A month post-The Jasmine Throne's release, I have some news!
It’s been over a month since The Jasmine Throne came out! I’m so thrilled by the reaction the book has received. It’s the work I’m most proud of, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the generous response it has had from readers.
If you’ve emailed me about it, I’m working my way slowly through my messages and I’ll get back to you soon - just know I’ve seen your messages and loved them so much!
Betwen The Jasmine Throne’s release, a few life updates, and working on The Jasmine Throne’s sequel and my YA remix of Wuthering Heights, this is going to be a big old update. So without further ado…
Some highlights since our last chat:
The Jasmine Throne was the Illumicrate book for May
The Jasmine Throne has gone into its second printing (!!!)
I’ve been blessed with some gorgeous fanart
Some sequel woes and thoughts on social media
I can now reveal the title of The Jasmine Throne 2!
Aaaand I can also now reveal the title and blurb of my YA Wuthering Heights remix (drum roll please…)
Illumicrate is a book subscription box I’m a big fan of, and I was dying to tell everyone about The Jasmine Throne’s inclusion in it. But the book included each month is a secret, so I couldn’t really squee until now! I was sent a free copy of the special edition and of the book box, which included a book sleeve (which I… didn’t know was a thing? Super useful for carrying around hardbacks??), a customised TJT pin, a tea caddy and a notebook. I was delighted. The tea tin is now full of jasmine flower tea on my work desk.
Going into a second printing means that The Jasmine Throne has been more popular than my publisher necessarily expected it to be straight out of the gate, which I am so pleased about. Thank you for buying the book and requesting it from your library - every request and sale helps me to keep on publishing and writing my weird yearning chonker books.
If you’ve read it and you’d like to leave an honest review, please consider popping over to Amazon, B&N, Waterstones or whichever online retailer suits you best and leaving your feedback. All reviews help other readers find a book, so I’d very thankful.
One of the things I’ve loved most since The Jasmine Throne’s release has been receiving fanart. If you’ve created any art for TJT, I’d absolutely love to see it - please consider tagging me on Instagram, or emailing me. It’d bring me no end of joy!
Here are two pieces of fanart I recieved recently that are just brilliant. If you’d like to go and send the artists some comments or likes, I’m sure they’d be really happy to recieve some praise.
I’ve been working hard on the sequel of The Jasmine Throne. No spoilers here, but it’s another thorny story, with lots of POVs, strange magic and women carving out their own power - sometimes literally. I hope it’ll rip your heart out. (In a nice way. Possibly. Who knows! Not me.)
Unfortunately, life has interfered with me finishing the book as quickly as I had hoped to. Without going into detail, I have had some repeated family health scares that have meant I’ve had to prioritise my personal life. So it is possible that the second book in the trilogy will be a little delayed, and won’t be out in May 2022 as planned, but I’ll give you all an update as soon as I know more. It will still be out in 2022 though, no fear.
Trying to do justice by this book, and also by my family responsibilities, has also made me reflect on how I want to engage with social media and promotion. Twitter has become a more unpleasant place recently, and I find myself less equipped to deal with with it emotionally. Far more eloquent people than me have written about the problems authors face on Twitter, as a platform: Nicole Brinkley and Kacen Callender are two brilliant examples. So I’ll leave their words here, and let them speak for me.
I love talking to readers and other writers - and frankly, when my life settles I may feel better equipped to engage with Twitter fully again - but for now I’m stepping back to a more limited scope of engagement. But you’re still welcome to email me, or visit me on IG which is a much quieter space. I’m also on TikTok, but we don’t need to talk about that. ;)
I am considering making this newsletter more frequent to cover the gap left by Twitter, but I’m still debating on that one. (Partly, unfortunately, because Substack as a platform has made some questionable choices, and I’m afraid I may need to move this newsletter to an alternate platform when I find one that works for me.)
The Burning Kingdoms II - Title Reveal
Right, onto much cheerier news. The title of the second book in the Burning Kingdoms trilogy is:
The Oleander Sword is a very, very fitting title for the book in a few different ways. Aaaand I’ll say no more than that for now. I’ve also seen a draft of the second book’s cover and I really love it. Any guesses what - or who - is on the cover of the second book? I bet you could work it out…
Wuthering Heights Remix - Title Reveal
And, with the addition of another graphic, the title of my YA Wuthering Heights remix is…
What Souls Are Made Of is a title I feel fits the book really well, and it’s a paraphrase of a very famous quote from the original Wuthering Heights, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” ROMANCE.*
(*By romance I mean, a darkly gothic exploration of what it means to be human, what it means to love, and what it means to be haunted when your tangled family histories are all erasure, trauma and shadows. Like I said. Romance.)
And here is the book blurb:
“As the abandoned son of a Lascar—a sailor from India—Heathcliff has spent most of his young life maligned as an "outsider." Now he's been flung into an alien life in the Yorkshire moors, where he clings to his birth father's language even though it makes the children of the house call him an animal, and the maids claim he speaks gibberish.
Catherine is the younger child of the estate's owner, a daughter with light skin and brown curls and a mother that nobody talks about. Her father is grooming her for a place in proper society, and that's all that matters. Catherine knows she must mold herself into someone pretty and good and marriageable, even though it might destroy her spirit.
As they occasionally flee into the moors to escape judgment and share the half-remembered language of their unknown kin, Catherine and Heathcliff come to find solace in each other. Deep down in their souls, they can feel they are the same.
But when Catherine's father dies and the household's treatment of Heathcliff only grows more cruel, their relationship becomes strained and threatens to unravel. For how can they ever be together, when loving each other—and indeed, loving themselves—is as good as throwing themselves into poverty and death?”
In future newsletters, I’m going to try and talk a little more about the history that fed into What Souls Are Made Of. But for now, I’ll just say that you can pre-order WSAMO from Macmillan’s website. And you can add it on Goodreads here.
Thank you, as always, for all your support. Next time, I’ll try and include some more pet photos. But I promise Wei Ying bunny, Lan Zhan bunny and my scraggly old lady cat Asami are all doing well.