Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Talko Tuesday, June 14th 2016

Okay so nothing happened that changed anything this week, but a lot of things are happening. Got it?

I'll explain. First off, this baby finally came:

It may shock you to realize how much work I put into editing my manuscript for the publisher when I hadn't actually signed the contract (also: hadn't received a dime), but it's okay. Contracts, especially from bigger publishers, take lots of time because lawyers charge by the hour and bigger companies have more to lose. So this is standard procedure. I sweated blood over the last couple months to make this book better for them not because I was worried they'd drop me or something (though frankly, every debut author has this fear deep down), but because I trusted my agent and my editors and my publisher enough to know this was all going through.

That being said, signing the contract was a huge relief and getting paid will be pretty nice.

(I'll explain how advances and stuff work in another post.)

As a subtext, it was worth noting a section of the contract was struck out, namely the part saying I would deliver the revised manuscript by such-and-such date. Translation: what I turned in a couple weeks ago was acceptable to the level that only copy-edits (style, grammar, punctuation, typos) are left. My edits are good to go.

**wipes sweat off brow**

Copy edits will arrive in a few weeks. Good news: They will come at a time best for my schedule. Bad news: Copy edits are waaaaaaay more complicated than they sound.

Fun news: The book is done enough that the marketing team at the publisher is going through it. So far they love it (yay!), but from other authors I know this means soon there will be copies going out for cover blurbs, and I will be having talks with a publicist at some point. These were also things I don't think could really start happening until the contract was signed.

Meanwhile I have lovely things to focus on. The Swankies (debut authors of 2017) have an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) sharing network, and I got my first, Frostblood, this past week. I'll be reviewing it on Goodreads soon, but I'll say now that I liked it, it was easy to read, and I look forward to buying my (soon-to-be) 12 year-old a copy when it comes out. It safe and appropriate for kids that young (many YA books are not).

Otherwise I am editing (with a green pen) a chapter book written by the daughter of a friend. She's young, but she's got real talent. I only wish I could help her faster, but it takes focus for more than 5 minutes, which has been hard to find lately. Beta reading - which I am doing for another Swanky right now, and the book is sooooo good so far - is easier to do in small snatches, as was reading Frostblood.

Also coming up soon I will be heavy-beta reading the manuscript of a USNA classmate. Looking forward to that.

Been writing bits for my work in progress (writer slang is WIP) and more on what I hope will be a sequel to this book that's being published. Need to focus on the latter, probably, though the other one is good for preventing fatigue. Getting ready to teach my first class at the local writing center, too! (Can you see why I'm glad copy edits aren't coming for a few more weeks?)

So that's what I meant by nothing has happened, but things are happening.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What I'm Reading Wednesday, Volume I

Here is a list of books I've picked up in the last week. I tend to leave them scattered around the house and pick them up according to mood.

On the Meldon Plain by Pam Brondos
         Good, but a bit slow at this point. I lost my copy under a pile of papers and recently just found it while cleaning my desk.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (finished)
        Predictable as the first book, though I liked it better than A Court of Thorns and Roses (Tamlin was kind of lame as a love interest and the whole "3 tests" was just overdone IMO), but this is not a young adult book. Very explicit sex.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
        Very easy to read. Also fairly easy to put down.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
        Every time I pick this up, it makes me depressed about my own writing.

Henna House by Nomi Eve (finished)
        Incredible historical fiction about Yemeni Jews in the early 20th century

The Crescent Spy by Michael Wallace (finished)
        Good Civil War historical fiction. I only wish I knew how much of it was true!

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
        Enjoying the world building, but it's easy to put down for me.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas.
         Why isn't this grabbing me? Not uninteresting or unpleasant, just very easy to put down and forget.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Talko Tuesday: June 7, 2016

I'm going to try to make Tuesdays a day for updates and news.

Soooo.... edits.

Yeah. Been through 2 rounds now.

Intense. Brain-frying. It is so much harder to do things with other people depending on me. It's all made worse by the fact that it usually takes me 2 tries to get something right. Always has.

Which makes me suspect the stuff I just turned in will need more than a curry comb.

And I can't say more because I'm just waiting to hear back whether it's good enough to head into copy edits.


There's other things going on behind the curtain that I don't know about yet because I've been focusing on these edits. I'm in this weird limbo of not being able to do anything other than the edits, which is probably a main reason I've thrown myself so hard against that wall.

I wish I had more to say on the book front, but maybe next week I'll have more.

In other news, I'm going to be teaching two classes at the local writing center this summer! Not only that, but I have students (plural!) signed up in both!

Also your local Barnes & Noble is hosting B-Fest this weekend for young adult books. Even though I don't have anything to give or say, I'm participating as a volunteer. Obviously I have a vested interest in making this a success so they do it next year.

What I'm working on most outside DAS BOOK:
           A Cinderella retelling I call A Rather Unusual Shoe.