Or at least, one 6×9 glossy book cover and one 6×9 matte book cover, neither with circles or arrows.
Proof #1 of Shards (from Lulu, with glossy cover) has arrived:
So as I mentioned previously, I am now in the process of putting together the print editions of Shards and Ravels. It’s been a good six years since I last did a print book (that would be Dragon Stones, of course), and while all of my previous ones were done through Lulu, I thought I might give another service a try this time — namely, CreateSpace.
* “Soon” meaning “Definitely in less than three years this time”.
So over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with a little extra time off from the job that actually pays the bills (Lord knows writing doesn’t), I finally wrapped up the last pass of editing on the conclusion of Shards — or, as I am now calling it, The “Strings” Duology:
So this week I reached into my big folder full of rejections (and the occasional acceptance) and pulled out something new: A contract! Arriving as it did in November of 1997, this was, if I remember correctly, my first-ever contract, for a story called “The Short Route” (AKA “My Cousin Susan’s Favorite Story Of Mine Ever”), in which a tenderfoot from Back East discovers that there’s more than just cattle on his first cattle drive. The story appeared in “Vampire Dan’s Story Emporium” a tiny regional magazine published in Syracuse that ran from 1997 to 2001.
It’s been a while since I did a Random Rejection, so this week I thought I would reach into my giant file folder of writing correspondence and pull something out of it. But instead of either a rejection or an acceptance letter, I drew this instead:
The first one or two times I make editing passes on a book, scenes tend to get longer. This is because I’ve found that if I keep going back and fleshing out earlier scenes as I think of more stuff, the book never gets finished. Here is an example, from a scene that introduces a character new to the story in part two of Shards: Brennendah, a scientifically-minded Rittandic whose job is to study the Æther, also known as the void, which is gradually consuming the region where the Rittandics live. (This loss of territory, known as the Unraveling, is what gives the territory—the Ravels—its name.) Here is the original paragraph, followed by the revised version:
Despite some recent challenges with the dogs, I finally finished up the first draft of the heavily-rewritten The War of the Ravels, which concludes the story begun in Shards. At almost 50% longer than part one, The War of the Ravels wraps up the contest between Mercy, Kihantroh, and a few new players in the quest to reassemble Tyndallëau’s Heart and put it to use saving the world, or something.
Well, for the one or two readers (both of whom are most likely in the UK) who are still waiting for the follow-up to Dragon Stones (which was once upon a time the #1 best seller on the Kindle fantasy lists in the UK), it is finally finished! The new book, Shards, is part one of a two-part fantasy series, and clocks in at about 111,000 words. For those who are keeping track, that’s somewhat shorter than A Flock of Crows is Called a Murder or Dragon Stones, but longer than Night Watchman or Long Before Dawn. Why release it as two books instead of one? Well …