December 10th, 2012


"Sometimes, I'm waiting for this ice age to arrive."

I hereby declare that if the "world" should actually "end," as all those amusing morons think it will, I shall stop writing.*


Yesterday, I wrote 2,507 words on Black Helicopters. I'm relieved to be writing solid, substantial, dense text again. Joyously, unashamedly tough text. Prose that makes both me and the reader work. Blood Oranges is quite enjoyable, but after two novel's worth of putting "story" before all other concerns, it's nice to be back doing the sort of writing where every syllable of every word of every sentence was chosen with great care, and where "meaning" can be as complex and slippery as I desire. Also, I'm starting to think that I'll be keeping Black Helicopters as the title.

Anything else? Not really. Not at the moment. Things are very quiet around here, and after the past year, I believe I may actually be glad for the quiet.

It would be hard to imagine a more dismal day than the one we are having here in Providence, there outside my window.

I am deeply in love with How To Destroy Angels' "Ice Age." It's the nearest anyone has come to capturing all of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir in a single (and very simple) song.

Aunt Beast

* "Meanwhile in Mexico, where the ancient Mayan civilisation flourished, the end time has been seen as an opportunity. The country has organised hundreds of Maya-themed events, and tourism is expected to have doubled this year." ~ The Telegraph
Blood Oranges

"I'm serving time, all for a crime I did commit." (Yes.)

Okay, so I've been meaning to do this for several weeks, because I keep getting the same questions via Twitter, Facebook, etc. asking why Blood Oranges is being published under both a pseudonym, Kathleen Tierney*. And/or why since it is being published under a pseudonym why is my own name also on the cover? Apparently, people find this bizarre, as though it has no historical precedent. Also, many people seem unable to fathom why the explanation cannot be squeezed into 140 characters (or less).


Originally, I asked that Blood Oranges be published under the pseudonym Kathleen Tierney. This was back before I wrote the novel. My agent said it might be possible, then she said probably not. Finally, my publisher, Penguin said no, it has to be published under the name Caitlín R. Kiernan. Okay. So, fuck it all. The book was already written. But then, sometime later, without telling me, someone at Penguin changed their mind/s, and I learned that the book would be published under the pseudonym, BUT my actual name accompanying it. Ergo, Caitlín R. Kiernan writing as Kathleen Tierney. So, the whole "writing as" business? That was not my decision. It was a decision I preferred to the alternative, though, which was having the book published solely under the name Caitlín R. Kiernan.


I wish I could say the answer is, "I just wanted to fuck with people's heads." But it isn't. Blood Oranges is a monumentally different sort of book than my last two novels. For reasons all my own (and I have a right to those reasons), I desired to set the three planned Siobhan Quinn novels apart from all the rest. I do not consider them a part of my serious work. I also do not hate Blood Oranges. It's great goddamn frolic, part condemnation of PR/contemporary "urban fantasy" and part just me wanting to go away and do something very different. They're dark, yeah. Grim, even. Occasionally pornographic. But they're also very fucking funny (I say so myself). As I have said before, they're popcorn. And popcorn is good, even if we can't subsist solely on a diet of it. Light, airy, crunchy, yummy popcorn.

But they're not the sort of thing that Caitlín R. Kiernan would write. And if you don't understand what I mean by that, I cannot do any better job of explaining. I like the book. I very much hope people will buy it – despite the confusion it seems to be wreaking with readers, Amazon, and even Publishers Weekly – and I hope people will enjoy it. As much as I ever have cared what people think of what I write.

Also, Blood Oranges has received a glowing blurb from the witch who Willow Rosenberg went down on. Amber Benson says, In the conjuring of Blood Oranges, Caitlin R. Kiernan has created a pedal to the metal, balls to the wall female antihero who doesn't give a damn if you like her or not...which totally made me love her.

Take note: Once I have finished the third book, Puppy Love (to be written in 2013, published in 2015), Kathleen Tierney will meet an unfortunate demise. Of this I am quite certain, and she will exit as quickly as she entered. By then, I'll likely be sick to death of her.

Aunt Beast

* The relationship between the names "Caitlín" and "Kathleen" should be obvious. However, fewer people are likely to know that "Kiernan" and "Tierney" (along with O'Tierney, MacTiernan, MacKiernan, McKernon, Kernon, and many others) are both derived from the same pre-10th Century Irish Gælic root, "Tighearnaigh."