A guest blog by yours truly about the CAST novels

Mark Timmony, a reader with whom I’ve corresponded for a number of years, is also the current manager of Galaxy Books in Sydney. He asked me if I’d like to contribute a guest blog post for the Galaxy Bookshop site, and I said yes.

I meant to write something more serious, I honestly did–but I was thinking about the genesis of the CAST novels. You can head on over and read the post at Galaxy now. I’ll answer questions, either there or here, if you have any.

Cast in Chaos has hit the streets

Cast in Chaos is now available for order at (some) on-line bookstores; it’s also made its way into at least one Borders. This probably means it will arrive in the bookstores that will carry it very soon.

The release or publication date was 1st August 2010, but that date is the date at which the book should be available in all of the various stores that are going to sell it (i.e. that preordered it). It has to ship before then in order to achieve this, and the result is that many places will have the book available before its projected date. Amazon and B&N used to have to wait to ship, but for the last two books (Silence and Chaos), it’s shipped earlier.

The funny thing about the book is that while it’s undeniably the latest or newest in the series, in my internal universe, the ‘most recent’ is the almost finished Cast in Ruin. If, for some reason, I’m discussing the latest novel and I say something that makes no sense in relation to Cast in Chaos, this is why. I once took a chapter of a Cast book for a reading–and only when I arrived a the convention did I realize that it was the wrong first chapter; it was two books ahead, instead of one, because the book I’d finished hadn’t yet been published.

I’ll be leaving early Friday morning to head to Confluence in Pittsburgh, so hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

City of Night cover and publication date

City of Night

City of Night, as some people have noticed, was originally announced as a March 2010 release — but in happy news, it’s been pushed forward a month, to February 2010. (In the publishing industry, forward=earlier; back=later; I found these terms confusing when I first started working in a bookstore because forward implied, to me, going forward).

The cover was painted by Jody Lee, who has always done wonderful covers for the West novels; as you can see, this one is no exception, and I was very, very happy when I first laid eyes on it (which was at the Worldcon in Montreal). I just finished correcting and returned page proofs for City of Night to DAW, which is the last stage of pre-publication in which I’m involved, so the book is entirely finished at this point. Yay!

I am, however, still working on the following book, House Name, and it’s not done yet, not because I haven’t been writing, but because, well. It’s a wee bit longer than I expected it would be. Everyone act surprised.

I’ve been mostly absent on-line while trying to catch up on deadlines. Writing the novels does take time–and I always account for that when I’m planning ahead. What I sometimes fail to account for are things like copy-edits and page-proofs, which, sadly, also take time, so I’m frequently overly optimistic in the months leading up to a deadline, and then frequently entirely desperate and impossible to live with as the deadline looms larger.

In other news, I’ve turned in Cast in Chaos. Line-edits, copy-edits and page proofs are a few months in the future for that book. I’m also writing a novella set in the Cast universe, but I’m not entirely certain which of three possible stories I’m actually writing; it’s for an anthology titled Harvest Moon, which should be out sometime in 2010.

When I finish House Name, which should be very soon, I’ll have breathing room and the mental energy to be more social, so I should actually be around more often. Thanks so much for your patience.

Cast in Silence is in the wilds!

As of last night, Cast in Silence was listed as in stock at Amazon and B&N, and one reader emailed to let me know that it’s hit bookstores in Illinois.  So, we’re live!

There are four things that are always exciting, even after all this time:

1.  Finishing the first draft of a novel

2.  Getting the cover flats of a novel

3.  Receiving my author’s copies, at which point it’s a real book

4.  Having the book arrive in stores, because it’s a real book for everyone else

And now, having jumped up and down like a loud, small child (and I have two, so I have some practice in recognizing this behaviour), I’m now going to go and work on Cast in Chaos and House Name.

Author’s copies have landed

There is book news: I now have real, live copies of  Cast in Silence beside my computer. I really like the cover, although it’s changed just a little bit since I posted the cover-flats a while ago.

These copies, which are author’s copies, are usually shipped at the same time as review copies of the real book, as opposed to ARCs (Advance Review Copy) which are bound and shipped much earlier. I never see ARCs for any of these, so my first encounter with a book is either on the shelves of the bookstore in which I work, or as author’s copies. Sometimes I get my author’s copies after ever living person who has any desire to see the book gets a chance to buy one first, and sometimes I get them first.

This time, first.

On July first, I’ll post the opening chapter of Cast in Silence here, as a way of celebrating the existence of book.

State of the Writer

I wanted to thank the people who’ve taken the time to visit and comment here in the last couple of weeks. I have had one younger child birthday party, one twentieth wedding anniversary gathering (mine), and older child exams (which, to be fair, are mostly my long-suffering husband’s task), so I’ve been absent from almost anything but writing.

I have, however, been writing.

I’m halfway through Cast in Chaos. A small change seems to have been made to the cover of Cast in Silence on Amazon.com.

I sent the entire manuscript for City of Night to my editor at DAW about five minutes ago. I tried to send it six minutes ago, and realized that it’s very helpful to actually attach the file.

I know I said I was splitting the book, so in theory, the first half was finished. But because I could split the book, I could add an epilogue. And a few necessary Duster scenes. And a couple of other scenes which, on reread, seemed necessary as well. I ended up adding about fifteen thousand words.

Now, I’m starting House Name, and it seems to be missing something that could qualify as Chapter One. It has many chapters, although it’s not actually finished yet, but the chapters that currently exist in the position of Chapter One are actually good middle-of-book chapters and bad Chapter Ones.

My record of pages written before finding the correct Chapter One is about two hundred, on the other hand.

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