*UPDATE: The panel Rethinking the Dangerous Victim, originally scheduled for Friday at 10am, has been moved to Saturday night at 8pm. I will still be there, and I hope you will too!


Hey, are you going to Readercon this year? What if I told you that the first night is free?

Yes, indeed! This lovely con runs from Thursday, July 12 through Sunday the 15th in Quincy, MA, and if you’re interested but unable to spend the whole weekend/registration fee, you can check it out for free on the evening of the 12th! You can even (gasp) come hear me read from my books!

I’ve been scheduled for a half-hour solo reading at 9pm on the free night, Thursday the 12th, and for two absolutely fascinating panels later in the con:

On Friday the 13th at 10am, I have Rethinking the Dangerous Victim 
Panel Description:
“Many SF stories hinge on distress calls that turn out to be scams. In the real world, under 10% of felony reports are false; the number is even lower for false reports of general distress. Why do we return to the dangerous victim story—the story in which the person who claims to need help is not only lying but actively malicious—again and again? What exciting adventure stories can we tell about helping those who are genuinely in need?”

Then on Sunday the 15th at 1pm, there’s Our Bodies, Our Elves: Sexual Awakenings in Epic Fantasy
Starting in the later 20th century, the bildungsromans of epic fantasy began to include sexual awakenings. Some are raunchy, some are awkward, and almost all are self-directed; the wise elders of the genre are mysteriously silent on this crucial topic. When authors can imagine elves and dragons, why is it so hard to also imagine decent fantastical sex ed? How do today’s writers and readers approach this aspect of adolescent self-discovery stories?

These panels are going to be great, and so is the whole convention. We’ve been going to Readercon ever since our daughter was born, as our weekend off for child-free intellectual conversation. It’s a great, thoughtful convention full of great, thoughtful people, no costumes required (or even expected). Come check it out!

Note: If you’re looking for me on the program and can’t find me, it’s because they have me listed under my real last name, Beit-Aharon.

Book Giveaway!

In honor of my birthday later this week, I’m doing another giveaway for a copy of Silent Hall! Enter any time between now and Thursday the 8th, for a chance to have a free signed copy mailed to your door. DOOOOOOOOO IIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTT!!!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Silent Hall by N.S. Dolkart

Silent Hall

by N.S. Dolkart

Giveaway ends September 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Excerpt and Review!

What an exciting day this is! Silent Hall has just received its first review, and what a review! I’m extremely flattered, and look forward to everyone getting a chance to read it!

Speaking of which…the Civilian Reader has kindly agreed to post an excerpt! If you want to read the first two chapters, which introduce two of my five main characters, you can do so here!

Seriously, it’s been a great day.

Cover Reveal at B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog!

It’s an exciting day: my publisher has teamed up with Barnes and Noble to reveal the gorgeous book cover of Silent Hall!

I love what cover artist Andreas Rocha has done here. This cover really captures the essence of my book: the scenery is majestic, and there is plenty of action to be hinted at, but at its core it is a story about five people with nothing to return to, who don’t know what to expect from the road ahead. I think it will draw people in – it’s certainly drawn ME in!

Anyway, check out the big reveal on the B&N blog. As a bonus, it includes a longer, more thorough explanation of the story behind my pen name! I’ll give you a little thumbnail teaser below, but seriously, check it out!


Why Has This Blog Been So Quiet Recently?

Because I’ve been writing. A lot.

My publishing contract states that I’ll have the final draft of CHARIOTS OF LAARNA, the sequel to SILENT HALL, by July. Now, I take that timeline with a big grain of salt, because the contract also said I’d have the final draft of SILENT HALL ready by September. Well, it’s February now, the book is at the proofreading stage, and my editor tells me we’re ahead of schedule. So nobody’s going to be holding me to that July deadline.

Still, I realized a while ago that July is a pretty good first-draft deadline. It’s the month after SILENT HALL comes out, so it’s probably a month at best before my editor starts pointedly asking me how that sequel is coming along. So I’m aiming to have a draft done by then.

How fast does that mean I have to write? Really, really fast. The sequel was only 18,000 words long at the end of January, whereas SILENT HALL clocks in at 152,000 words. At least sequels are generally shorter than debut novels, right?

That was a joke.

Anyway, that means hitting my July deadline will requires me to write about 30,000 words a month. A thousand words a day. These have to be words that I like and want to keep, mind you. Have I mentioned that I work full time and have two children under the age of four? My writing night has only begun before 11pm twice so far.

So that’s why I haven’t been blogging much, and why I haven’t spent much time on social media either besides the occasional re-post. My progress so far hasn’t been too bad: I’ve probably averaged 750 words a night rather than 1000, but that’s still about twice my pace for writing SILENT HALL. In any case, I’m still behind on my goal, so it’s back to writing for me. I’ll see you all when I resurface!


N.S. Dolkart is the author of Silent Hall, available for pre-order at any bookstore in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. It’s coming out in June, and it’s really good. You should buy it.


Things have been busy since I last posted, and one of those busy things is that for the first time ever, I’m going to be a panelist at a convention! Arisia runs over MLK weekend, and I have two Sunday panels and a Monday reading. Very exciting!

I think I am most excited for my first panel, The Bible as Fantasy Literature, at 11:30am on Sunday the 17th. This is going to be great!


N.S. Dolkart is the author of Silent Hall, available for pre-order at any bookstore in the US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand. It’s coming out in June, and it’s really good. You should buy it.

Why N.S. Dolkart?

When we got married, Becky took my last name. It was a long negotiation, and I leveraged every ounce of male privilege to have it this way. I won’t repeat my various arguments here, but suffice it to say that despite being happy with the result, it’s not something I’m proud of. I took advantage of having tradition on my side, even though that tradition really has nothing but inertia going for it. So when I decided I wanted a pseudonym for my writing career, I felt I had the perfect opportunity to repay the debt I owed her. She took my last name for life in general; I’ll take hers for my artistic career, the dearest part of my identity. It feels right.

Why N.S., though? Why not Noah Saul Dolkart? There are a couple of reasons behind that too. First off, the initials draw more attention to the last name, which is a plus. I have no interest in hiding my actual identity, but the name on the cover is what everyone remembers, and that’s for the best. I mean, who remembers Lemony Snicket’s real name without having to google him? It’s not like he’s hiding who he is either, but “Lemony Snicket” is easy and memorable and fun.

There is also an old (and at this point hopefully obsolete) tradition of women writers hiding their gender identity behind initials. Again, I’m not hiding my identity, but it’s a tradition I like evoking as I take my wife’s name for my own.