Writing. Resting. Recovering. I'm poking at a new short story. Meanwhile, our house is warm, the cats are napping, my son has come home for Christmas break, and there's frost on the lake.
The new version of Allegiance went off to my editor on October 28th, the day before Hurricane Sandy arrived. Here are the stats:
To my great relief, my editor has formally approved the revisions. Allegiance now goes into production, and I get a short break before copyedits and galley proofs arrive. This will give me time to catch up on chores and sleep.
After that? I have two more books under contract. The Edge of the Empire is already written, but needs to go through editorial revisions. The Time Roads will consist of four linked novellas. Three of those are alrealdy written, and Fred recently handed me the opening 2,000 words for the fourth and last one. Once those are handed in, I have a long list of projects I'd like to tackle. More River of Souls stories and novels. A sequel to Fox and Phoenix. My Not-Mansfield-Park book with poly and magic. And more. The only question is which one to start first.
Twenty-seven chapters revised. One new chapter left to finish. After that, the new version of Allegiance goes off to my editor.
At which point, I can collapse—at least until the copyedits arrive.
Fred, being a mischievous muse, has been feeding me images and conversations for another River of Souls book called In the Presence of Her Enemies, which features Miro and Valara. A draft of this novel already exists, but it needs a complete rewrite. Obviously this one won't get any attention until I finish with the current set of novels under contract, but it's nice to know the new opening will be waiting for me once I do.
Twenty-one chapters revised. 10K words added so far, including one new chapter. I'm now alternating between the final pass and the last of the heavy revisions. The Big Climax chapter and the new Aftermath chapter will require more time than anticipated, so I'm giving myself until November to finish. My editor tells me the book will go into production by December, so the October 2013 release date is still on.
In other news… Well, there is no other news. Dayjob, revisions, and daily beaver sightings, that's about it.
Okay, I only thought July was busy. August makes July look like an empty sky.
Remember how I said back in July that in two weeks we'd have a new kitchen? Hahahhaha. Um, no. Progress didn't jump start until early August. Since then, they finished painting our house, installed new windows, and finished most of the kitchen. We are still waiting on some final touches, but we do have functioning appliances. I never thought I'd be so excited about a sink.
On the writing front, it's Allegiance revisions, all day, every day. (Not really—I do have a dayjob, after all—but my weekends have been devoted to the book.) So far, I've edited thirteen chapters. I have fourteen left to edit, two new ones to write. My goal is to get the new version to my editor by mid-October.
What a busy, busy month.
House renovations are progressing in fits and starts. We have a operating pool. We have better lighting. We have window coverings. We have around 90% of our stuff unpacked and put away. And within two weeks, we will have a new kitchen, and our house will be repainted. Whew!
The writing world is just as packed with stuff going on. I finished my short story, and just in time, because the revision letter for Allegiance arrived a few days later. And yes, I have some serious work to do. (Not more than I expected, thank ghu.) As my editor phrased it, I need to add a couple rooms and redecorate some others. I'm not diving into edits right away, however. I want to take a weekend to re-read the opening third, skype with a friend to hear her thoughts, and make some notes about how to tackle the revisions.
Meanwhile, Queen's Hunt is officially out on July 17th. I've seen one sale reported, and various stores are listing it as "in stock." Next weekend, I have a book signing at Pandemonium Books, on Sunday, July 22nd at 1PM. I'll be reading from the book, answering questions, and signing. I hope to see you there!
I am very pleased to report that my geek girl story has sold. More details when I have permission to share them.
The original idea for Story #2 remains on the back burner, and is likely to remain there for quite a while. However! A new idea fell into my head this past week. Or rather, it's an old idea that resurfaced with a flood of details and images, so strong I just had to jot down a few paragraphs. Almost a thousand words later, I can tell this story will not die on me. Now to finish a first draft before the revision letter for ALLEGIANCE arrives. (Current estimated time for that is late June/early July.
In other news, we have moved house, and though the cats were not pleased about the move itself, they are more than pleased with the house. Octavia loves to stretch out on the stone wall and survey the yard and pond. I can hardly wait until she sees one of the beavers.
Story achieved! My geek girl story, tentatively titled The Ghost Dragon's Daughter, is now complete and off to its intended market.
Story #2, alas, continues to evade me. I do have a few glimmerings of scene, but nothing more, so I've decided to set this one aside until I have space and time to wrestle with the plot.
Meanwhile, the first review for Queen's Hunt just showed up from Publishers Weekly, our son comes home from his first year of college, house renovations and moving are in progress, and my editor tells me to expect her revision letter for Allegiance by early/mid June. In other words, life is busy as usual.
Writing, writing, writing. I am close to finishing the first draft of my geek girl story, which takes place in the same world as Fox & Phoenix, but with an entirely different set of characters. My goal is to finish the story before next month, then tackle moving house and story #2.
Allegiance is done!
Well, for some definition of done. That is, I finished an end-to-end draft and gave it a once-through edit to smooth the prose and fill in any gaps. The manuscript went off to my editor at the beginning of the month, just in time for our truly splendid vacation in Florence.
Since I won't hear back on revisions for the novel for two or three months, I've switched over to a couple short stories that have been waiting, none too patiently, for their turn in the queue.
Writing. Editing. Writing. Except for a brief break to attend Boskone, this month is dedicated to finishing Allegiance.
So, how to summarize 2011?
Lots of exhausting, frustrating, tedious moments, interspersed with lots of extra shiny moments.
2011 was the year I learned how to make e-books. When the original publisher declared my collection, A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, out of print, I decided to release a second edition on my own. I designed a new cover, proofed the stories yet again, and read up on e-book formats and online vendors. The new edition came out in May, and while it's no best seller, it is selling steadily. Even more gratifying, it's been nominated for the Best Indie Fantasy/Paranormal, 2011 RT Reviewer's Choice Awards.
Speaking of the RT Reviewer's Choice Awards, 2011 was also the year I won my first award. Passion Play won for Best Epic Fantasy, which led to me flying out to LA, accepting the award, and making a (very short) speech. I can't even begin to say how exciting that was.
2011 was also, alas, the year I didn't get as much writing done as I hoped. I did lots of writing-related work—copyedits and galleys for Fox & Phoenix, galleys for Queen's Hunt, and notes for two new novels—but no new stories or books completed. Part of this came right back to lack of time. I started a new job in July. After four months of an exhausting commute, we sold our house and moved across the state. Toward the end of the year, I finally settled into a regular writing routine.
So this new year...
2012 will see the publication of the paperback version of Passion Play and the hardcover for Queen's Hunt. Two books in one year! Okay, one is a reprint, but wow, this feels good. This is also the year I will finish and turn in Allegiance, the last book in Ilse and Raul's trilogy. After so many false starts, I have gained traction in writing the story, and am four chapters away from finishing the draft. While I'm waiting for feedback from my editor on that, I have a new short story idea I want to write. It's set in the Seventy Kingdoms, but with a completely new set of characters.
Oh, and at some point, I need to work on copyedits for Allegiance, start revisions for The Edge of the Empire (aka, my pirate novel), and maybe move again.
Lots to do. Let's see how much I get done.