One of my BFF’s, Greg van Eekhout
, has a new book out, the third in the Osteomancy trilogy, and it is one awesome read, with dragons, bone magic, adventure, and a great YA vibe. Be sure to start with the first book, California Bones
, and don’t miss the sequel, Pacific Fire
, which is dedicated to me and a certain goat…
Anyway, Greg and I sat down for a chat:
Me: Can you tell my blog’s readers three awesome things about the Osteomancy trilogy?
Greg: 1. The magic system: Wizards get magical powers by eating the bones of extinct magical creatures, like dragons and griffins and unicorns. The La Brea Tar Pits is one of the richest sources of osteomantic bones in the world, thus turning Los Angeles into a hotbed of magical conflict.
2. Banter. My characters engage in banter during stressful moments, and they undergo a lot of stressful moments, so there’s a lot of banter.
Me: Those are indeed awesome things. I notice, however, that you didn’t mention tacos. I suppose this means there are no tacos in the book. Anyway, what should readers of the first two books be looking for in the third?
Greg: We’ve had a heist in California Bones, a sabotage mission in Pacific Fire, and in Dragon Coast we get a little bit of each, plus a con job taking place right under the nose of the most powerful wizard in the kingdom of Northern California. The magic is weirder, and the relationships among the characters are more fraught. People are pushed right to the edge of what they’re willing to do for what they see as a greater good. Also, more dragon.
Me: More dragon. Definitely a good thing. But what about dogs? Are there any dogs in Dragon Coast? If not, why not?
Greg: There are none. I was remiss. But I promise my next book will be all dogs. Nothing but dogs. Literally, all the characters are dogs.
Me: All dogs is good! Now, here is a picture of a baby hippo:
Greg: My best selfie yet!
Me: You are way cuter than I remember! So, next question. Daniel Blackland and Sam the Hierarch’s Golem go to an English high tea together. How does that go?
Greg: Well, first of all, they’re probably going to afternoon tea, because, as EVERYONE knows, high tea is traditionally a tea for the servants before they wait on their fancy employers and typically features haunches of meat, whereas afternoon tea is the one with the stacked trays of scones and little sandwiches. Daniel and Sam at tea would basically be a race to see who gets more of the sandwiches. Which is basically me at afternoon tea.
Clearly EVERYONE needs to get this whole tea thing straightened out! Speaking of
snacks, tell about the missing Daniel-and-Moth-eat-tacos scene.
Greg: “Missing” scene in the sense that you told me to write it and I didn’t get around to it? They’re eating at Tito’s Tacos in LA with its fine freeway-overpass ambience. Daniel is working on his sixth taco and Moth is only on his seventeenth or eighteenth, because he’s on a diet. Moth is forcing Daniel to face uncomfortable truths. Daniel is trying to cover his reactions by eating more tacos. The tacos are character development.
Me: I’m telling you, that would have been a great scene! Next question: What’s the last really great book you read?
Greg: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Babara Tuchman. It’s a classic history of medieval Europe, and one thing I found fascinating was the hypothesis that so much of the violence of that time was due to short average lifespans which led to a ruling class dominated by young, immature dudes. Imagine a world run by frat bros. Huh.
Me: Hey, I watched the Republican debate last night, so I can well imagine a world run by frat bros. What is your favorite thing about Dragon Coast?
First of all, I love that I got the chance to write not just one novel in this world, with these characters, but three. I got to see them develop and change individually and collectively. I got to write about my obsessions with weird cityscapes, loners who form their own families,
and magical creatures. I feel like the last lines on the last page of Dragon Coast
land in exactly the place I wanted them to. Also, I got to have a character piloting a dragon from a cockpit made of bone, and that was super fun to write.
Me: What’s coming up next in the Osteomancy world
Greg: I’ve wanted there to be Osteomancer comics since I wrote California Bones, and I’m taking steps now to make sure that happens. If things go according to plan, there’ll be at least a short-story comic in early 2016. I hope readers will be interested in that sort of thing.
Me: How cool would that be?? SO freaking cool. And you, reader, you can find copies of Dragon Coast here:
and if you want a signed copy, I’ll bet they have ’em at