December 2008 Archive

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday dear meeee-eeeee…

You know the rest.

Yes, I’m 24 for the tenth time today. I tried being 25 for a year back in 2002, but it didn’t work out for me, so I’ve decided to stay where I am…

Out goes 2008, the year of Barrack Obama’s election, some world economic thingy, and, more importantly, of course, the thrilling completion of The First Law Trilogy to universally rapturous popular acclaim (DISCLAIMER: actual acclaim may differ from the acclaim stated both in terms of universality, rapture, and popularity, the staff and management of this blog accept no responsibility for crushing disappointments or, indeed, anything else. Always read the small print on any claims of acclaim).

In comes 2009, a year that will no doubt be remembered for various stuff, but chiefly, of course for the publication of Best Served Cold, for I can reveal that my latest book is now totally finished. Yes, I have carried out my own exhaustive and exhausting program of read-throughs, revisions and rewrites, I have absorbed and acted upon some comments from Devi, my wonderful new editor at Orbit in the US. And I have been through the Line Edit from Gillian, my wonderful old editor in the UK. Though she is quite young, in fact.

The Line Edit, for anyone that’s wondering, follows the more general edit, and is where your editor goes through the manuscript in detail and physically marks up anything that still bothers her – typically creaky sentence construction, repetitive wording, but also making sure details like timelines, time of day, positioning of settings and so on all make sense, as well as some final tinkering with making plot points as clear as possible. Many of those changes I accept, some I scornfully cast aside with a wrinkled lip and a cry of “Never! How dare you presume to edit ME?” But in the vast majority of cases, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the solution out of pure bloody-mindedness, I am often spurred to come up with my own improvement. Which is handy as, by this stage, it becomes harder and harder to tell what’s good and what isn’t.

Then a final read-through of the whole manuscript, in order, to get a sense of how it flows and correct any little errors, add in a couple of last-minute thoughts and do a tad of tightening here or there, and the book is FINISHED.

Naturally when I say finished, I mean, not actually finished. There is still the copy-edit to wait for and look at, then a final proof-read to undertake. But those should be pretty light. Creatively, it’s FINISHED. Mostly. The version I send off today will be the one from which the proofs will be made, which hopefully will be going out to readers, taste-makers and critics some time during the next couple of months. I can almost feel the bile tickling the back of my throat at the thought of the first reviews…

It occurs to me that it’s probably been four or five years since I had more than one day at a time where I didn’t do any writing, even if it’s just been something tangential – a bit of planning, a bit of reading over, a bit of blogging or responding to emails. So I’ve promised myself (not to mention some of the hazy, dimly-remembered figures who were once my friends and family) that I’d have a couple of months properly off, to read, relax, try to sort out my crippling neck pain, and recharge the batteries.

Sits staring into space, drums fingers for a minute…

Thank god that’s over. Right. Next book. And could someone pass the painkillers?

Read more | 21 comments | Posted in news, process, reviews

God Bless Us, Every One

Ho, ho, ho! Ah, tis Christmas Eve. Some very merry Yuletide cheer to all readers of my books or blog at this most festive season of the year. All alone at Christmas? Reconstituted turkey roll and one bar on the electric fire? Never fear, there is an extremely lengthy and in-depth video interview with yours […]

Read more | 10 comments | Posted in interviews, reviews

Fallout 3

I actually completed this game a month ago, wrote half a review (the half bitching about Oblivion) but what with one thing and and other I’ve waited until now, when it is no longer at all relevant, to complete and publish it. That’s the kind of timing and work ethic that has CATAPULTED me to […]

Read more | 15 comments | Posted in games

Back from Holland

I have returned from my whirlwind trip to the Netherlands. The midwinter fair was kind of crazy. Takes place in an archeological park where prehistoric and medieval buildings have been recreated. Lots of folks dressed in medieval garb. And I mean lots. More than half the people have made some effort in that direction, I’d […]

Read more | 12 comments | Posted in appearances

Midwinter Fair and etc.

OK, so I’m definitely going to be at the Midwinter Fair at Alphen aan den Rijn this weekend. Schedule is as follows: Saturday 13th:4.00 pm – Brief talk on expectations in epic fantasy, brief reading from Best Served Cold, opportunity for questions and signing.4.44 pm – Buried under a hail of abuse and rotten vegetables […]

Read more | 10 comments | Posted in appearances

Sympathy for the Doubtful

Coming down from the blaze of excitement that accompanied daily posting during Best Served Cold Artwork Week, it occurs to me that it’s been a very long time since I addressed any reviews of my work. I couldn’t allow a review of the First Law trilogy over at Tor.com by Jason Henninger to pass without […]

Read more | 16 comments | Posted in reviews