Friday, June 18, 2010

Editing pains...

It’s Friday and it’s an amazing sunny day out there… the first really nice day in a while over here in Portland. We are used to rain here, but sometimes when it lingers into June, we are puzzled by it. I am all for mild summers and lots of rain, I confess. I hate heat. I’m part mole, so I prefer to be in the cloud-filtered light and gloom, pale-skinned and squinting in the sun (when I do bother to venture into it and risk scorching myself red). Aaaaaaanyway, let me get to why I really decided to post a blurb today.

[whining] I got totally slammed by one of the editors doing test-edits of my first chapter yesterday. It was like he threw a first-edition of War and Peace at my head. I warned him! I told him the first chapter was ‘information heavy’ when I sent it to him. Of course it is… Here I am starting a story set twenty years after the prior one, and also assuming that not every reader is going to know what the heck is going on, having not read the first book… so I did a little bit of overcompensation in the first ten pages of Tinna’s Might. Shame on me!

That scares me, because I know how I am as a reader, and if the first few pages are hard to get through, I rarely ever keep plugging along until the author finds their stride. I’ll groan in annoyance and huck the book onto my dresser and then forget about it until library donation day. Part of the reason why I stopped doing reviews for my friend is because MANY, MANY, MANY of those independently published books were not written in a way to draw the reader in, making it impossible to get past the first chapter. I’d read one or two pages, and already be miserable. I’d give it a few more pages, and find my eyes and brain distracted by my dogs, by a steller’s jay outside, by someone driving past the house, by a random shiny thing… anything BUT the story that’s on the page. I would rather jam a fork into my eye than to produce a book like that…

So yes! I know, I know… I’m aware of this problem and I haven’t fixed it! Truth be told, I am having trouble figuring out how to break up this huge wad of background information and to sprinkle it around more evenly over a broader area… I’m not confident about how long a reader will want to wait to learn why certain things are the way they are. I need to back off my text for a few weeks, and then re-approach it with fresher eyes, and try to look at it like a reader again instead of being the storyteller.

The editor in essence chucked a sharp-cornered book at my head, frankly. It hurt but I needed it. I knew it was there, I warned him it was there, but why didn’t I just take care of it when I did my last revision? Because it’s DAUNTING. [/whining]


Anyway… onward we push, I suppose. Have a delightful weekend.

Monday, June 7, 2010

First copy, fresh off the press....

It's done. The new cover for Tinna's Promise is in place at last. There are a few details that need mopping up around the interwebs, of which a few I can take care of myself. A few of the digital e-book sites still have the old cover on them; I'm not sure how to go about changing that information on each site, but at least the big guys are switched over; Amazon, Barns & Noble, etc. My Search-Inside option on Amazon is in the process of change as well... I'm hoping in the next few months, this lovely cover will be the one presented on all available sales sites.

Miss Abigail Larson, artiste extraordinaire, did a lovely job. She put up with quibbling from TWO people about this and about that... change this detail here, change this detail there.... Poor thing! She bore it with grace and produced a beautiful cover that we are all proud of.

Abigail's style is has a soft, subtle edge of the dreary and dark in it. Her other artwork is beautifully gloomy; but in creating the less gloomy subject matter on my covers, she does not lose her sense of stark beauty and whimsy. It takes skill to create something for someone's vision, and to still have it be uniquely yours. She accomplished that incredibly well. She really managed to maintain her unique style, but also respect what we were asking for. She's has off-the-charts talent, and I foresee great things for this artist. Here are her two primary websites:

Abigail Larson's DeviantArt page.
Abigail Larson's Main Website

She has completed the cover for Tinna's Might (which is STUNNING) and she is currently working on the cover for yes... Book THREE. I am on the edge of my seat to see what she does with the concept we put together, we asked her to just run with it this time, there are no constraints of existing story to keep her reined in--so this cover will be beautiful, I know. I haven't written a jot of book three yet, but I'll be starting fairly soon, after the editing process is finished for book two.

Editors, like everyone else in this economy are hurting; and one ad brought me over 80 responses from editors. Yipes. Anyway... I'll keep you apprised of the progress of book two, but in the meantime, click through to Amazon or B&N and grab yourself a copy of Tinna's Promise with this beautiful artwork on the cover!

Thank you Abigail!