? Good question. Contemplating my next move, I suppose. I'll let you know what it is as soon as I've figured it out.

In the meantime, I have another ARC of The Darkness Dwellers to give away! (And if I promised you a copy at some point in the past, now is the time to remind me!)

The first person who can provide a correct answer the following question wins an ARC. . . .

What common food can cause a condition called pellagra--the symptoms of which (pale skin, sensitivity to sunlight) may have inspired European tales of vampirism?

(I just finished reading Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart. Highly recommended.)

UPDATE: The first correct answer came in at 3:14! MKB (aka Anonymous), send me a note at! Congratulations!

Don't worry slow-pokes, there will be more giveaways soon!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The How to Lead a Life of Crime Cover Contest WINNER!

This was a hard decision. There were several entries that I really loved. But, having discussed the matter with my publisher and various esteemed colleagues, there seemed to be one that rose above the rest. Congrats, Katie! The cover of my latest book will be . . .

Friday, August 17, 2012

No, SERIOUSLY. Check Out the Entries!

There's some crazy talent out there. This may have been one of my better ideas. THIS LINK should work!

Check Out the Cover Contest Entries!

Cover contest entries have started coming in, and I'm really impressed by what I've seen so far. I'll be posting some of the entries that I find most interesting. Check out the latest HERE. They're not necessarily finalists, just covers that managed to take me by surprise.


As I expected a few people have requested copies, and then posted reviews. (Naughty, naughty!) Fortunately, it appears that they loved the book. One described it as, "Hogwarts for hustlers meets the Hunger Games." Ha.

(Above: I love these old mug shots. Check out the eyes on the guy on the left. Below: I need to read more about her, but I like the look.)