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Download a FREE PDF of C. C. Finlay's New Novel, The Patriot Witch

February 7, 2009 at 1:42 am

My friend and mentor, Charlie Finlay, has a wicked (heh) new trilogy coming out from Del Rey this year. Traitor to the Crown is, in his own words, a tale of "witches fighting a secret war behind--and sometimes in front of--the scenes during the American Revolution." (A secret history of magic being used to fight a secret war? I think I like that idea.)

The cool part? Del Rey is releasing the books of his series in crazy-fast succession this year: April, May, and June.

Yeah. Because he's that good and it's going to be that huge.

But the coolest part? You can download a FREE PDF of the first book in the series, The Patriot Witch-- right now, in its glorious entirety -- from Charlie's website.

That's free as in no signup, no registration, no newsletters, no strings. Just download and read.

It's even legal. Charlie has blogged about the giveaway here.

I'm thrilled beyond words for Charlie. I hope that this experiment is a huge success, and that it launches this series and his career into the stratosphere, making him a CA$H MONEY MILLIONAIRE. He and his wife and their kids deserve it. And, less altruistically, Charlie's success here will be good news for all of us novelists who are trying to sell our wares in this cold, uncaring world.

In a weird way, Charlie has been one of the guiding stars of my fledging writing career. It seems I keep coming back into his orbit, every couple of years. And my writing experience has been much richer for it.

I first got to know Charlie about 6 years ago, when I joined the Online Writing Workshop. (And if I haven't mentioned it, I credit the OWW with having a huge influence on my writing. I became a much better writer, and much more quickly, than I would have if I'd never joined the 'orkshop.) Back then he was the go-to support guy for the OWW. He was also a regular presence on the OWW mailing list, where he dispensed moral support, wisdom, good cheer, and all-around pillar-of-the-community-ness. It was through that mailing list, in fact, that I ended up attending my first face-to-face writing workshop.

Charlie mentioned the weekend writing workshop at an upcoming Context convention in Ohio; I asked him off-list if he thought it would be a worthwhile thing for an OWW person who'd never done face-to-face critiquing before. He encouraged me to give it a shot, and so I did. In addition to meeting Charlie in the flesh for the first time, at Context I also met Toby Buckell and Paul Melko. (Paul, incidentally, bears an incredible resemblance to my friend Richard. So much so that when I ran into Paul at Worldcon last year, I was momentarily dumbstruck because I couldn't figure out what Richard was doing in the Denver convention center when he lives in Minneapolis. I'm pretty sure there's cloning or some sort of freaky DNA thing involved there.)

The Context workshop was a fantastic experience. Thanks to Charlie and Toby and Paul, I gathered up enough courage to apply to Clarion a few months later. Which is how I ended up spending 6 weeks in East Lansing that summer. Guess who taught the second week of Clarion 2005? None other than Mr. Charles Coleman Finlay. He was a fantastic instructor: insightful, supportive, informative. Toby came along with Charlie to hang out with us a couple of times, too, so I got to know Toby a little better.

Charlie also knows his way around an inflatable wading pool. Never let it be said he doesn't. Because he does. Just sayin'.

A couple of years after Clarion, Charlie and Toby invited me to attend Blue Heaven, the week-long novel writing workshop they've run on Kellys Island each summer for the past several years. Charlie workshopped The Patriot Witch that year, and I workshopped a portion of Bitter Seeds. (I guess "magical secret histories of real wars" was the running theme at Blue Heaven that year.)

And, can I just mention how I slayed everybody with my killer impersonation of Mr. Finlay? Oh, yes. Mostly it involved waving my arms in the air and declaring, "I'm Charlie! I'm so smart!" Maybe you had to be there. But I know Charlie enjoyed it.

Anyway. Charlie is a fantastic guy. I respect and admire him, if you can't already tell.

But why are you still reading this? You could be downloading and reading The Patriot Witch right now.

(And just think-- after you devour that book, the next volume of the Traitor to the Crown series comes out in May. And the finale in June. No waiting years and years to see how it plays out!)

This is a great time to be a C. C. Finlay fan.


Melinda February 10, 2009 at 8:59 pm
How nice that Charlie has a publisher who is being creative about pushing his work, and believes in his work. I know I would love the fast release. Once I'm into a series I want to just devour it. I hate the wait between books.
Ian February 10, 2009 at 10:10 pm

I agree-- it's really cool to see Del Rey putting out Charlie's entire trilogy in 3 consecutive months. It makes me think about the conversations we've had about television shows that play well in weekly installments over the course of a season, but that don't necessarily "mainline" well. From what I know of the series and what I've read of the outline of the entire trilogy, it looks like something that will mainline really well.

I'm also excited for Charlie and hoping that this new phase of his career is a huge success.

C. C. Finlay February 12, 2009 at 4:07 am
Mostly it involved waving my arms in the air and declaring, "I'm Charlie! I'm so smart!" I think the most amusing part -- for me anyway -- was the tone of complete exasperation in your voice as you did it. I can't wait for the Milkweed Triptych to get published. I think readers are going to love the way you mix beautiful and evocative language with incisive characterization and the big boomy plot stuff. It's going to set the bar higher for any of us who ever hope or want to write about the same period.
Ian February 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm
Mostly it involved waving my arms in the air and declaring, "I'm Charlie! I'm so smart!" I think the most amusing part -- for me anyway -- was the tone of complete exasperation in your voice as you did it.

Exasperation? And here I'd thought I'd captured your voice perfectly.

incisive characterization and the big boomy plot stuff

My plotting method, whenever I get stuck, is to toss in a pyrokinetic Nazi setting orphans on fire. It's subtle, but I hope that I inclue people to the fact that said Nazi is a bad guy.

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