Writing, writing, writing…
I've crossed the halfway point for the first draft. Both the manuscript and Janet are hurtling into new and dangerous territory.
Meanwhile, I am talking with my manager about yet another change to my schedule. Four days a week, instead of five, for at least six months. This will help with 1) finishing the current novel, 2) writing blog posts for A Study in Honor, and 3) writing up a proposal for a third book in the series. And just as important, I'd like to make some space for me, that isn't writing or the dayjob. Maybe pick up my old passion for drawing again. We'll see.
COVER ART FOR NOTSHERLOCK IS HERE AND I AM VERY EXCITED!!
It's hard to believe October is already here. October means that Harper Collins's Summer 2018 catalog is in the works, including A Study in Honor. My editor sent me the catalog copy, and she tells me that she and my publicist have come up with all kinds of exciting ideas for the book. Meanwhile, I've just crossed the 20K mark for the sequel (which needs a new title too, but we'll worry about that later). In the past week, I've shifted my hours at my dayjob to give me a morning writing session, and it's made all the difference. Speaking of which, I better get back to writing...
Copyedits done and back to my editor. Once again, I am utterly grateful to my very thorough copyeditor. My book now has far fewer mistakes and inconsistencies thanks to them. (Memo to self: Send chocolate or flowers. Or both.)
I also had a chat with my editor a few weeks ago. Sales is excited about the book as well. Phrases like "cross-genre appeal" were mentioned, and they've recommended we find a different title. Other than Honorable is a fine title, but they are looking for one that suggests the cross-genre story inside. Amber also sent me sample pages for the interior design, and in a few weeks I get to see the cover-mockups. So excited!
ETA: And the new title is A Study in Honor!
Detailed synopsis and a first chapter for NotSherlock #2 done, polished, and off to my editor at Harper Voyager. Have I mentioned recently how much I love these characters?
Meanwhile, I will get copyedits for the first book (Other than Honorable) later this month. Amber tells me that the launch meeting went very well, and we have a phone call scheduled next week to discuss building buzz.
I am just back from vacation, and oh my, it was lovely. We rented a house by Lake Michigan, where we spent a week hiking, eating delicious food, swimming, biking, and seriously relaxing. I didn't even try to write. However, I had two very productive brainstorming sessions with my husband, where we worked out a couple major plot points. I'm now back home, relaxed, and ready to bang out this outline for Not!Sherlock #2.
Not!Sherlock is now officially delivered and accepted!
This means I will get another check as soon as the gods of accounting offer their blessing. Just as important, I have a few months before copyedits show up. I've already banged out a rough outline for the sequel, plus an equally rough opening scene. My goal is to get a *polished* outline and first chapter to my editor by early August. (The real deadline is September, but I'm aiming for the earlier date in case we need to brainstorm any concerns she has about the overall plot.)
The cover concepting is also in progress! I am very excited about the ideas Amber had, and I can hardly wait until I see the finished design. Which, alas, won't be for many more months, so I'll have to keep my curiousity in check. Luckily, I have this sequel to keep me busy...
On signing check for Not!Sherlock and its sequel received and immediately offered in sacrifice to the gods of many bills. Yay!
Which doesn't mean my work is done here. A few weeks after Awesome Check arrived, my editor sent notes and suggestions for the second round of edits. I've addressed those issues and sent the updated version back to my editor. And now? I write Janet's second book, of course.
Contract for Not!Sherlock signed and sent back to the publisher. Editorial letter received and addressed. The new version goes to my editor next week. Once she formally accepts the manuscript, I have a break before copyedits arrive. So what comes next? I need to catch up on several long-neglected tasks, then I want to tackle an outline for Janet Watson's second book. (I have so many plans to upset her life. Again.) Oh, and there might also be some editing of the pirate novel.
I'm still in that stage with the new book contract where it doesn't quite feel real. That will change once I get my editorial letter (coming soon, my editor tells me), not to mention the contract and the check. Even so, I'm hard at work on revisions. I've reworked the political backstory. I've read through the manuscript, marking where and how I can address the issues my editor mentioned during our phone conversation, back in December. I'll have more definite deadlines once the contract is finalized, but my goal is get a new version to her by mid-April. The sooner I get this novel revised and accepted, the sooner I can start on the sequel.
At the dayjob, I am happy to report that we've hired a new junior developer. He starts in three weeks, and I can hardly wait to load him down with tasks. :)
I am delighted to report that my novel OTHER THAN HONORABLE sold to Harper Voyager in a two-book deal. The tentative release date is Summer 2018, with the sequel coming out the following year. Here is the announcement in Publishers Marketplace:
Claire O'Dell's OTHER THAN HONORABLE, in which Dr. Janet Watson and FBI Agent Sara Holmes, two black and LGBTQA women, must discover who is murdering veterans from America's New Civil War using espionage, advanced technology, and deduction, to Amber Oliver at Harper Voyager, for publication in Summer 2018 (World Rights).
And now I have deadlines, so I better get to work.
Last year was a year filled with lots of hard work, two utterly awesome vacations (road trip! Rome and Venice!), one major medical curveball, and a lot of progress both at the dayjob and with writing. Here's the list:
So, two of the three writing goals achieved. But what about this year? To be honest, I'm not sure I can set any useful goals right now. Everthing depends on whether Not!Sherlock sells. Or Empire. (Or both!) But if I had to pick a few goals, I'd choose:
Low key goals, but goals that are important to me. Let's see how it goes…