Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ECHO 8: We have lift-off! (And a giveaway!)

Echo 8, from Tor Books. Action, suspense,
science, and romance!
In a way, it feels like any other day. Maybe it's all the buildup to Seattle's second consecutive Super Bowl, and the collective sob that went up in those closing seconds. Maybe it's all the media coverage I've been following on the demise of the Kalakala, a historic ferry boat that features prominently in ECHO 8. Maybe it's because I wrote this book like five years ago, and wasn't sure it would ever make it into print.

But it did. And I'm thrilled, because this one holds a special place in my heart, and it's the favorite of my beta readers.

If you read Laurie's post last week, you know there have been some interesting synchronicities, to say the least. The most poignant of which, perhaps, is the dismantling of the Kalakala coinciding with the release of ECHO 8. She sat for more than a decade in the Port of Tacoma, taking on water and threatening to disrupt shipping in an important waterway. Then just over a week ago she made her final voyage, and they've been taking her apart piece by piece ever since.

I was sad to see her go after spending so much time researching her for the book. She'd begun to feel like a friend, and she had some really hard luck over her lifetime. But the man who finally put her out of her misery did it with compassion, even arranging a special ceremony when the dismantling began. And the old girl put up a fight to the end! There is some great footage of cranes trying to knock her over in dry dock.

I think part of the reason I empathized with her is that sometimes being an author (especially an author in a niche genre) feels exactly like that. Sometimes it seems like there's every reason in the world we should keel over and give up. But deep down we know we're made of better stuff than that.

By R. M. Calamar (Flickr: Mural of the Kalakala in Port Angeles)
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
The Kalakala did pass though, and she did it with dignity. The fellow who basically ended up with her by default (after two separate, failed attempts by other parties to raise funds to restore her) grew just as attached as I did. But he believed she was ready to go and was asking for his help, and he didn't refuse. He spent something like half a million dollars just stabilizing her for that final journey to dry dock.

And out of her ashes (pardon me while I melodramatically mix metaphors) rises ECHO 8. A story about parallel Earths, and on one of them Kalakala lives on.

(But lest things get TOO serious, check out this sci-fi interpretation of the Kalakala's last stand.)

Happy release day, ECHO 8! (And happy birthday to baby ECHO 8 - see Laurie's post yesterday to see who I mean!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on Echo 8's launch! We've been waiting for this for a long time and now it's finally here! Yay!!! How ironic that the Kalakala met her doom at the same time that "her novel" released. At least she lives on in this other Seattle.

    1. Thanks, Laurie! Yes, it's been a long road for this one. :)

  2. Once again you lead the way, Sharon! Congratulations and I can't wait to read this one!

    1. Aw, thanks, Donna! It's an exciting month 'round the old blog, for sure!

  3. Yay! (I assumed the giveaway wasn't international as it doesn't say).

    1. Oh lordy I always forget. Since I didn't say, I'll cover it regardless of where. (Though it may not be signed if it's outside US or Canada, because Book Depository will be cheaper delivery.)

  4. So excited this is out! Never give up!

    1. Jessa!!! Golly, I think I wrote my first-ever guest blog post about this story for your blog, probably like five years ago! Thanks so much for dropping by to say howdy. I just picked up the first in your Sheerspace series!


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