My editor emailed me the cover mock-up to this last year.

Yes, last year.

That was how long I’ve been sitting on my hands with this information and this cover. Totally worth it.

Behold! The fruit of my loins. Mind the thigh gap.

bonewitch

LOOKIT HOW PRETTY IT IS. The shiny gold filigree, the lonely girl on the rock, the SKULL.

Hypable had been kind enough to do a cover reveal yesterday, also a first for me (ignore the unflatteringly then-pregnant me in the author profile). And while it does make mention of the book’s basic plot and themes, some people might want more specifics. Here are some answers I’m willing to give up.

What kind of heroine is Tea?

I have a penchant for antiheroes, as you might have noticed in previous books. Tea Pahlavi is definitely one of those.

Where does THE BONE WITCH take place?

In a fantastical version of  Middle East / Asia. It’s somewhat influenced by the Ayubbid dynasty (some of you historical buffs might recognize this as the time when Saladin ruled. He was also known for his Crusades war against Richard the Lionheart, who admired him despite being opponents). This was considered by some to be a very liberal period in Middle Eastern history, which has by now been overshadowed by the political turmoil in the region today. Politics will be important in the series, so there’ll be variations of culture here and there that will be briefly touched beyond the two main countries The Bone Witch revolves around, from dynasty-style mountain nations to Wahhabism-ridden desert kingdoms.

It’s also heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism, by the concept of “light” versus “dark” (a belief very familiar to most today, even if Zoroastrianism itself has nearly disappeared). Tea practices the “dark” side of the magic common in the books, which is why bone witches like her are feared. ‘Asha’, a name commonly applied to witches in the books, is a Zoroastrian term meaning ‘light’ and ‘truth’. ‘Daeva’, the term used to describe some of the grotesque creatures roaming the lands, is another Zoroastrian concept that means “false gods” of “gods who must be rejected” – the antithesis to ‘asha’.

Can you give us more specifics about the plot? 

THE BONE WITCH is made up of two intertwined stories, so to speak. One takes place in the present, where a bard recounts his experiences with an exiled asha he meets on a lonely beach of skulls. The second takes place in the past, where the same asha tells of her rise within the ranks of the gilded community of spellbinders who takes her in to be trained. But there is more to her than she first appears, and the unsuspecting bard might soon play a far bigger role in her story than even he realizes.

Have I mentioned that antiheroes are my thing?

What else can we expect from THE BONE WITCH?

  1. Geisha-esque girl fighters and strategists wielding powerful magic and throwing shade.
  2. Male counterparts who dress in black and kick ass.
  3. Undead gigantic demonic beasts that do not die for long, no matter how many times you kill them
  4. Bone witches who can CONTROL undead gigantic demonic beasts, albeit not indefinitely
  5. Unexpected bonds between a sister and the now almost-indestructible dead brother she kinda sortof accidentally resurrected (who still maintains a surprising sense of humor about the whole thing)
  6. A couple of guys who can forge people new hearts to wear (and will be pretty important in the next book, which I am working on atm) —
  7. — because almost everyone LITERALLY wear their hearts around their neck

Goodreads page found here. And once again, thanks to a lot of you guys who’d been excited for this book, and my apologies for taking so long to provide more details!