Learn to Cook Like Millie – Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 at 12pm

Hello, all! If you’re in the Boston area, I invite you to come cook with me at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. The class is on Saturday, Oct. 28th, noon to 3pm. I’ll be helping my friend Michael McComas teach a Halloweeny cooking class, including some of the recipes featured on this blog. Here’s the description from their catalog:

Want to create an atmosphere of adventure and spooky fun for Halloween? Instructor Michael McComas and author Dianna Sanchez will make some fun dishes from Dianna’s book A Witch’s Kitchen and from the cookbook The Necronomnomnom. Lamb Stew in a Flaming Pumpkin, Tcho-Tcho Chow-Chow–a zingy cauliflower side dish, for dessert, The Ring That Should Not Be–a gelatin centerpiece that is as delicious as it is scary — and Hairy Eyeballs, a monstrously delicious treat for your Halloween sideboard. Wash it down with butterbeer or pumpkin juice. Dianna will read from her Enchanted Kitchen series throughout the night. Instructors: Michael McComas and Dianna Sanchez

Sign up for the class soon! Only a few spots left!

Readercon – July 14-16, 2023

Hello, all! It’s been a busy year and an especially busy summer for me, but next weekend turns out to be free, so I will be attending Readercon! It’s far too late for me to sign up for panels, other than the Broad Universe RFR (Friday, July 14 at 4pm), but I will be hanging out at the Broad Universe table in the Dealers’ Room with all my BU friends. If you’re also attending, please stop by!

Boskone 60 This Weekend!!!

Hello, all. Just a reminder that I will be at Boskone 60 this weekend. I’m not on any panels, but I will be reading in the Broad Universe RFR on Saturday morning at 9:30am (eep). Also, if you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of An Elf’s Equations, I am bringing the LAST of my stock, all eight copies, so swing by the Broad Universe table in the Dealer’s Room, where I am likely to be when not attending Nalo Hopkinson’s panels.

Full disclosure: you can get 2nd edition copies on Amazon, but they are more expensive.

Just in Time for the Holidays – All Books Available for Purchase!

Drumroll, please! I am delighted to announce that my books are now available for purchase directly from me! Every volume will be signed and shipped straight from me to you. I’ve set up an online marketplace here, and for you, my favorite readers, I’ve set up a discount: free shipping until the end of 2021 when you use the discount code WINTER2021. You can also order all three books for $30, almost 25% off the standard price.

But wait, you say. What’s going on here? I know you have loads of questions. Here are some answers:

Why are you selling your own books, Dianna? And why can’t I buy them on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or, well, anywhere?

My publisher, Dreaming Robot Press, officially went on hiatus in the summer of 2020. A lot of small presses have been driven out of business by the pandemic, and I am terribly sad that I won’t be publishing with Corey and Sean Weaver anymore, but I wish them all the best as they move into a new chapter in their lives. They’ve returned all rights to my books to me. This means that all of my books have been out of print and unobtainable for more than a year. To all of you who wrote to me asking where you could buy my books, I am so sorry, especially if I didn’t answer. But the good news is that I bought all of the stock of my books from Dreaming Robot Press, and I can now sell them to you.

Okay, that was over a year ago. Why did it take you so long to create a marketplace so that I can buy your books?

There’s a fun answer to that and a less fun one. The fun answer is that, for a brief shining moment last summer, it looked like I was going to sell the film rights to my books, which would be made into an animated series for a streaming service. I never did find out which one because the deal fell through, alas, as most of these do. I have a friend who’s had one of his novels optioned at least five times, and it has yet to be made into a motion picture. At any rate, I was very focused on the film rights for a while, and if that had happened, I likely would have found a new publisher to reprint my books, and then this wouldn’t have been my problem.

The less fun answer is that I was busy with multiple, difficult personal crises. No one in my immediate family came down with COVID-19 (as far as we know), and thank all that’s good in the universe that everyone I know who did catch it survived and either has recovered or is in the process of recovering. Nonetheless, living through the pandemic was and is still hard and time-consuming. Add to that multiple non-COVID health and other problems for myself and various members of my family, many of which were very tricky to treat and some of which are still unresolved, and I literally have had no time to do anything but cope with the crises of the day for over a year.

What about A Wizard’s Warning? That was supposed to be published about now, wasn’t it?

I am unlikely to ever finish A Wizard’s Warning. It’s about half written, but I simply have no time to work on fiction right now, and I have no publisher, so there’s very little point. Until I have the time and mental space to figure out how to self-publish, I’m afraid that the Enchanted Kitchen series ends with An Elf’s Equations. I’m very sorry. I know a lot of you were looking forward to Max’s moment in the spotlight. Maybe someday, things will calm down enough for me to pick up that manuscript again. I am considering trying to write short pieces someday: Bogdana as a young witch, Quercius as a young dodonos, an adventure with Grumpkin as the main character, and of course, a Thea-based adventure. But I can’t promise anything right now, nor for the foreseeable future.

What about eBooks? I don’t see them in your marketplace.

As for eBooks, I have yet to figure that out as well. I’m hoping to reformat the existing files, but I have no idea how difficult or complicated that will be. I may need to commission new covers. Once I have them ready, I’ll let you know.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me and my family through this difficult time, and to all the people who wrote and told me how much they’ve enjoyed reading my books. You have been a bright light in a dark time.

Writing in the Time of Cholera

Book Cover for An Elf's EquationsI was going to have a launch party for An Elf’s Equations. It was a private party to celebrate friends and family and fellow writers who helped me produce the toughest novel I’ve ever written. I was planning a reading and games and, of course, pie for Pi Day.

But I live in Cambridge, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Massachusetts. We started getting reports of people infected, people self-quarantining because they worked in the same building. I realized that, as much as I wanted to celebrate my third novel and thank all the people who helped me create it, I didn’t want to put them at risk. And the whole prospect was causing me and my family undue stress. So I cancelled the party, about the same time that the NBA was cancelling the season, and Harvard was telling students not to come back after spring break.

I thought, Fine, I’ll have a Facebook party instead. With the help of a self-quarantined friend over Skype, I came up with a schedule for all the fun things I’d do. And then all the public schools started closing, including the ones my children attend. Today was their last day of class for the next two weeks at least. My teenager reports that none of her teachers came to school today, so she came home early. Now, I’m scrambling to plan out what to do with them for the next two weeks so that we don’t all go completely stir-crazy.

Ah! I thought. Other parents are in the same boat. So rather than concentrating all my activities tomorrow, I think I’ll try to post a new activity every day, something fun and interesting connected to An Elf’s Equations that kids can do while stuck at home. I won’t promise to keep to a daily schedule because who knows what will happen? But I’ll do a live reading around 2pm tomorrow, March 14, 2020, and starting Monday, I’ll do my best to post something every day around 11am. Stay tuned here and on Facebook for whatever surprises I can come up with.

Honestly, when I was twelve, being stuck at home for two weeks would have meant a paradise of reading and rereading all my books, over and over. Of course, there was no Internet, no livestreaming, no cell phones, no VCR even! We had six or seven measly TV channels and a bunch of classic board games, and books. Lots of books. Y’know what? I think they’re just as good today. I hope that those of you who’ve bought An Elf’s Equations enjoy it as we drift down the surreal river of social distancing. And if you haven’t bought it yet, this is the perfect time to acquire a new book.

Be well, stay safe, and read.