Jan 1 2018

What you do on New Year’s Day…

Rosemary

I don’t know where I first heard it, but there’s a saying — or tradition, or possibly superstition — to the effect that what you do on New Year’s Day will set the tone for the rest of the year.

Which is why I came to my office today, to read and write and work on my covers, and possibly practice some singing and guitar.  Also, to not skip my walking.

So, here I am, doing, intermittently, all those things.  It’s lovely.

New Year’s Day 2018

I hope your New Year’s Day has also been lovely, and that the new year will be a whole lot better than last year, because: Damn, that was unpleasant.   But let’s not dwell on it.

Meanwhile, randomly, here’s a video of sundogs in Sweden.  I’m a fan of sundogs, and these are the best I’ve seen!

 

 


Dec 29 2017

Okay, let’s try this again, only more slowly.

Rosemary

Well.  I did get the proof copy  of The Lost Steersman back from Createspace.

Alas: acceptable to them, but unacceptable to me.

Too dark.

There’s nothing like holding the actual physical copy in your hands.  The color is different.  The green, when seen on a glowing screen, looks light and bright; but turned into pigment on paper, it is far too dark.

Also, there were some random flecks of green around the moth that were not visible when the green was very pale, but became horrible when the green was dark and visible.  Plus, one of the commenters (Hi, Christian!) thought that the lettering on my name looked a bit rough-edged on the jpg version… and it turned out true on the book itself.

So, I have to back up and redo the front cover.

And while I’m at it, one more proofing — a careful proofing — of the text.  I’ve already (dammit) found previously-unrecognized typos.

I attribute this to rushing things, trying to get everything in place before Christmas.  Also, I had to prep for a presentation at the same time, which turned out harder than I expected…

Basically, it was too much crammed into too short a period of time. So: take a breath, settle down, proceed at a stately pace.

I’m now figuring on around the middle of January for The Lost Steersman and The Language of Power to be done, and on sale.

Also: as I mentioned in the comment stream, the paperback of The Steerswoman is in a slightly smaller format (8.5×5.25) than the others (9×6).  I had wanted the smaller size for all of them, because it sat in one’s hand better.  It was an artistic decision.  But as it turns out, the other books are actually much longer than the first.  I had not realized the impact of this…

Production costs are figured by number of pages.  I had to move to the bigger size, or they’d cost too much to make, and the purchase price would just be too high.

But now I’m all dissatisfied that the books won’t be uniform. So…

I’ll go back and redo The Steerswoman.

Darn, did I just tell you not to buy Book One until I’ve got all four released?  Well, yes.  Yes, I did.

Assuming, that is,  that having all four books be consistent in size, and sit neatly in a row on your shelf matters to you… then, yeah.  Hold off.  I tell you this as a friend!

As apology, when the newly-formatted version of The Steerswoman comes out, I’ll set the price lower for a  while.

Okay, enough blogging. Must get some sleep, in order to be conscious and alert to… redo the front cover, and proof the text again, and resubmit, and order another proof, and do Book 3, and redo Book 1.

Yep.  Stuff to do.

 

 


Dec 25 2017

Hoping your Christmas was merry…

Rosemary

… or the seasonal holiday of your choice, in the mood appropriate to it.

Personally, I like the idea of Solstice as a good thing to celebrate, being based in actual  scientific fact! But the weight of tradition is against me. It’s just nice to have a holiday where you get together with family and friends, and express your appreciation.

 

Merry whichever, y’all.

Prezzies!

 


Dec 20 2017

Cover for the Paperback of The Lost Steersman

Rosemary

What do you think, too much green? (You may embiggen.)

Well.  It’s now in the hands of Createspace, waiting for them to tell me whether or not it’s acceptable.  The issue will probably be alignment, with this book being more than a hundred pages longer than The Outskirter’s Secret.  They give you a template sized to the size of your book, but many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip, as they say.  If there’s a problem, I’ll have to adjust, resubmit, wait for review again.

I’m almost certain I got all the typos.  Almost.  Because, damn, there’s always one or two that just slip through…

Already on the task of creating the paperback for The Language of Power.  But there’s certainly no way I’ll finish that before Christmas.  In fact, the time needed for the vetting process and final proofing on The Lost Steersman makes it not likely that even that will be on sale in time to arrive before the holiday.  It’s possible, but not certain.  Rats.

On the other hand, having done three now, I do have a better sense of the range of time needed.  Good to know for the future.

You know, the more I look at this cover, the more I like it…

 

 

 

 

 


Dec 19 2017

In Brief

Rosemary

Yeah, still no time for a decent blog post.  I’m still working on the release of the paperback version of The Lost Steersman, which, as it turns out, is even longer than The Outskirter’s Secret and has required many more iterations of proofing.   Having finally got the innards to my satisfaction, I’m on the last legs of the cover, and swore I won’t stop tonight until at least my first try at it is uploaded to Creatspace, for them to review and reject or accept.  If so, I’ll be done with this one in a day or so.

But other news in brief: I visited Action Boxborough Regional High School, and had a lovely time talking to some of their students.  I want to talk about this more in detail later, but I can’t let a whole week go by without saying how glad I was of the opportunity,  and how much I enjoyed it.  Sure, a couple of the students were sighing and glancing at the clock (yeah, there are some in every crowd), but the rest  were engaged, and engaging.  They had cogent questions!  They were thoughtful and enthusiastic.   I was charmed — and inspired.  There’s something about connecting with smart  young people that renews one’s faith in art, ideas, and literature.  There’s hope for the future, folks.

Plus: swag!

ABRHS branded hat and umbrella.

 


Dec 12 2017

No time to blog!

Rosemary

I’m in a major time-crunch this week, and have zero time to blog.

Here’s a thing:

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Dec 7 2017

Outskirter Paperback is live!

Rosemary

I hit the switch a couple of days ago, but there was a delay on their end, as they suddenly required me to prove, absolutely prove that I really had the rights to this book.   Which I was able to do to their satisfaction.  So all is well.

No typos left. In theory. Probably.

Typically, Amazon.ca in Canada is lagging,  and if you buy it through them, you’ll really be buying from someone who bought from a supplier in the States, and who will charge you about double the actual cost.  Alas, Canada, I have no control over this.  It might be as much as a month before the real price comes through.  I suggest that you buy it from Amazon.com, ship it to a pal in the States, and then visit them for the holidays!  You know you owe them a visit.

While sloping around Amazon, checking on the status of the listing, I stumbled upon this:

Nah. Really.

There is no universe in which it makes sense for a copy of the first edition of The Outskirter’s Secret to cost $691.   Even less so $860.   Even autographed.  It’s got to be a cover for some illicit activity, like a kilo of cocaine or something.  Those in the know will know what they’re buying, wink-wink.

Okay, I’m getting punchy now.  Must go back to working on the cover and maps for the paperback of The Lost Steersman.  It’s really quite a long book, I’m discovering.

 

 


Dec 4 2017

One more round of proofing

Rosemary

Yep. Due to there being far too many errors to let go.

Aside from the typos on the back  cover, to which you my faithful correspondents alerted me, there were a whole bunch on the inside.

Some of those were pointed out by the extremely helpful Evelyn Park in an email; the rest were discovered by me.

Red tags of trouble!

I had hoped to get this paperback live and for sale in time for John Scalzi’s annual Holiday Shopping Guide.    Every year, Scalzi invites fellow creative persons to engage in shameless self-promotion in the comments stream of his blog posts.  Scalzi’s blog readership is huge, and getting listed helped me with ebook sales last year.

But that’s happening on Tuesday (for self-published works), and I won’t have had time to receive, review, and approve an updated version of the physical proof copy yet.  Still, the paperback of The Steerswoman is available, and all the ebooks, so it’s worth it to submit my self-promo bit.

I’m still on track to get all four paperbacks available for sale by Christmas.  But I do have to dig in.

And on that subject….

If any of you happen to have noticed, during your previous readings, any typos in the ebook versions of The Lost Steersman or The Language of Power, feel free to mention them to me!  Either in email, or in the comments….

I don’t want you to actually go to any trouble — I’ll be combing the pages myself with propper assiduousness — but if you happen to have noticed something during your previous readings, and can recall where it is in the book, and feel like dropping a note…. well, I’d be grateful.   I’m aiming for Friday as the day to be finished with proofing.

Now: must get sleep.  It is very late.  Even for me.


Nov 28 2017

Radio silence due to scrambling to get the rest of the paperbacks done.

Rosemary

Delays!  Due to the fact that The Outskirter’s Secret is significantly longer than The Steerswoman.  Thought I could use the same format, and just paste in the different text and cover, but nope.  Had to move to a larger size.

Requiring lots of other adjustments.  And errors. And fixes. And more adjustments.  And now I am behind schedule, and so must scramble.

 

Yeah, there are no typos on this, are there? You’d tell me if there were, right? (You can click to embiggen.)

Ah, remember the good ol’ days when I was traditionally published (by Random House/Ballantine/Del Rey)?  They had people to do all this!

Oh, right.  The books went out of print.  That’s why it’s all in my hands now.

Well, y0u know, I actually do enjoy it. I’m arty, I’m nerdy, I’m tech-savvy — this taps my other skills.  And when the current story itself is being recalcitrant, at least here’s a task that succumbs to dogged determination.

But if I want them available by Christmas, I’d better get going!

 


Nov 8 2017

The Return of the Return of

Rosemary

My pal Geary Gravel is continuing the re-release of his early novels, so you can keep catching up on what you’ve missed of his ourvre so far.

The latest title to return is Return of the Breakneck Boys, Book 2 of the Fading Worlds series.  The tale picks up where A Key for the Nonesuch left off, with our  protagonist, unheroic normal-guy  Howard Bell (previously dropped willy-nilly into the middle of deadly alien war-games), now the leader of his very own battle-gang, and planning an insurrection against the mysterious organizers of the forced wars.  And in pursuit of that end, Howard and his warrior-woman partner Alaya must leave the Burroughs-esque enviroments of the Fading Worlds wars, and head to —

Um. Earth.

The Fading Worlds series is a lot of fun, and a good turnaround of genre tropes about mighty Earthmen battling foes on barbaric alien worlds.  Things are not quite what they seem, and Geary handles it all with wit and grace. And  I really do enjoy Howard Bell as a character — I always sort of envision him played by Tom Hanks.

Return of the Breakneck Boys: Book Two of the Fading Worlds by [Gravel, Geary]

Cover by illustrator Cortney Skinner, who has known Geary for nearly as long as they’ve both been alive.

In other news not about me…

The World Fantasy Awards were announced last week.

Check out the newly redesigned award!

The winners were:

Novel: The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)

Long fiction: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)

Short Fiction: Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)

Anthology:  Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)

Collection: A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)

For the full list, pop over to Tor.com (an excellent source for SF/F news, info and free reads).  Or go right to the World Fantasy Convention website.

(I’ll get to the post about my local library next — but I wanted to get the news out about Geary’s book ASAP.  To allow you that much more time before Christmas to buy it.  You’re welcome.)