ewein2412: (osprey hair)

My husband Tim is in the computer games industry, and since computer games are, yanno, a form of film art, he's joined the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, aka BAFTA. It is, incidentally, a charity; and they give out the British film awards. As a member Tim got tickets, kind of just for fun, to the Scottish BAFTA Awards, which were held last night.

I knew it was going to be black tie, which meant putting Mark in a suit (his first), and digging out one of my long-disused EVENING GOWNS (last worn in 2001, I believe). But I think we clean up rather well.

I'd kind of glanced over the list of nominees without taking any names in and I certainly didn't expect to spot Peter Capaldi (for those of you who don't watch: Dr. Who) straight away. Which just goes to show you how unprepared I really was.

Mark spotted Steve Moffat about 5 minutes later (again, for those of you who don't watch: he's the Dr. Who writer, and writes for a bunch of other BBC shows including Sherlock. Well I wouldn't have recognized Steve Moffat!). At which point Tim mentioned that Peter Capaldi and Sam Heughan were both nominated for Best Television Actor and I was like...

Well, those of you who know me as an Outlander fan can guess what I was like. And then it turned out that Catriona Balfe was nominated for Best Television Actress, and suddenly I was ALL OVER this evening, which I had previously assumed was just going to be fun but that I wouldn't know or recognize anybody because I never go to any movies or watch any television and apparently the Scottish BAFTAs are sort of looked down on for being "provincial." AYE RIGHT.

It turns out - why had I not realized this? - that basically all my favorite actors are Scottish!

And they were ALL THERE - either receiving awards or presenting them or both.

Catriona Balfe & Sam Heughan

same, because they are essentially EYE CANDY #jamie

Catriona Balfe accepting her Best Television Actress award

Peter Capaldi as presenter

Steve Moffat

Moffat was a great presenter, funny and personable, and said a lot of excellent things about how writers don't get enough credit in the visual arts business because WE ARE THE BEST. ;)


James McAvoy

The funny thing was, neither Tim nor Mark knew who most of these people were (apart from Dr. Who), so every time I had another flip-out over who was up on the stage, they were a bit baffled.

So, you'd have thought I'd have already had a great evening, right? No, look who was ALSO HERE PRESENTING AWARDS. Oh, you don't recognize her? MAYBE YOU'D RECOGNIZE HER VOICE.

Morven Christie #julie

Morven Christie happens to be the Scottish actress who voiced Julie for the audiobook of Code Name Verity.

I'd had absolutely no idea she'd be there and I couldn't have been more excited - if NONE of those other people had been there, meeting Morven Christie would have absolutely made my evening.

So of course after the awards were over I had to go introduce myself. She was lovely and just as excited to meet me as I was to meet her. She told me how much she'd love CNV, how she'd read it in one day the first time, and then when she was reading the audiobook it was like Julie was speaking through her, like she was reading her own words aloud -

And then we both had a huge rant about Brexit and the American election.

Morven Christie & E Wein!

(There was a lot of Brexit-bashing. The most sustained round of applause all evening, indeed, was when one of the awards acceptance speeches included the line, "Up yours, Brexit!")

The full list of awards is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37893926

It was an absolutely fabulous event in so many ways. And I am SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY I LIVE IN SCOTLAND.

ewein2412: (maddie as WAAF)
Our children have been embroiled in a school production of Fiddler On the Roof, meaning they were out of the house at 8 a.m. and not home till 10.30 p.m. all week long, so we’ve been taking advantage of a relatively empty nest. Also, IT IS SUMMER, all glorious three days of it, with cloudless skies and temps hovering around 20-25C – or as the Guardian called that in 1969, “The sizzling seventies.” Tim and I went flying yesterday afternoon. Tim flies a lot more than I do, mostly during the week when he’s in Kent – I still don’t have a current rating, so have to take an instructor and do some training. Anyway, yesterday we hired a plane together from Tayside Aviation in Fife.

“Where do you want to go?” Tim asked. “To the Bridges, to the Kelpies, along the Fife Coast?” All twenty-minute jaunts and very pretty.

I said, “How about Bamburgh?” Because I know it isn’t far, especially in the air, and the coastline is wonderful and it is my favorite holiday destination. We have now had a week-long winter holiday there three years running.

“Great idea!”

So that’s what we did, Tim doing the flight planning and the radio calls and all the hard work getting around Edinburgh’s airspace, me doing nothing. As we approached Berwick-on-Tweed, twenty miles north of Bamburgh, he handed me the controls and said, “You can fly us there.”

And as I took the controls I remembered this, from Code Name Verity.

Maddie on fabric wings flew low over the long sands of Holy Island and saw seals gathered there. She flew over the great castle crags of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh to the north and south, and over the ruins of the twelfth-century priory where the glowing gospels were painted, and over all the fields stretching yellow and green towards the low Cheviot Hills of Scotland.

Holy Island and Lindisfarne

the causeway to Holy Island... tide is out

That passage is, I think, the most oft-quoted of length from all of Code Name Verity – to my utter surprise and delight, as when I wrote it I worried it was going to be considered such hooptedoodle that I’d be asked to edit it out. And then I remembered that Maddie also dreams about flying over the sands at Holy Island, later in the book, with Julie. And then I got kind of choked up.

Fly the plane, Maddie.

So I did. I let Tim take all the pictures, because he takes better pictures than me anyway. This meant that I did all the flying the rest of the way down and all the way back. Afterward Tim said, “I’m sorry you were doing all the flying – you didn’t get the best view!” and I was like… “DUDE. I DID ALL THE FLYING. I flew over Holy Island and Lindisfarne Priory and Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. I was HAPPY.”

Bamburgh, looking north toward Budle Bay

(I mean, a little bit of choking up is manageable in flight. I honestly didn’t think about the CNV connection until I was approaching Holy Island with my hands on the controls.)

Nothing to be afraid of, nothing to battle against, just the two of us flying together, flying the plane together, side by side in the gold sky.

the cottage we stay in is at the right of the little square near the center - Sandham, Armstrong Cottages

PS At least one reader on my twitter account connected flying to Bamburgh with Code Name Verity FASTER THAN I DID.

ewein2412: (maddie in headset)
This is what. I went to the 60th Anniversary conference of the British Women Pilots’ Association (BWPA). That is such an understatement in terms of the emotional roller coaster the event put me through. It was held at White Waltham airfield, the home of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and where the BWPA was founded by half a dozen ex-Air Transport Auxiliary pilots in 1955.

Clubhouse at White Waltham

The thing is, White Waltham airfield is also the home of the West London Aero Club, and long before I’d ever heard of the ATA, for five years this was my flying club. My husband kept a plane at White Waltham. I had my first flying lesson here. I took a flight in a Tiger Moth from White Waltham, and looped the loop in an open cockpit over Henley-on-Thames. I was on the airfield at White Waltham when I went into labor, ten hours before giving birth to my daughter, my first child. She had her first flight five weeks later, also from White Waltham, in an Antonov AN-2.

That's me and Sara on the right! Tim is next to me. He flew this thing under instruction from the pilot in the pink shirt in the center - an ex-Concorde pilot. As a result of this flight Tim has a taildragger rating. 0.o

It is more than 15 years since I last set foot on White Waltham airfield, so just being there was a huge nostalgia trip for me. But of course, since then, I have written two novels about ATA pilots. I know the names and faces of the women who flew there seventy-some years ago. When people use photos of ATA pilots to make Code Name Verity fan art, I can identify “Maddie” as played by Pauline Gower, or Joan Hughes, or Maureen Dunlop.

Original ATA flag in the West London Aero Club clubhouse. The flag is on permanent loan from the ATA Museum in Maidenhead.

The West London Aero Club logo incorporates a pair of ATA wings with the ATA’s motto – “Aetheris Avidi” – eager for the air. I didn’t notice this on the souvenir mugs in our kitchen until after I’d written Code Name Verity, ten years after we’d left White Waltham. Now I have this whole other level of historical interest and association with White Waltham – in many ways, just as emotional as the personal association for me.

The BWPA conference this weekend was a delight, inspirational and informative and convivial. I met one of the first members, Muriel Tucker, which was a thrill; I caught up with people I knew from other aviation events; I met older women who have achieved dizzying firsts and younger women struggling to build hours. Pilots, poets, historians, adventurers, astronomers – men and women both – all turned out in their evening wear for the gala dinner on Saturday night. I was SO glad I went!

We got a display from a visiting Spitfire!

And Saturday was just so darn gorgeous, with unlimited visibility, that it would have been ridiculous not to go flying. So I paid for what was essentially a “trial lesson,” but was really part sightseeing and part familiarization – my last logged flight in control of an aircraft was three years ago. Highclere Castle – aka Downton Abbey – was definitely the highlight of the trip. I said to the instructor, “OK, you have to fly so I can take pictures. You have NO IDEA what this is going to do for my street cred back in the States.”

Highclere Castle

Greenham Common and Berkshire

The highlight of the conference, for me, was probably Candy Adkins’s talk about her ATA pilot mother, Jackie Moggridge (nee Sorour). Candy had brought along a ton of her mother’s memorabilia – her original logbook was amazing. For fans of Code Name Verity, here’s the page where she first flies a Lysander – there are “Puss” flights (as in Puss Moth) also on the page! (I took a ton of pictures of entries in this log book.)

Candy told a wonderful story of how her mother used to give her “Spitfire flying lessons” under the duvet before bed. “Now hold the controls and close your eyes – just think you want to turn right. Just think it, and you’ll turn.” When her mother died, Candy – not a pilot herself - was given the opportunity by Carolyn Grace to scatter Jackie’s ashes from the Grace Spitfire, which has dual controls. Halfway through the flight, Carolyn said to Candy – “Hold the stick now – you have control! Just turn her gently right – ” Candy said, “I thought of those lessons under the duvet, and I just held the stick and thought… I want to turn right. And I did.” When they landed, Carolyn said to her, “You certainly are your mother’s daughter.”

It was much, much later in the day that I remembered why the name “Jackie Sorour” – Jackie Moggridge’s maiden name – is so familiar to me. She inspired an accident and an incident in Rose Under Fire. She is the ATA pilot who, while ferrying a Tempest, encountered a V1 flying bomb in mid-air and went after it – though she failed to get close enough to tip it before it detonated and destroyed a village.

Jackie Moggridge, nee Sorour

ewein2412: (osprey hair)
25 June 2014 is the release date for Nome in Codice Verity!

There have been quite a few foreign language editions of Code Name Verity released in the last year or so, and often as not I know nothing about their distant existence after I sign the contract. Sometimes I sneakily buy myself copies through some continental bookseller in Euros. I haven’t figured out how to find a copy of the Chinese editions (the publisher will some day send me a few, I hope.)

However, sometimes there is a little more fanfare. As part of the Mare de Libri (Sea of Books) Festival of Young Readers held this year in Rimini 13-15 June 2014, there is an annual competition for students to create a book trailer for forthcoming books in Italian. The competition is organized by three major Italian publishers including Rizzoli, the publisher of Nome in Codice Verity, who invite participation from readers in all the schools of Italy.

By happy coincidence, the winning video for this year’s competition, by Sofia Rivolta, is for Nome in Codice Verity. It is beautiful and utterly haunting.

The 6th place video, by the Sagrado school group, is also a CNV trailer. It looks like this one is accompanied by original music – “Tango Verity”! I am so amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of these kids, though I probably shouldn’t be!

Another cool thing about the Italian edition of CNV is that the kind and conscientious translator, Giulia Bertoldo, got in touch with me regarding a number of subtle queries about the nuance of words used in the book. We talked a lot about the faint difference between “radio operator” (radiotelegrafista) and “wireless operator” (marconista), in addition to “radio” and “wireless set”. Giulia ended up consulting a blogger named Andrea Lawrendel on the site Radiopassioni (“Radio Passions”), who suggested the term “sanfilista” (from sans fils, without wire), and also recommended some relevant reading material for her. She finally went with “operatrice radio” for Verity, noting that “the term operatrice leads to the idea that she was in a way a sort of ‘puppet master,’” and “controllore di volo” (air traffic controller) for Maddie, which is a more modern term but an accurate description of her job.

Andrea Lawrendel has now published a kind review of Nome in Codice Verity on Radiopassioni, as well as wishing the best of luck to both translator and author.

What a great way to celebrate my debut in Italian!
ewein2412: (osprey hair)
Rose Under Fire has been given a makeover for the U.S. paperback edition and I've been given the go-ahead to show it off! What do you think?

RoseUnderFire_PBK_CVR for web

I love how it echoes the look of the Code Name Verity paperback without being too heavyhanded about the imagery.

CNV paperback for web RoseUnderFire_PBK_CVR for web

It's due out 10 September 2014.
ewein2412: (osprey hair)
I get challenged again and again: “Why is Code Name Verity considered young adult fiction? The characters are too old. The writing is too literary. The situation is too harsh.” And that is all true. Sometimes these challenges are polite, and made directly; sometimes I encounter them, more hurtfully, online. “Nothing happens in the first 200 pages, it’s so boring.” “There are too many technical details.” “I can’t imagine a teen reader engaging with this book.” “My whole freshman class has to read this and we all hate it.” Oh, man. Author nightmare, your book turned into a school assignment that everybody hates!

I have very little idea how many teens actually read and enjoy Code Name Verity. When I speak to school groups, they usually haven’t read it yet. When I speak at bookstores, the audience is almost always overwhelmingly composed of grown-ups. But every now and then I get a hint that there are target audience fans out there too. In Politics & Prose in Washington, DC, I met a 12-year-old girl who had read Code Name Verity five times (when she was eleven). She said it was her favorite book. She had forced it on her best friend, who had read it twice. I remind myself about these kids whenever I feel down. And also of the occasional amazing school visit like Heart of England, which read CNV for the Carnegie Shadowing scheme. And also of the occasional evangelistic readers my daughter (now 16) meets online. These are the opposite of the nightmare scenario.

I knew that Code Name Verity was one of the 28 titles in the running for the YALSA Teens Top Ten list for 2013, but I totally, totally did not expect it to make the final cut. Last night I was flabbergasted to learn that it came in as Number One.

Here's a congratulatory tweet I received from Jenn Calder which really encompasses what this means to me:

Okay? Okay! People! It doesn’t prove anything about CNV so much as it proves that teens are intelligent, discerning readers. The whole fabulous list does. I’d have been proud to be anywhere on it. Heck, I was proud to be one of the 28 nominees.

Here it is in full.

1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (Disney/Hyperion)
2. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic/Scholastic Press)
3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Harper Collins/Katherine Tegen Books)
4. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry (Harlequin Teen)
5. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (Simon & Schuster)
6. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic/Scholastic Press)
7. Crewel by Gennifer Albin (Macmillan/Farrar Straus Giroux)
8. Every Day by David Levithan (Random House/Alfred A. Knopf)
9. Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (Egmont)
10. Butter by Erin Jade Lange (Bloomsbury)

Thank you, YALSA teens. I am going to stop doubting myself now.

ewein2412: (osprey hair)
I can't believe how much I posted last year, cause I haven't posted a THING this year. So here's a happy announcement - last week Code Name Verity won the Edgar Award for best young adult mystery/thriller for 2013. I have never, ever felt so much like I was at the Oscars. Actually, in my gold dress I felt like an Oscar... XD

gold dress

Here's the full list of nominees in the YA category:

Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things, Kathryn Burak

The Edge of Nowhere, Elizabeth George

Crusher, Niall Leonard

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, Kat Rosenfield

Code Name Verity, E Wein

And here are the authors who turned up for the awards banquet. WE ARE SO GLAM!

edgar teen queens

Kat Rosenfield is in the middle and Kate Burak on the right. They were SO NICE and you should go read their excellent books, too. (sorry the photo is blurry!)

And here are the delighted editor (Catherine Onder, in eau-de-nil) and agent (Ginger Clark, in evening black), with the pallid bust of Poe himself:

im just a poe boy

In other news! This was waiting for me back in Scotland when I got home. IT IS A BOOK.

a book

This was also waiting. It is a hanky. Amanda sent it. Astonishingly, it is an actual souvenir of Paris in 1945. See the Eiffel Tower? For so many reasons, it is *perfectly* representative of Rose Under Fire. When I realized what it was, I started to cry.

rose hanky


and this is out today in the US!

cnv paperback US

ewein2412: (verity text)
I wanted to make this post kind of special, so I am writing it from a High Place. Which is in fact the Knock in Crieff, Scotland, and I have taken pictures of the surrounding view for you. And the fact that it is blowing a gale will maybe make me keep it brief.

knock 3

knock 1

knock 2

It probably hasn’t escaped a lot of you that Code Name Verity was named a Printz Honor Book by the American Library Assoication in their Youth Media Awards announced on Monday for the year 2012. For those not savvy with the ins & outs of the ALA: the Printz is like the Newbery except it’s for young adult books. This is the highest literary honor ever given to anything I have ever written.

Remember back in May 2010, here, when I said this was the Best Damn Book I’ve Ever Written? Well, I have been writing and publishing under-the-radar books for twenty years - TWENTY YEARS - and it feels so very, very good to have one that is out there flying in the sunlight.

The full ALA Youth Media Awards list is here. There were a lot of surprises this year, and I feel extremely lucky and SO GRATEFUL to the Printz Committee for selecting CNV to be listed as one of this year’s honor books. The other honor books were Terry Pratchett's Dodger, Beverly Brenna's The White Bicycle, and Benjamin Alire Saenz's Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. The winner of the Printz Award for 2013 is Nick Lake for In Darkness.

printz sticker

I knew that one of the perks would be SILVER STICKERS. But I didn’t realize there would be so many flowers involved!

printz flowers
double roses

And now my hands are frozen, so I’m hiking back down the Knock to continue revising the next book.

Love to all.
ewein2412: (stella potens et mira)
The winner of the CNV audio giveaway is [livejournal.com profile] anderyn. In between announcing this giveaway and announcing its results, CNV has been chosen by ALA Booklist for its 'Top of the List' award for best audiobook of 2012! CNV has made a lot of "best of 2012" lists, but this was one is a delight that really came out of left field for me.

I have done a lot of blog interviews in the past month, and although I've been tweeting them as they come up, I don't think I've mentioned most of them here. So here's a rundown of the links. With the exception of the Smugglivus post on Booksmugglers, this is mostly CNV-related chat. Yes, it is all original content, what kind of a blogger do you think I am? (Although there's probably some crossover in the answers.)

Enjoy... and have a wonderful holiday. Hope some of you are enjoying better weather than us (Perthshire is now officially the wettest place in the UK since 19 Dec.)

Interview with J Monkeys at Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes, 22 December 2012

Interview with Amber at the Page Turners Blog, 13 December 2012

Interview with Ann Giles, aka Bookwitch, 12.12.12 This one is illuminated with some interesting pictures including Maddie's house in Stockport and Lysander "Pilot's Notes"!

'Me and My Kindle" - Smugglivus 2012 Guest Author post on the Booksmugglers, 8 December 2012

YA's The Word interview with Katja Weinert, 27 November 2012
ewein2412: (queenie in cap)
The Goodreads Choice Award results are in! The winner in the Young Adult Category is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Code Name Verity placed 7th as a finalist, which I think is phenomenal.

Because, well, the name of the award says it all - it’s a readers’ choice. I confess to sneaking a look at the ratios behind the number of votes the finalists got and the number of Goodreads ratings they have. I won’t list them here, but most of the finalists received between 25 and 40 percent the number of Choice Award votes in relation to their number of Goodreads ratings.

The book to watch in the Young Adult category is Never Fall Down, Patricia McCormick’s moving fictional account of the life of Arn Chorn-Pond as a survivor of the Khmer-Rouge genocide in Cambodia. It has very few Goodreads ratings, but it has MORE VOTES THAN RATINGS. A voter/rating ratio of slightly over 100 %. If you read it… I think you’re likely to love it.

Code Name Verity has a voter/rating score of 98 %.

Which is freaking awesome. CNV Special Ops ROCKS. Thank you, fierce wonderful readers. THANK YOU.


There was a CNV giveaway on Goodreads connected with the Goodreads Choice Awards, and the winners are Sadie, Roselyn, and Bethany Miller.

In gratitude for putting up with all this Goodreads Choice Awards propaganda I’ve been bombarding you with for the past month or so, which is really kinda boring, I’m giving away an MP3 ready copy of the wonderful audio book of Code Name Verity (signed of course), read by Morven Christie and Lucy Gaskell. They are spectacular. Comment if you’d like to enter the giveaway! Ends 21 December 2012.

I do not really enjoy self-promotion, but I LOVE YOU PEOPLE.
ewein2412: (queenie as WAAF)
Code Name Verity has made it to the semifinals of the Goodreads Choice Awards!

So now if you voted, I think you all get to vote again. And I get to do some more preening. So what the heck. I am preening, I will do it properly. Here’s a list.

Code Name Verity is:

A School Library Journal Best Books title, 2012
A Booklist Books for Youth Editors’ Choice, 2012
An Amazon Best Teen Books 2012 title
A Barnes & Noble Best Teen Books of 2012 title
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2013

That’s not the full list. That’s just what’s turned up in the last two days. That and the Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinals. Sooooo….

The semifinal round ends 18 November 2012. I have let the timing of the announcement run away with me because… I didn’t actually realize CNV was through to the semifinals till people on my Twitter feed started tweeting that they’d voted for it.

The winners of the giveaway are [livejournal.com profile] jillheather, [livejournal.com profile] carihunter and Lauren (who commented on the Goodreads link to this blog). Please send me your snail mail addresses at ewein2412 [AT] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk

There’s a Goodreads giveaway ending 4 Dec. 2012 for three more copies running at:


‘Next Big Thing’ post and more details about the next book coming up next week!


CNV Special Ops, you rock. my. world.
ewein2412: (queenie in cap)
Code Name Verity has been nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award! THANK YOU, incredibly loyal readers, especially those who frequent Goodreads! I have never had a year like this in my 20 years of publishing, for real. It’s a little overwhelming but feels so good. "Thanks for reading" doesn’t really do you guys justice. "Thanks for enrolling in the CNV Special Ops" is more like it.

So, this Goodreads Choice Award is a particularly flattering achievement because it's chosen by readers, and if you've got a Goodreads account, you can vote in the awards process yourself. There are 15 nominees each in 20 different categories - CNV is nominated in "Young Adult Fiction." Click through the link above, or the badge on the sidebar, to vote. (I've got the links connected to the YA Fiction category but you can get to all the other categories through there too.)

The opening round ends 11 November 2012. Just a week! Please spread the word.

To celebrate I'm throwing another CNV giveaway: three autographed and inscribed copies, one British, one American and one Canadian. Comment if you want to be included in the draw for any of them. If you've already got one, comment if you want me to send one to a friend! Giveaway closes 12 November 2012.

You all know there's another book on the way, right? The contract is signed and it's all official and everything. The title is still under discussion (sigh sigh sigh). But the book is finished. Publication planned for Autumn 2013!

Lots of love to you all from E Wein.
ewein2412: (Sara)
My "aftermath" post is 4 days late because Life, nevermind racing, interferes with LiveJournal. Can I just say that yesterday was Mark’s last day of primary/elementary school, my last day of a 10-year-long association with Viewlands Primary School, Sara’s last day of her beloved Guides/Scouts troop who are now DISBANDED because they are all too old, AND our 12-year-old goldfish died. The goldfish was as old as Mark, possibly older, and we have had it since we moved to Scotland. When I left the house to meet Mark at the end of his last day of primary school, Fizz was breathing - when I came home, Fizz was dead. Definitely, all things considered, the end of an era.

We have also been to Mark’s "Leavers’ Assembly," Sara’s senior school play, cricket practice, the supermarket, and the shortlist launch for the Scottish Children’s Book Award. Which Code Name Verity is on, along with (in the Older Readers category) The Prince Who Walked with Lions by Elizabeth Laird and The 13th Horseman by Barry Hutchison. (I am so pleased to have finally met Elizabeth Laird, author of The Garbage King and Crusade. Given that The Prince Who Walked with Lions is a book I wish I’d written - so much so that I actually have a folder labelled "Alemayehu" in my work-in-progress folder - I am extremely pleased about sharing the list with Elizabeth Laird. Also, we had an awesome rushed Ethiopian experience swap and we think she probably crashed overnight with my aunt & uncle (Susan & Rog) in Woldia in 1968.)

But I digress!

Yes, Sara and I completed the Race for Life without incident - the weather was only marginally more cooperative than last year, and I didn’t end up carrying Sara’s hoodie and water bottle like I did last year, either. I finished in 38 minutes and Sara in 34. So we were both slower than we were a year ago. I wasn’t really expecting to be faster as I was much more cautious about training this year, due to an achy knee which I do NOT want to encourage.

[livejournal.com profile] lauradi7 discovered that we are in Photo 23 on the Dundee Courier website - we are the woman in blue and the teen in the navy sweatshirt!

But here’s a couple of close-ups.

race for life 2 race for life 1

Here's our cheering section. The beak is from his school play parrot costume from last week:

race for life 3

Late donations still gratefully accepted - our online donation page is here:

ewein2412: (verity text)
[livejournal.com profile] tiboribi has created a Spoiler Friendly CNV discussion group on Goodreads, here:


This is actually something I've been wanting to do for a while, but sort of thought it ought to wait till after the US book release. There are an awful lot of blogger reviews out there and they are all, without exception, extremely careful about revealing anything. So here's a place to speculate about whether You-Know-Who and You-Know-Who actually end up together, or whatever.

I'll be lurking - I think it might not be appropriate for me to join in the converation, so I'll try to keep my oar out. Go take a look if you're interested. BUT ONLY IF YOU'VE READ THE BOOK, FOR GOSH SAKES.
ewein2412: (queenie as WAAF)
On women's roles in wartime and the writing of CNV, over at the Daily Fig on figment.com. It was an inspired idea to write this from V's point of view, but OH. MY. GOD. How I wept over that final paragraph while writing it. Thank god for ball point pens.

ewein2412: (eva seiler)
The winners of the CNV giveaway are [livejournal.com profile] jane_dark, [livejournal.com profile] ginnyland, and [livejournal.com profile] nocoward_soul.

And in case you missed it the first time, when it appeared late in the comments, [livejournal.com profile] rosaleeluann has done a gorgeous CNV picture ♥:

A Sensational Team by ~RosaleeLuAnn on deviantART
ewein2412: (eva seiler)
North America enters the CNV Field of Operations. Or in civilian terms, it’s time for the Code Name Verity online launch party and giveaway!

(Amazon links: Hyperion, USA; Doubleday, Canada; Electric Monkey, UK)


Tuesday 15 May 2012! That’s when Hyperion in the USA and Doubleday Canada both release their editions of Code Name Verity. In addition to taking my teenage daughter to the orthodontist and watching the boy play in a cricket match against his sister’s school, I thought it would be nice to celebrate a little with a North Atlantic Operations party online. Indeed, a worldwide party, open to anyone from the far-flung corners of the globe.


Well, here on my ridiculously underused blog. But you can pretend we are holding it in the drawing room of Craig Castle, Castle Craig. Or someplace like it.

(that's the drawing room, way over on the left, with the big bay window. And the little short round tower at the extreme left is one of the tiny libraries. Probably the one where the manuscript ends up.)

Guests of Honor

Meet some of the real life spies ’n’ pilots, and, um, a few others, who inspired CNV.

I kind of went overboard with the spies and pilots )


Sorry, we are out of butter again. Have some virtual whisky. It’s pre-war. If you don’t drink, I’m afraid it’s nowt but cold beans straight from the tin (I am shameless).

ETA: Oh yay, the Moon Squadron has smuggled us some champagne on their return flight. I *knew* this party was missing something.


A sneak peek at the first ‘chapter’ of CNV!

An audio sample of Morven Christie reading Verity. Yes, the whole 10+ hour unabridged audio is this good. I am in love. No, my name is not pronounced Vine, despite the Gaudy Night-ish overtones. The mispronunciation of my name is my punishment for probably mispronouncing [livejournal.com profile] estara’s and [livejournal.com profile] tiboribi’s names in the ‘Author’s Debriefing’, which they let me read myself. (My name is pronounced Ween, in case you are wondering.)

So, here is an interesting artefact for you. It is an early version of a short story called ‘Findo Gask’, featuring Theo from ‘Something Worth Doing’ (she also makes a cameo appearance in CNV), piloting a Spitfire over Scotland and encountering ghosts. No, it is not historically accurate. It is a draft and was written in 2006. The finished version is much shorter and about a boy (a fighter pilot). I posted it here in 2008 for International Pixelstained Technopeasant Day, but the link is broken. This is the original in all its glory.

And I have a picture to show off, too! Becky Yeager, BLESS HER, has produced a lovely piece of fan art coincidentally in the nick of time. (It was Sara who noticed the character differences in the way their names are written in this picture. I am in love with the neat, smug, not-actually-sleeping-cat expression on Queenie’s face, and her control and poise in spite of her small stature. So perfect.)


...Sara's mock-up cover from a couple of years ago

How about some music?

‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’ (*sob*)
‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’
Here’s the Mendelssohn from Colonel Blimp that makes Verity cry. Daft thing. I chose this version not for its sound quality but because I am tickled by the serious earnestness of this student orchestra.

Ready to leave?

If you’re heading out, here’s a list of museum exhibits some of you may be lucky enough to catch:

Women in Aviation: World War II is an exhibition going on at the moment in New York City at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (it’s on the Intrepid aircraft carrier) – this exhibit closes 8 July 2012. I am SO SORRY to be missing it, so I hope some of you will enjoy it vicariously on my behalf.

Beauty as Duty, Textiles and the Home Front in WWII Britain, is another exhibit it is KILLING me to miss. It is on at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA until 28 May 2012. GO SEE IT OR ANSWER TO ME PERSONALLY. ([livejournal.com profile] tiboribi, THIS MEANS YOU.)

The Imperial War Museum, London, has a permanent display on Special Operations and spies during World War II as part of their ‘Secret War’ exhibit.

The ATA Museum in Maidenhead (45 minutes west of London on the train). There is a special permanent exhibit there dedicated to the women of the ATA (the exhibit is called ‘Grandma Flew Spitfires’).

Giveaway: One of each!

I’ve got one US edition, one Canadian edition, and one UK edition to hand out, all signed of course - Giveaway now closed. Will post results soon, when I've got the Random Scratch Generator Boy to pick numbers.

Admission Mission:

This is your chance to join the CNV Special Ops. Here’s what’s going on: A V-Day Invasion. On 15 May, stop in at your local bookstore, your local library, your school library - any place you’re likely to find or borrow or purchase books, and demand they make CNV available to readers. Or indeed, mention any book you’re passionate about. Tweet, Facebook, comment on Goodreads, blog - boast about your encounter and ask all your reading friends to go do the same. Readers in the UK, the book’s already out here, so for goodness sake please join in - your job should be easier here. An Allied Invasion of Literary Establishments!

SO! Get out there in the bookstores and libraries and museums, get tweeting, spread the word about the giveaway, and above all, enjoy.

Minesweeping, for those of you who are still around…

These links are to interviews and discussions that I’ve mostly written myself, not to reviews. So if you want to find out more about How I Wrote CNV, it’s all (mostly) here somewhere.

Recap of blog tour and CNV discussion )


IT’S A BOOK ABOUT A PILOT. IT HAS PLANES IN IT. For some reason, this seems to take some people by surprise.
ewein2412: (looking the wrong way)
I have two weeks.

I would like to write something heroic and inspired before I go up in fireworks, but I am too stupid and sick with dread to think of anything. I can’t even think of anyone else’s memorable defiance to repeat. I wonder what William Wallace said when they were tying him to the horses that would rip him into quarters. All I can think of is Nelson saying ‘Kiss me, Hardy.’


OK, so I’m not really sick with dread. And nothing actually ever happens on a book’s ‘launch day’. You wait and wait and wait and wait, you waste years of your life waiting, and the publication date comes and goes and if you don’t mark it with a handful of confetti of your own, you find you’re actually just waiting again—for reviews or ratings or feedback of some kind—only now the waiting has no demarcated limit and eventually trickles off into waiting for the next book. I know, I know. Special Ops Exec. Write -

I’m not ‘sick with dread’, but I am apprehensive about Code Name Verity in a way that is new to me. It is new to me because it has real hope in it—hope that is gradually sloughing off its gild of cynicism. And that is because people are reading and enjoying this book. I sit here at my computer and I see what’s going on, in the blogosphere and the reviewing world, and I can’t quite believe it. I certainly can’t see where it’s going. I am almost as apprehensive of success as I am of disappointment.

CNV is, for example, an Amazon Editor’s Pick for Best Book of the Month in May. This may generate what a couple of reviewers are calling ‘hype,’ but it isn’t hype in and of itself. Hype didn’t put it there - the book put itself there. And that just makes my jaw drop.

Of course, it’s already out here in the UK. I’ve no idea how well it’s doing—the excitement of the first ‘Book Birthday’ has tapered off, and I don’t know if it’s selling according to plan. A team of guerrilla CNV Special Ops agents send me pictures of the book displayed in the windows of independent booksellers, or occasionally on a prominent shelf in the chains, bearing a handwritten staff recommendation card. I don’t quite know where to file these small triumphs in my brain. They astonish me. When the phenomenal review of CNV in Publisher’s Weekly turned up, and I found it online before my agent or even the publisher knew it was there, I didn’t tweet it for three days because I was sure it must be an error. But it wasn’t an error.

OK, you all know the location of the first aid kit and the fire extinguisher, right? And how to open the hatches in the event of a forced landing? Echo Echo Whiskey, ready for departure.


‘I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe, but at least I’m enjoying the ride.’ - The Grateful Dead


Comment, and we'll do one of our lame 'Sara picks a name out of a hat' giveaways - an autographed copy of the UK edition of CNV. Closes 8 a.m. BST Sat. 5 May 2012 (that's 8 a.m. British Summer Time, so Friday midnight in California, I think. That way I can mail it on saturday morning and you have a chance of getting it before the release date. Yes, I will ship internationally. I am wild that way.)
ewein2412: (mini carte d'identite)
Thank you to all those who have sent me links to obituaries for Raymond Aubrac, the French Resistance leader who died on Tuesday at the age of 97. Aubrac was much in the news yesterday here in the UK, but it was only while watching the BBC News at 10 last night that I made my own connection with him, which I thought I’d share. It was someone casually mentioning that he’d been rescued from the Gestapo by his “pregnant wife” that made me recognize him.

Here’s the story I know—Aubrac’s escape from France in early 1944, as told by Hugh Verity in We Landed by Moonlight (Ian Allan Ltd., 1978):

On the same night of 8/9 Feburary, [John] Affleck completed [Operation] ‘Bludgeon’ at his second attempt. They landed at their target at [11:30 p.m.]. The field was waterlogged and the Hudson [aircraft] was bogged while taxying back to the take-off point. Affleck had to stop the engines and call for assistance from the team on the ground and the passengers. They all manhandled the heavy aeroplane back to the take-off point and turned it into wind. It was trying to snow.

Once the loads were turned round Affleck started the engines but the Hudson would not move as the tail wheel had sunk in. They manhandled it again to clear the tail wheel. When this was done they found that the main wheels had sunk in up to the hubs so the engines had to be switched off again. A crowd of villagers arrived to help with the digging and pushing. The only French words the crew could muster was the navigator’s ‘Allez-hop!’

Some oxen and horses were then brought to the scene and hitched to the Hudson to drag it forward out of the mud, but they could not move it. At one point all work ceased as a German aircraft flew overhead. Affleck worked out that the latest safe time to take off would be [3:00 a.m.]. If not airborne by then the aircraft would have to be destroyed. He said to Paul Rivière, who was in charge on the ground: ‘If we have to burn the aircraft we’ll stick to you and run like hell for the Spanish frontier.’

He also decided that channels should be dug out in front of the main wheels so that he could taxi forward on the engines. This was eventually achieved. Meanwhile he had to stop the men from the Maquis [French Resistance guerrillas] removing all the guns and ammunition from the Hudson. Affleck attempted a take-off but could not build up enough speed and had to throttle back. While taxying back to line up for another attempt they were bogged once more, but this time managed to extricate the aeroplane quite quickly. He decided to take the minimum load and confined his passenger list to an RAF evader, one Frenchman [Aubrac], his wife and their young son. The man was a resistance worker who, under the sentence of death, had been rescued from a police van by his wife and friends. His wife had attacked the Gestapo in the van, tommy-gun in hand, when eight months pregnant. He seemed to be a nervous wreck. His wife was now within hours of giving birth. She just sat there in the mud.

At [2:05 a.m.], after they had been on the ground two and a half hours longer than intended, a final attempt at taking off succeeded—but only just. When very near the boundary of the field the Hudson hit a bump and bounced into the air at about 50 knots [quite slow for take-off]. Affleck just managed to keep it airborne, build up a safe speed and climb away. He had taken off with rather more than 15° of flap [helps in a short-field take-off but slows flight]. He was cold, wet and covered with mud from head to foot. After half an hour he realised that the Hudson was going very slowly, wondered why and realised that he had forgotten to put his flaps up.

He had no aerials left—they had all been broken off in the struggle on the ground. They found their way home without being able to identify themselves to the air defences of Great Britain. Eventually they landed at base at [6.40 a.m.]. The Hudson, covered with mud and ‘looking like a tank’, was greeted by the Station Commander, Group Captain ‘Mouse’ Fielden. A few days later Flying Officer J.R. Affleck was promoted to acting flight lieutenant and awarded an immediate DSO [Distinguished Service Order].

When he was describing this incident to me in 1975, John Affleck had two thoughts to add. Firstly, that, had he thought about it, he should really have flown all the way home with his wheels down. In the wisdom of hindsight, towards the end of his career as a professional airline pilot, he realised that there was a great danger of that mud-covered undercarriage becoming stuck or frozen up so that he would not be able to lower it for the landing at Tempsford. The other afterthought, looking back, was that he could have almost died of laughing at the struggles of the crew to communicate with the crowd of French helpers without any common language and that his main pre-occupation during this time was to stop these helpers damaging the Hudson.

The evader whom he brought back was Flight Lieutenant J.F.Q. Brough, of Carlisle, who had been with the Resistance since he crashed in France, in a 138 Squadron Halifax on 3/4 November 1943. In his letter to the author, Brough wrote:

‘As well as myself, we also carried Mr and Mrs Aubrac, two top members of the Resistance, and their young son. Mr Aubrac had been elected to the French Consultative Assembly in Algiers; Mrs Aubrac was nine months pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl in Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London the day we landed at Tempsford.’

This baby girl was named
Mitraillette (sub-machine gun).


Some of you may recognize the name Mitraillette. (I made an LJ post quoting some of this passage in March 2010, when I was deep in the throes of writing Code Name Verity: http://eegatland.livejournal.com/72287.html)

CNV linky

Feb. 12th, 2012 02:29 pm
ewein2412: (verity text)
collected all in one place, wow!


Last Monday's live interview on BBC Radio Scotland (no longer live):

Bookcafe page

Programme page for Mon. 6 Feb. (last day available!)

Podcast for Mon. 6 Feb. (available for 25 more days)


Blog tour posts:

Booktrust: On the theme of friendship in CNV

I Want to Read That: my personal encounters with wartime aircraft

Bookbabblers: Apparently I am their "author in residence" this month (news to me), so my footprint is all over this site:

My favorite books (oh brother):

Author interview (the osprey gets a mention):

On the inspiration for CNV:

Over at Finding Wonderland, Tanita Davis has essentially put up a CNV review every day for 3 days running:

On War Stories

I Don't Do History: the Case for Historical Fiction

Turning pages: review of CNV

Daisy Chain Books - on the real people who inspired CNV:

Booksmugglers - Literary inspiration behind CNV (I really like this post):

Booksmugglers review (they gush. I have refrained from commenting because it is rather overwhelming).

Scottish Book Trust - inspiration, work in progress, and Why I Live in Scotland:

if you hunt for it, you CAN find Verity's real name revealed on line (not in this review, despite outward appearances). Her real name isn't really a spoiler. But most people are treating it as one. I LOVE THIS.


Not part of the tour but fun:

Chachic's Book Nook: Nice review with a boatload of interesting yet spoiler free discussion in the comments:

Lovely and emotional review here at By Singing Light:

[livejournal.com profile] estara is auctioning a copy of CNV (with author-signed bookplate) in support of Con or Bust: Fans of Color Assistance Project here:


And Books for Scotland has chosen CNV as their Children's Choice of the Month. They're the ones who called me an "American born Scottish author"!


If you want to order it yourself and don't have an independent bookstore where you can go demand it in person, the Book Depository ships free anywhere in the world.



Set Europe the world ablaze!


ewein2412: (Default)

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