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Five Things Make a Friday Post

And today it’s all about me me me!

* As of last Monday, I am officially six months overdue on delivering Man Bites World. My agent has given me firm instructions: Do not panic. The deadline for production is August, but I’m going to be turning it in that late. I’m just about finished with a round of revisions for my agent (she had a couple little notes) and once she reads and approves them, I’ll turn the book in.

Looking back, I can see it was damn smart of my editor to hold off the publication of Child of Fire for as long as she did. And I’m sorry that Game of Cages was switched from May of this year to August. Hopefully, the path in the future will be more smooth.

* In MS Word for Mac (I know. You don’t have to say it), the word count appears at the bottom of the window… unless the count goes into six figures, at which point it disappears. I hate that. I like maps, clocks, WYSIWYG, and word counts. I like to know where I am. That’s why I feel a certain joyful satisfaction when I trim a manuscript below the 100,000 word mark and the total count suddenly appears onscreen.

Yesterday, I was tempted to stop revising ten minutes early so I could write “I’m at 99,999 words now!” in this post, but I resisted. See point one.

* Am I going to Norwescon? I don’t know! I received an invitation around Christmastime, filled it out and sent it in, but I haven’t heard back. It’s less than a month away and my name isn’t on the long list of “panel participants.” Now, I’ve never been to a convention before, so maybe it’s commonplace for a confirmation to arrive less than a month before the event. Maybe it’s common for an invitation to be rescinded (which would be understandable, since I can only go one day) without notifying the attendee. I dunno, but I’ve sent an email to registration to inquire.

I’m half-hoping they’ll tell me I’ve been struck from the list. Saturdays are supposed to be family time for me, but revisions have been eating all my time, and then there’d be a convention, and the following week…

* I’m going to have a signing at the Tukwila Barnes & Noble on April 10th at 1 pm. It won’t be a reading (Ixnay on the Eadingray!), just a signing and talk with four authors: Gayle Ann Williams (Tsunami Blue), Jessa Slade (Seducing the Shadows), Mark Henry (Battle of the Network Zombies), and little ole me. If you live in the Puget Sound area, swing on by.

* You know what amazes me? I can revise a book three times and, on the fourth runthrough, discover an incredible number of word echoes, clumsy sentence constructions, responses to sensory input before the sensory input, and dialog that would register as “eyeroll” on a Turing test. It still astonishes me that my own errors can be so difficult to see.

* Only two entries so far in the Child of Fire giveaway contest (Here’s the LiveJournal version). Just sayin’. This is the last giveaway I’m going to do for a while. I have a small stack of books I’m going to save for late summer, in case CoF isn’t available in stores when Game of Cages comes out.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here or there.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
mdhenry
Mar. 5th, 2010 06:54 pm (UTC)
If you want to go to Norwescon, you'd better email them again. Confirmations went out last year. We're getting our panel assignments and schedules already.
burger_eater
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC)
That's pretty much what I expected. I'm assuming they don't want to offer a comp membership to someone who can only attend one day.

And that's fine, if that's what's going on; I just wish they'd told me so when my name was struck.
mdhenry
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
I think that's it too. I heard talk of them not having guests that couldn't attend the full con. Though not emailing back is not cool.
cathshaffer
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
I have a question about your agent process. I've been told by others that your agent should not be critiquing your manuscript or editing it. How did you make a decision to work with an agent that is critiquing your book before your editor gets it? Do you like that arrangement?

In my personal experience, I've had situations where more than one editor or a "committee" was giving me input on my writing, and I've found it adds quite another layer of labor, and I never like the finished product as much as when only two people are involved--one writer and one editor. I think my preference, when I eventually sign with an agent, would be to have someone that will only be marketing my work, not telling me how to improve it.
burger_eater
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think my preference, when I eventually sign with an agent, would be to have someone that will only be marketing my work, not telling me how to improve it.

Those agents are out there, most definitely. I think Janet Reid posted about this recently (or am I confusing her with someone else?); she's "marketing only" agent who doesn't want to be in a position to give notes.

My agent is Caitlin Blasdell at Liza Dawson Assoc. She's a former editor at Penguin, and I signed on with her in large part because I wanted her input on my work. I sometimes see sarahprineas joke about it, but her notes are extensive and extremely insightful. I value them very much, and they make me look like a better writer when I send my book to my editor.

Also, because she's my agent, Caitlin is on my side in things. When I decided not to change the darkest, most difficult scene in Game of Cages to something more commercial, she supported me, helped make my case to my editor, and smoothed things over with her afterward, too, even though I know she thought Betsy was right.

So, I'm pro-agent notes, mainly because I get really good ones. I know other authors don't feel the same way.

What's more, I always assumed that agents gave notes. It never occurred to me until later that they wouldn't, or that there would be some agents who didn't want to. I'm not sure how you'd find that out.
cathshaffer
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:22 pm (UTC)
That's very interesting. I'd probably just ask, myself, but I'm rude that way. :-)
burger_eater
Mar. 5th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
This is one of the questions agentquery.com should ask agents when they list them.
seawasp
Mar. 5th, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
I like the point at which the counter VANISHES, because I don't really feel I've hit a full-sized book until it's over 100k.

Still looking for an agent myself; time to submit to some more.
burger_eater
Mar. 5th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
I promised to make each of these books 90K, so when the word count vanishes, I know I've overshot and still going.

Good luck with the agent hunt.
ltwelve2
Mar. 5th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
>* You know what amazes me? I can revise a book three times and, on the fourth runthrough, discover an incredible number of word echoes, clumsy sentence constructions, responses to sensory input before the sensory input, and dialog that would register as “eyeroll” on a Turing test. It still astonishes me that my own errors can be so difficult to see.

Boy, that's some gospel truth right there. I can identify stuff that clanks from three miles away in *somebody else's* work, but read it fifteen times in my own work and still feel like a tool when somebody else has to point it out to me. It's bizarre.
burger_eater
Mar. 5th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
It's disheartening, too. I'd much rather things be easy.
geniusofevil
Mar. 8th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
yay, a book signing!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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Comments

  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:47
    Oh, yeah, excellent point.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 21:46
    Oh yeah. Like the lawyers who get obvious really venal criminals off because it makes their success rate look good. But those are not the ones I am referring to in meaning well. These guys are mixed…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 20:37
    This reminds me of the time my wife was injured and the insurance guy handling her case did everything possible to deny and stall the payment. We had to put her surgery on a credit card because this…
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:24
    The creepiest part is that some of them are actually well meaning.
  • 14 Jan 2019, 19:08
    Yeah. It's godawful what people will do when they have authority and no fear about using it.
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