Fresh From the Box

Fresh From the Box

Fresh From the Box

I guess you could call it a perk of being the author that you get to see the books straight from the printer instead of, you know, actually waiting for the publication date. Only the irony of seeing them first is that I’ve already read the darn thing. Multiple times. I do consider it a good thing that they exist, and will soon be going into sales channels and possibly a B&N near you.

My thanks to the publisher, Sean Wallace, and the editor, Paula Guran of Prime Books for making it happen.

Fireworks and Final Edits

YamadaEmperor-600Happy 4th to all those stateside. Our across the street neighbors apparently chose to celebrate by re-enacting the Battle of Bunker Hill. Our cats disappeared for a while but came out unscathed when the coast was finally clear. Not that I should complain. I went through my own phase of being enamored with firecrackers, but that was mostly because I was a kid in a small southern town and often there was literally nothing better to do. Read all the books/comics I had multiple times (no internet). Run out of scrap wood for tinkering. Night too cloudy for stargazing. I know! Let’s set off low-scale ordinance! What I have trouble understanding is why alleged grownups want to do it now. I grew out of it before I’d left my teens, and count myself fortunate I still have all my fingers.

Good thing, too, as I needed them to make final corrections on the typeset manuscript for The Emperor in Shadow, which from the link you can see now has its own Amazon page, and an official release date of September 6th. Which means it’ll more than likely be available in August, because that’s how these things usually work. Since it’s July now (What gave it away? Oh, right, fireworks…), that’s not very long, but why wait? You can pre-order it now and have it as soon as it’s available.

On that subject, I want to give a shout-out to my editor, Paula Guran, who turned the manuscript around in a short time under extremely trying circumstances, only one of which was me cutting it so close to the deadline. It’s a much better book for her efforts. Anything you don’t like falls squarely on me.

Lost and Found

Fantastic StoriesContinuing with the purge and pack up, and in the process of cleaning out the closet in the library, I came across an unmarked box. Inside were several things I thought I’d thought gone forever, namely my accumulation (I wouldn’t dignify it as a collection) of digest magazines from the late 1970’s. It was originally much larger, but I’d reluctantly purged it during one lack of space or other. In my faulty memory I thought I’d purged them all. There are several AMAZING STORIES from the period, and even a COVEN 13, but I was especially glad to see the FANTASTIC STORIES from Ted White’s editorship. FANTASTIC was the first fantasy magazine I ever discovered. More to the point, I soon realized that there were such things as writers who sent them stories. I soon became one of them. I never did sell to Ted White, and by the time I sold one to his successor, Elinor Mavor, FANTASTIC had been folded into its sister magazine, AMAZING. Yes, I know. Just a second tier digest back in the days of ANALOG/ASTOUNDING and GALAXY, but there was something about the stories there that appealed to me more.  I still regret that I wasn’t good enough soon enough for FANTASTIC, but I remember what I was shooting for.

No sooner had I turned in the final manuscript of THE WAR GOD’S SON to Paula at Prime than I got an email from Audible.com telling me that the audiobook version is already going into production. I don’t know yet who’s doing the narration, but it should be out at the same time the print and ebook versions are available, still officially set for October. Which should happen on time, since the book is being typeset even as I write this.  Not much longer now, people. If/when there’s a link for pre-orders, I’ll post it here.

Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015

rh-ybsff2015Friday’s mail brought my contributor’s copies of Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015. I’m in there with “The Manor of Lost Time,” which originally appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The book also has stories by Robert Reed and Kelly Link and Jo Walton and Elizabeth Bear and Yoon Ha Lee and Ken Liu and Cory Doctorow and…well, you get the idea. Lots of people. It also includes a summary of the year and a recommended reading list, in all 575 pages packed. You could do worse.

I heard back from Paula Guran at Prime Books that the revisions to The War God’s Son are good and therefore complete, and it’s off for a final copyedit and typeset, so we’re on schedule for the October release. I’ve also been admonished to get started on the next one which, assuming I can get myself together, will be out in 2016. The revisions to Power’s Shadow have run into the same delay that’s put pretty much everything on hold, but I’m hoping it won’t be too much longer.

The downed tree has been removed and we’re still getting our house ready to sell. Besides boxing up our lives we’ve been painting for the past week. Also sniffing a lot of paint fumes, though not by choice. It’s all part of the process.

Back to Press, and the Great Cleanup

Step4-YamadaFirst off, I got the news a few days ago that Yamada Monogatari: Demon Hunter is going back to press. This makes the third printing. Not too shabby for a book that is, in essence, a themed collection.

Just in time for the 4th, what should appear in my inbox but the copyedited version of the third book in the series,  Yamada Monogatari: The War God’s Son, which both Prime Books and Audible Books are waiting on. Oof. It did remind me of why I usually don’t show first drafts to anybody. It appears that there are certain words and phrases I’m waaay too fond of. “That” is one. There are others. Lots of them. Paula Guran at Prime pronounced the manuscript “structurally perfect,” but stylistically? Not so much until I clean up some of this. Okay, a lot of this. We suffer so that you don’t have to.

Well, not much in the way of suffering, really. While I am embarrassed by some of my writing quirks, re-reading the book in the process is reminding me of how pleased I was with it, overall. Not “satisfied,” because one never is, but pleased none the less. Coming back to it cold after this time away I’m a little relieved to say that I still like it, and maybe some of you will too. It moves Yamada’s story arc forward quite a bit. Plus you get to meet Yamada’s elder sister.

The great file purge is still in progress. I was one of those sods who held onto everything: rough drafts, rejection letters, correspondence, contracts…keeping the contracts, naturally. And some of the correspondence. The rest is either tossed or put through the shredder, depending. It wasn’t as depressing as if could have been, especially when I was reminded of who rejected what story, and with hindsight could either see that they were right or “You passed on that one? WTF were you thinking?”

My shelves are almost bare. Most of my books are already packed away, minus the ones I’m debating whether or not to keep. I hope I won’t need any of my references for a while, though I do need some information on Empress Sadako for the next project. Which I need to get busy on. Which has to wait for the current revisions to be done.

Which means back to work.