February 19th, 2010


someone asked…

Someone asked if I could create a page for my blogs which lists the year’s upcoming releases and what I’m working on now. The former, especially, is probably a good idea, particularly for cemurphy.net, but experience tells me that I simply never, ever remember to update a “what I’m working on now” page.

There are three reasons for this. One is that I talk about whatever I’m currently working on on mizkit.com, which is where all the daily grind for life as a working writer gets posted. I mean, it’s my personal blog, and hey, much of my life is about the current project, so. :) Two is that–well, for example, take January. I wrote forty thousand words on one project, did copy edits on two projects, and also did final galley edits on one of those two books I copy edited. Not only do I have no idea how much of that detail anybody would want on a “what I’m working on now” page, the truth is, it’s way too much jumping around for me to even bother trying to keep a separate-from-the-blog account of it.

The third reason, though, is that I’ve observed that no matter how good I try to be about posting what I’m working on, I’m the only one who can actually keep track. Ted is very, very good at keeping track. My parents are quite good at it. Beyond that, even my beta readers tend to preface work discussions with, “Okay, and which one are you working on now?” It’s just not that *important* to most people. I can make some effort to stick up a “this is what’s on my plate this year” thing, but given my tendency toward overambitiousness, I’m not sure how reliable that would be, either.

But having said that, let me sum up what I’m currently working on, and I’ll try to get this posted on some kind of static page over at cemurphy.net soonish here:

The Worldwalker Duology: TRUTHSEEKER and WAYFINDER (which was briefly called WORLDBREAKER*). This is a new series about Lara Jansen, a young woman who always knows if someone is telling her the truth–including when the new man in her life claims to be a prince of Faerie. TRUTHSEEKER is out in September 2010. I’ve just finished writing WAYFINDER.

The Walker Papers: DEMON HUNTS, book five, is freshly finished and will be out in June 2010. SPIRIT DANCES (book six, formerly referred to as RATTLESNAKE DANCES) is my next actual writing project, and isn’t out until April 2011.

*A note about titles:
1. Do not ever take titles very seriously until I make some indication that they’ve been finalized. I realize this probably confuses people more than necessary, but I _have_ to have a working title for a book or I can’t write it, so I will use the working title on my blogs until a permanent one is finalized. I know plenty of writers who won’t mention a book by title until it’s been finalized, but I evidently have faith that my readers will adapt. :)

2. It’s almost always easy to tell, if you know how to look for it, what series a book belongs to. The Walker Papers are all two word titles, ideally although not exclusively NOUN VERB which makes some kind of play on words relevant to the context of the book (THUNDERBIRD FALLS, COYOTE DREAMS, DEMON HUNTS…even the short stories & novellas, “Banshee Cries” and “Rabbit Tricks” follow that pattern). The Negotiator Trilogy were all “H of X” titles, with the first and third word being 5 letters long (HEART OF STONE, HOUSE OF CARDS). The Inheritors’ books are definitive 3 word titles with some reference to royalty in them (THE QUEEN’S BASTARD, THE PRETENDER’S CROWN). Even the Dermody books have a deliberate “red bird” escalation: CARDINAL, FIREBIRD, PHOENIX. So the upcoming TRUTHSEEKER and WAYFINDER are obviously (to me, anyway!) 1. a different series from anything else published, and 2. part of the same series.

(Reading that second bit about the titles, I cannot help thinking: and you had no idea, did you, because damn, talk about obsessive writer behavior…)

Ok, this is me having procrastinated enough on doing my revisions, so I’m off to work now.

(x-posted from the essential kit)


‘k. Have gotten through WAYFINDER and written all over the manuscript. Making the edits almost certainly won’t take more than the weekend. Found one distinct problem which I think I can take care of relatively easily, and another one which…may not be exactly a problem. Not sure. I’ll let my agent and editor tell me if it needs work (and I’m suuuure they will :)). I’m at the stage where, as I said to Ted last night, “Well, either this is a reasonably decent little book or it’s utter crap. No idea which.”

He said, “Sounds like things are right on track, then,” which is absolutely true, but you’d think that after 20ish books, I’d be somewhat more confident on the “reasonably decent” side, rather than being generally pretty certain of the “utter crap” side. Every writer I know is like this. We’re all insane. :)

Ted made a Giant Pot O’Bean Soup today, which is really to say he put all the appropriate ingredients in the crock pot and went off to Dublin to watch a movie while I stayed at home to work and be slowly tortured by the increasingly wonderful smells emanating from the kitchen. Pretty good way to spend the day, really. And then because it was indeed a Giant Pot O’Soup, Mom and Dad came over for dinner and we had soup and cornbread and conversation, so overall a very nice day.

I had a bemusing dream the other night that Paul Cornell and I had fallen madly in love, rather to the dismay of both ourselves and our respective spouses. Of course, in the same dream I also had powers of flight and was fighting a vampire army, so possibly it should not be taken as portents of things to come, but I thought it was pretty amusing. :)

I don’t care if it’s Friday night. I’m pretty much going to bed now. *thud*

The Road Home: miles to Isengard: 136.6
ytd km swum: 24

(x-posted from the essential kit)