Today is September 22nd, which happens to be the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, give or take. And while this day is perfect for gorging on cheese and mushrooms, taking walks in the park among the trees, and starting adventures, it’s also a good one for announcements (or so I’d like to think).

No. I am not disappearing. I have no magic rings, and even if I did own one, I’d probably have lost it by now or else left you entirely. I’m far too much of a Took to let a ring sit in an envelope for years.

The announcement is this: I have sold my first book! And no, it’s not that one. And not that one, either. But it is Pilgrim of the Sky, and it will be finding a home at Candlemark & Gleam, with a release date (tentatively) of August 2011!

I got the news shortly after I got out of surgery, and after talking back and forth (as lucidly as I could manage) with Kate Sullivan, one of the editors, I decided that Candlemark & Gleam was really the best home for Pilgrim of the Sky. I wrote the book with independent, small presses in mind, and after it received one very perplexing rejection almost a year ago, I’d been waiting for a place I felt fit the vibe of the book. When I saw a Tweet announcing submissions for this new, ambitious, small press, I figured there was nothing to lose. Plus, I really like their approach.

Even cooler? I feel like they really get the book. Which is no easy task. Pilgrim of the Sky is genre-smooshing, incorporating science fiction, fantasy, time-travel, multiverse theory, metal corsets, steampunk, romance, Romantic poetry (especially Wordsworth), and a little bit of religion and a heap of art history. (And floating mansions. And did I mention a talking raven and a guy that turns into a horse? Can you see why I didn’t query this one to agents?)

Still, as strange as the book may be in its genre, it’s still rooted in reality, being the only book I’ve ever written to take place in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, where I grew up. A lot of what I have to say in that book comes from the 18 years I lived there, and my experiences in that unforgiving climate. For that reason it’s surprisingly personal. The settings in many cases come straight from what I’ve seen–going from Northampton and the First Churches and Nini’s Pizza to Sunderland and the great, 18th century Colonial homes, then along the Masspike to Boston. (As I said in an old post just as I’d started the book: There’s something odd about that part of the world that you can’t quite put your finger on… it’s no coincidence that Lovecraft wrote about New England, let’s just say.)

I will keep you posted in the future, as I’m going to be heading into edits, soon. I’m one of those curious people for whom the editing process is enjoyable, so I’m actually thrilled to be revisiting Maddie, Randall, and everyone else–especially knowing that in less than a year I’ll be able to share their story with readers!