Danger: Elephant Ahead

People have been asking me, “Why a circus book?”

Circuses have had a place in my imagination for a long time. They’re part of my family mythology. When I was two or three years old, we all went to the circus. My brother was a baby at the time, so my mother was in charge of him and my older sister. My father was tasked with keeping me in line.

Easier said than done, apparently.

I got away from him, and a moment later, I was standing in front of a large elephant on its way to the big top.

According to family legend, I was completely unafraid, though the onlookers were horrified. I didn’t even come up to the elephant’s knee. It could have squished me like a bug.

Instead, we gazed at each other silently. Nobody dared to move.

Then my father saw me, and he sprang forward, grabbed me, and yanked me out of the elephant’s path.

I have no real memory of this incident, though my parents sure do. But I grew up with the story, and I tried to instill both the terror they felt and the fearlessness I displayed into The Marvelwood Magicians.

You may well have your own circus tale. Tell me about it! Your comment will enter you in a contest to win one of two signed copies of The Marvelwood Magicians.

Write a comment on the blog telling me why you love (or fear!) the circus. Two winners will be picked by random.org on October 20.

Good luck!

Another Day, Another Book

Yesterday was publication day for The Marvelwood Magicians. 

And the title of this blog is the EXACT OPPOSITE of how I feel.

This is my sixth novel; you’d think it would get old, right? But honestly, it doesn’t. Though the process gets a little easier, a little more familiar (sort of like giving birth to your sixth child, if you aren’t too squeamish for that metaphor), it’s still an utter thrill to bring a new book into the world. Knowing all those pre-orders are winging their way to readers (you pre-ordered it, right?), seeing it on bookstore  and library shelves, and hearing from people who’ve read it — all of that is just as much fun with the sixth book as it was with the first.

 

So go read! If you want to order a copy, just click on the cover. Let me know what you think! Happy book birthday to the magical Marvelwoods!

Marvelwoods Making Magic!

 

Early reviews on The Marvelwood Magicians have begun trickling in — and they’re excellent! I’m so excited for this circus family to meet the world. September 19 is the day!

 

 

From Kirkus (read the whole review here):

A hair-raising, exhilarating, big-top mystery.

 

And from School Library Journal:

The suspenseful plot moves quickly, and Zahler vividly portrays the unbearable pain of losing an innate part of one’s self.

VERDICT Bound to entice voracious and reluctant readers alike.

 

Just…Wow!

So THIS happened: Marvelwoods announcement

 

 

 

I am pretty much in shock. And in heaven. And, most wonderfully, in London! It’s an embarrassment of riches.

 

You might wonder how I could have sold two books within a few months of each other. I don’t actually write that fast. And nothing in publishing happens that fast! I finished The Marvelwood Magicians before writing Baker’s Magic, but I decided to change the narrative point of view in The Marvelwoods, so I rewrote the whole thing. And because the editorial wheels spin at different paces, Baker’s Magic found a home first. I love both of these books, and I’m incredibly happy that each is with an editor who loves it as I do.

 

Now I’d better start writing that next book…happy writer