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."