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19 April 2011 @ 04:06 pm

I’m doing the galleys for WAYFINDER. There are moments I can tell it’s an entertaining story, but my *God* doing line edits is mind-bogglingly dull. This is at least the eighth time I’ve read this book, and at 150 or so pages in, I’m having a terrible time keeping my eyes open. I trust (and hope!) this is not a problem all y’all will have when you get your hands on it in September. (Or, for four of you, next week: the books went out this morning!).

That said, of course, don’t get me wrong. I have the best job in the world. :)

burger_eater/Harry Connolly (author of the Twenty Palaces novels, which if you haven’t been reading them, you should be) just commented over on his blog about pots on the fire and making a living as a writer, which reminds me that people keep asking me what I’m working on now that I’ve finished RAVEN CALLS, so obviously I need to mention what I’m working on. Here’s the answer:


No, seriously. I mean, yes, I’ve got the Old Races Short Story Project going, and the RIGHT ANGLES TO FAERYLAND Revision Project (details also at that link), but I don’t actually have another book due until April 2012. Not yet, anyway.

This is mind-boggling as well. WAYFINDER, out in September, will be my 17th published novel. The first one came out in June 2005, so basically any way you cut it, that’s 3 books a year for the past 6 years (the Subterranean Press Old Races collection should be out late this year, too, so yeah, definitely 3 books a year). Plus I’ve published half a dozen short stories or so, two novellas via crowdfunding, and a comic book.

I believe Harry would define that as “a lot of pots on the boil.” I mean, I’ve had to, this is how I make my living. But right now, I’ve got nothing due for a year. And part of me thinks I should probably be concerned about that, but to tell the truth, concern has up and left the building. I have been busting my *ass* the past seven years, ever since my day job went away at the end of 2004, and it is, truth be told, busted. I may be less phlegmatic in another three weeks when a royalty check of uncertain amount shows up (ah yes, the life of a writer: you either know when you’re getting paid, but not how much, or you know how much you’re getting paid but not when), but right now? I’ve got nothing due to a publisher and I’m *loving* it.

Because I’m me, of course, I’m also psychologically incapable of not considering new projects. I dearly want to give e-pubbing a brand-new novel a try. But I keep running into the same catch, there: I could spend 2-3 months writing a full novel on my own time and dime, and release it as an e-book and see how it does…or I could write three chapters and submit it to my publisher who will then give me money to write the rest of it. There’s very little certainty in this business, but the difference between writing 10K or 100K on spec is fairly significant, so I keep slamming up against that in my attempt to expand horizons. (And no, there is absolutely no chance at all that I will do an e-pub with the revised ANGLES, just in case you were wondering.)

Anyway, so yeah. For the first time in half a decade and more, I’m not under murderous deadline crunch. My entire career thus far has been built on MDC, and I have great hopes that the next half decade and more, y’know. Won’t be. But I’ll let you know when that royalty check comes in if sudden panic strikes the heart of a writer… :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Mary Annepers1stence on April 19th, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
well deserved breathing room for you -- you've got an ankle-biter to be chased after, so it's not like you don't have stuff to *do*. and with Ted in a more stable job and one that he seems to be reasonably happy with, that helps take pressure off too, I'd think....
Alix (Tersa): Arwen Reading (tersa)tersa on April 19th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
You're working on raising a healthy and productive member of society. La. :)
tamagotamago on April 19th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
What tersa said. I also noticed a big ramp up in the kind of attention Teo needed at about a year old. Kids do get more intellectually demanding as they get older. I can see that interfering with writing just a wee bit.

Also, sounds like you're due for a little time to refill the well. ;-)
A large duckburger_eater on April 19th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC)
Just reading this gives me the vapors.

I strongly suspect that being so prolific involves not only dedication and hard work but a certain clarity of vision. An ability to really see the characters and settings in a way that makes their actions and feelings flow.

Me, I've written four Ray Lilly books so far, and I was stymied for a whole day over a scene where I had no idea how he would feel in that situation.

::beams envy::

Added: I hope that royalty check is a nice fat one so your deadline crunches can be torturous instead of murderous. :)

Edited at 2011-04-19 05:22 pm (UTC)
Bryantbryant on April 19th, 2011 08:40 pm (UTC)
You know, a lot of the established authors who're trying ebooks are people who have relatively reliable backlists. Barry Eisler is a great headline for ebooks, but he also had a seven figure deal for two books with Ballantine under his belt. He is not going to starve if ebooks don't work out for him.

I assume you've read Tobias Buckell's post on his findings.
UrsulaVursulav on April 19th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
Man, I feel like a slacker. I'm only averaging a little over 2 books a year. I MUST WORK HARDER!

*grin* Enjoy your momentary leisure! Resist the siren song of overwork! You can do it!
Geek of Weird Shit: sensualgows on April 19th, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
*nod* I've been working like hell the last five years or so to gain experience and help establish my own name here. I'd love to be able to make a living where I could regularly have a day (or two! Two would be AMAZING!) off each week.

Good for you. Enjoy your breather.
mikaela_lmikaela_l on April 20th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
What ever you do, I'll buy it! I read somewhere, that Brandon Sanderson tries to take 3 months off, and work on something purely for him. Sometimes it sells. Sometimes it don't. So, go ahead. Write something! Maybe you can write a proposal, and send it to your agent, and then keep writing on it.
Amberleyamberley on April 20th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
You could do the 10K sample and then go to Kickstarter with a $10,000 goal (or whatever you consider an adequate return for 2-3 months) and if it gets funded, write the rest of it. Some contributor levels would get the ebook, perhaps some (at higher levels) get their names in it (either as a thank you or a background character), yet higher get to have coffee (tea?) with you at some convention of mutual attendance. Etc.

Kickstarter takes everyone's pledges (through Amazon payments) and if the goal is reached in the timeframe (45 days or whatever's chosen), it charges everyone, takes a thin slice for itself, and pays you. You then write the book, secure in the knowledge it's been paid for, and deliver the goods, then put the book up on the usual e-reader suspects for future sales. You need to hire an editor and a cover artist but can factor those costs into the Kickstarter amount.

If the goal isn't reached, no one pays anything. No harm, no foul.

A virtue of this approach is that there isn't a two year delay between writing book and it getting into the hands of readers. Also, Kickstarter runs for the entire period, but if it reaches its goal early (Daniel Solis' amazing Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Weekend did so on the first day of its 45 days) you could continue writing it right away and be half-done when the money arrives.

A flaw of this approach is that if Kickstarter doesn't get funded, then you've written 10K, with nothing to show for it, so you'll never get that week back again. Kickstarter may have an issue with overseas projects, so that would have to be looked at.

Or you could take a break from writing and relax and recharge, but I don't know if those boat drinks with little umbrellas in them are even available in Ireland.