New Excerpt: read now on Tor.com!

It was a grey and foggy March day when we brought it to life at last…

Happy US publication day!! 🥳🎉🇺🇸 To celebrate, Tor is putting out a brand new excerpt from OHP.

You can read the prologue and part of the first chapter of Our Hideous Progeny now on the Tor website!

OHP is available now wherever good books are sold! (Or at your local library, if you yell (politely) at the librarians to acquire it. 🖤)

Upcoming Events!

Hi all! Breaking news: OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY is out TODAY! 🥳 I have some awesome events coming up to promote it – don’t miss them on my new Events page!

Tue May 9th: Instagram Live w/Katy Hays

Tue May 9 at 5:30pm BST
On @doubledayukbooks

Super excited to announce that next Tuesday evening, I’ll be doing an Instagram Live with Katy Hays, author of The Cloisters! Join me and Katy for a chat about OHP, The Cloisters, & all things Gothic!

Waterstones Falkirk Table Signing  •  Sat May 13th, 12-1pm

Join me at Waterstones Falkirk to celebrate the release of ‘Our Hideous Progeny’! I’ll be signing copies in the bookstore on Saturday May 13th from 12-1pm.

This event is not ticketed – it’s first come first serve, so get here early to get yourself a copy of OHP!

Cymera Festival Panel: Life or Death with Angie Spoto & Melinda Salisbury

I’m going to be on a panel at Cymera Festival, Scotland’s festival of Scifi, Fantasy, and Horror writing, with Angie Spoto & Melinda Salisbury! This panel promises to be an amazing and Gothic time – learn more and buy tickets here!

An Evening with C. E. McGill: Waterstones Sauchiehall St., Glasgow  •  Thu Jun 8th, 7pm

Join me at Waterstones Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow for an evening to celebrate the launch of Our Hideous Progeny! I’ll be in conversation with fellow author Louise Welsh about literary influences, the draw of gothic fiction, history as a setting, and more! Purchase tickets here.

OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY: Out now!

Sticky post

For readers of Circe or Ariadne, a brilliant literary revisiting of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein with a fresh, queer, provocative twist.

Years ago, Mary’s great uncle—dropout medical student Victor Frankenstein—disappeared in the Arctic. Now, in 1853, she and her husband Henry live in London, struggling to make a name for themselves as paleontologists.

Unfortunately, in a world where scientific success requires wealth and connections, they don’t stand a chance: Mary, the illegitimate daughter of a housemaid, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue; and Henry, a recently-fired geologist better known for his gambling problems than his radical theories. But when Mary discovers some old family papers that reveal the truth of her great-uncle’s past, she comes up with a plan—one that will pay their debts, prove Henry’s theories right, and finally get her some of the respect she goddamn deserves.

They’re going to make a monster, and not just any monster—they’re going to create a plesiosaur.

It’s weird, it’s queer, and it’s here in bookshops near you! OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY is my debut novel, a spiritual sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and a love letter to women in science and the fascinating history of Victorian paleoart.

Are you a fan of Victorian mad science? Gothic gays? Women who are angry, and ambitious, and covered in blood? Then OHP may be for you!

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Note: Our Hideous Progeny is a Gothic novel, and may contain content that is distressting to some. View the trigger warnings/content warnings here.

A mini-round of Scottish proof drops!

Had the chance to visit some lovely local bookshops around Scotland for some proof drops! (I.e., giving out free advance copies of OHP to bookshop staff in order to woo them and convince them to order a billion copies for their shop when the book comes out… 😉 )

My lovely publicist Izzie guided me through my very first round of proof drops down in London, and I have to admit I was pretty surprised at how they work – essentially, one just shuffles up the nearest cashier and… hands them a book. (And then you chat with them about it for a while, of course, depending on how many customers are waiting.) But it’s really funny seeing the moment when a bookseller’s face changes from “Why won’t you hand over that book you’re holding so I can scan it?” to “OH! Wait! You’re giving ME a book!” 😂

Thank you so much to the lovely booksellers at Waterstones Stirling, The Book Nook, Waterstones Falkirk, and Waterstones Livingston for the warm welcome, and I hope you enjoy OHP. Happy reading!

Q&As, Cocktails, & Badgers: A very busy few days in London

Earlier this week, I had the absolute delight of going down to London to visit my UK publisher, Transworld, and participate in a few very cool book events! I’ve been to Transworld before, for a very short whirlwind visit last May, so it was wonderful to see everyone again and spend some more time with the fabulous team publishing OHP.

On Tuesday, I did an internal Q&A for some Transworld staff with my lovely editor, Kirsty. Then we went on to an amazing venue called Mr. Fogg’s Society of Exploration for a blogger/Instagrammer/book reviewer event – we gave out goodie bags and proofs, had some fabulous custom cocktails, and I had the pleasure of chatting with a bunch of super talented book reviewers (whose photos of the event turned out far better than mine! 😅)

The next day, I went out with Transworld’s wonderful press officer, Izzie, to visit a number of different bookshops around London, dropping off proof copies of OHP (and packets of Cadbury’s mini eggs…;) )

All the booksellers I met were so nice and welcoming, and a couple of them had even pre-ordered copies of OHP already! Daunt Books was especially pretty (and gave us a lovely free tote bag!), as were the beautiful Goldsboro and Hatchard’s; and to finish off the day, I spend about 2 solid hours wandering around Waterstones Piccadilly, the largest bookshop in Europe!

I’m so, so grateful to all my publishing team at Transworld for arranging this trip, and I can’t wait for all the other fun events leading up to OHP’s publication. Goodbye for now, London!

CEM

OHP’s First Starred Review!

Fabulous news: Our Hideous Progeny has just received its first starred review! 🤩

You can read the full thing at Publishers Weekly; I’m so thrilled to be the recipient of such a lovely review (and also giggling at the quote they pulled – “Frankenstein, but, like, with dinosaurs” indeed!). Thanks so much to the reviewers of PW!

— CEM

Barnes & Noble Pre-order Sale!

Apparently Barnes & Noble is having a pre-order sale right now! 👀 American folks, this is your chance to pre-order my weird, queer, Frankenstein spin-off Our Hideous Progeny 25% off!

Here are some 2023 releases that I’m excited for…

Weyward, by Emilia Hart
📚
The Crane Husband, by Kelly Barnhill
📚
A House with Good Bones, by T. Kingfisher
📚
Hell Bent, by Leigh Bardugo
📚
Some Desperate Glory, by Emily Tesh
📚
The Archive Undying, by Emma Meiko Candon
📚
A Restless Truth, by Freya Marske

2022 Reading Challenge: DONE!

Happy New Year, everyone! Extra proud of myself today, because for the second year in a row I managed to hit my New Year’s Resolution to read 100 books!

It was a bit of a struggle there towards, the end, but fortunately I’m firmly of the opinion that comics and graphic novels count as books (and… are considerably quicker to read than the non-graphic sort 😂). I also read about 2/3 of these as audiobooks, which is honestly my favourite way to read, because I can get chores done at the same time!

I’m so thankful that I actually had the time to reach this goal this year — I still vividly remember the grim days of college in which I hardly had the time to read anything at all besides the books I was required to read for classes. After I graduated and dove into writing nearly full-time, I read an interview with an author I admire in which she said that she’d read 100+ books a year since 2016 and had noticed a considerable improvement in her writing skill ever since.

I have a notoriously love-hate relationship with my own writing, so I can’t say objectively whether devouring this many books has made my writing better, but I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my motivation and creativity. It’s almost as if writing too much in a short period of time drains my brain of words, and the best way to fill it back up again is to take a break to read!

Wishing you all a fabulous 2023, and don’t forget — my debut novel, Our Hideous Progeny, comes out in May! You can read more about my weird, queer, Gothic baby on Goodreads or pre-order it wherever books are found.

— CEM

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Our Hideous… Bakery? (I’m working on it)

Christmas brought an absolutely amazing surprise this year – my grandparents got me an OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY cake!! Isn’t it absolutely fabulous??

Hats off to the decorators at Speciality Cakes Glasgow for their amazing work (apparently they said it was one of the most complex designs they’d ever made! 😱) and thank you again to Beci Kelly for the wonderful cover design!

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A wonderful book; dark, passionate, multi-layered and rich with enticing detail.

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and the Strawberry Thief

New US Publisher!!

More exciting news today, especially for my American friends — I’m thrilled to announce that my debut book, OUR HIDEOUS PROGENY, has been acquired in the US by Wendy Wong at Harper Collins! 🥳

Publisher's Marketplace Deal Report: Fiction: Debut. January 24, 2022. C. E. McGill's "Our Hideous Progeny," pitched as a queer take on the Mary Shelley classic, in which an aspiring paleontologist and great-neice of Victor Frankenstein attempts to make her name in the patriarchal world of Victorian science by creating her own monster, only to reevaluate what monstrous truly means, to Wendy Wong at Harper, in a good deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in spring 2023, by Tamara Kawar at ICM on behalf of Sue Armstrong at C&W (NA).
As is tradition, here is my very own Publishers Marketplace screenshot, the most coveted gray rectangle of the publishing world

I’m so thankful to my US co-agent, Tamara Kawar, for negotiating this deal, and so excited to work with Wendy on editing OHP! We’ve already been working together for a few weeks now, along with my UK editor Kirsty, and I feel so fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and talented team helping me bring OHP into the world.

Speaking of, I’d better get back to the edits grindstone; US friends, mark your calendars for spring 2023!

— CEM

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