It’s been a long time since the last update. One might think nothing has been happening. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
Had a book-launch reception for APD on the 19th. A friend of mine hosted it at her store. We had a great turnout, and I sold all of the copies I brought with me. Would have sold more, if I’d brought them. Lesson for next time =) The best part was all of the friends and family who traveled to be there. I’m still awed by and grateful for all of the support for me and for this book.
It sounds wrong to say that part of me never expected it to go anywhere. One is supposed to be super-charged with positive thinking at all times. But I’m a realist. There are a lot of people working on novels, screenplays, etc, and the reality is that many will never come to anything. My philosophy was, “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”
There have been a few good reviews, and lots of good word of mouth, and I’m still kind of amazed by it all. When someone says “I really want to read your book,” I think to myself “Really?” and feel all tingly. One of the perks of cautious positivism.
Of course now there’s the hard work of promotion. I hate this stuff, but it’s necessary. Have done some guest blogging (pretty painless, will have to do some more of it) and am still searching for review venues. SIN did a lovely one, but a lot of related sites review romance only. Will have to dig a little deeper, I think. Will also try to be arranging a blog tour toward the end of summer, when I get back from the UK. Three weeks without Internet. Can I do it? Yes, and more than likely, quite happily.
Completed a short story recently for a sub call for a lesbian paranormal anthology. It was about as far away as one can get from Gay Victorians: Los Angeles noir set toward the end of WWII. It was so much fun to write and came so easily that I’ve put the heroine, Amelia Archer, on track for her own novel.
Which brings me to my current PIA WIP. I took a week off to deal with the reception and all of the arriving and departing guests, etc etc. Was to get back to it this week, but was struck down by a Summer Pestilence. Next week will be all workworkwork, then it will be off to the UK. Vacation always shakes things up, helps new story lines and connections to form. But writing time must be fought for.
It’s fortunate that up until now I had been proceeding at three times the pace I’d estimated necessary to finish this draft on schedule.
Yes, in a former life I was a number cruncher, why do you ask? =)
Of all the parts of writing, I think first-drafting can be the most unpleasant. I know what I want to say, and what I want it to look like when it’s done. But I also know that if I don’t get a draft out in one blow, beginning to end, I’ll spend forever polishing the first paragraph and never finish. So I have to power through an entire first draft of painfully bad prose to get to a finished piece I can work with. It’s discouraging as hell, and it’s where I’m at right now.
Am also having some doubts about my ability to write emotionally engaging characters. Have read some exquisite books recently with all sorts of emotional depth. As you know, Messy Emotions are a frightening and foreign thing for we Chilly Virgos. Much easier to put in an action scene or a clever plot twist. Or calculate how many words one must write in an hour to reach a deadline months away. But one of the pillars of the WIP is a developing romance between the two MCs–in the midst of clever plot twists, well-blocked action scenes and historical detail. The romance works on paper (An intellectual balancing of opposites! How hot is that?!) but I need to take it from paper into the reality of the story.
At least this is something that I won’t have to address in a serious way until the next draft. Whew!
Have also been working up outlines for the next two books in the APD…don’t say it!…no! it’s not a trilogy!…series. So now there are four books in the hopper (or rather three in the hopper and one currently in production):
1. The Left Hand of Justice (WIP): a steampunkish novel of suspense set in 1827 Paris.
2. Turnbull House: first sequel to The Affair of the Porcelain Dog. This is actually more Tim Lazarus’s book, and I may even give him a POV. Set in London around 1891.
3. Untitled, Amelia Archer’s book. A noir-ish paranormal detective story set in late WWII-era Los Angeles.
4. Fool’s Gold: the third and probably final installment in Ira Adler’s story. Set in London and the western U.S., in 1895.
And any new plot bunnies can get in line.