February 2020 Archive

Progress Report February ’20

Ah, the months march on, and so does the work. Had a great trip to Spain for the release of A Little Hatred over there, and did a whole lot of press. For some reason, though there are certainly places I sell more books, I’m more in demand for interviews in Spain than I am anywhere else, although the first question always seems to be – does it upset you that fantasy isn’t taken seriously in Spain, which is strange. Portugal next month, then France in May, if international travel is still an option, what with all that’s going on lately…

The Trouble With Peace, second book in The Age of Madness, has now been line edited – that’s where your editor goes through in detail and marks up the script, once upon a time on paper but these days via track changes on word, and I’ve also done my final pass through, tweaking the prose. The book’s been pretty heavily revised already though, so there wasn’t much to do – the odd word choice and a bit of re-writing here or there. I find it’s always like this with a book – after a first draft you can (and indeed need to) smash everything up, rewrite and cut heavily, add new scenes and rename characters. By this stage changing a word or cutting a line seems like a mighty effort. Next the book goes to the copy editor for its final tweaks. Publication set for September, a year after the last book.

It’s turned out at 195,300 words, compared to 177,800 for A Little Hatred. That’s about the same length as Before They are Hanged, for reference. It got about 20,000 longer from first to second drafts because I had to add a few significant scenes and develop a couple of others.

I’ve got some bits and pieces to write while I wait for the copy edit to come back – probably a ‘story so far’ kinda thing for the front of the book, and a short story for a Waterstones edition.  Cover copy’s done and covers for US and UK editions are pretty close to finished now. Final cover art for Subterranean Press’s limited edition of A Little Hatred just came through as well and is looking sweeeeeet. There’ll be a dozen internal illustrations – a mixture of black and white and colour – in this edition too so I expect it will come out quite excellent. More on all these things when the time is ripe.

Meanwhile the 3rd book has been edited and just needs its final passes through on character, setting, and prose, plus the Line Edit, then the Copy Edit. Couple of months work, maybe? I hope it’ll be entirely finished by the time The Trouble With Peace comes out in September, in plenty of time to be published the following September. I’m also thinking about changing the title of that book, but I’m letting it sit for now, seeing how I feel….

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