I turned in the edits for Immolation last week and I expect the proofs for Dead Americans this week. That doesn't even include the teaching, restarting work on Innocence,* and general life. At times, I feel as if the majority of my headspace is filled with it all and all my girlfriend hears is an endless conversation about it, but I'm adjusting to all of that and learning to spare her.
I went into the edits on Immolation at about the halfway point of Innocence, give or take, and there were a few changes that I will have to take back into the second book and alter it with, which isn't terribly surprising. It was a strange thing, really, to get the edits back and to realise every stone of your world had been turned over, and parts of it shaken. You are pleased by the bits that stood up, embarrassed by the moments they flopped - it's a bit like creating a huge puppet show and debuting it, hoping that nothing happens to your papier mache environment to turn it soggy and unappealing. When it does, of course, you're just back to rebuilding the wire beneath it. The work that was done to the book during the editing has made it a much stronger book, I think, but of course, only time will tell if everyone agrees with me.
In the meantime, do you know that my last original work that appeared was in 2011?
One was the flip book Above/Below from Twelfth Planet Press and the other was the short story, 'Sirius', in Clarkesworld.
Since then, I've had one reprint ('Possession' in Ann Vandermeer's Steampunk Revolution) but for the most part, it has been very, very quiet. At one stage--a decade ago, maybe--I thought to myself I had to be careful not to fall out of print for a year, or two, and I'd use that fear to keep me moving. 'Terrible things would happen,' I would say to myself, if I did fall out of print--a term that means curiously different things to different people, because of course, I fell out of print all the time, or was never in print at all.
Indeed, it's odd to compare my life now to what it was, a year ago. In November of 2012, I had no idea what was going to happen to the novel I had finished. I was getting people to read it, or they had just finished reading it, and I was beginning to dread that idea of looking for an agent and publisher, again. My days were busy, but I had time to mess around, if I felt like it. I was doing lectures at schools, and had spent the year building up a business I wanted the money from to keep writing, and I spent a lot more time in the car. I don't miss that, I can tell you. The car, the flyers, the calling, the damage I did to my voice before I learned to drink water while talking, use mikes, and exercise it. It may come as a shock to realise that while writing I don't suddenly project my voice as I did when in a school hall. My email moves a little more steadily than it once did in relation to publishers. I have deadlines to hit. I have promotion to vaguely plan for. I have fiction paid for (that's perhaps the strangest thing of all, to think that I have two more books already paid for).
And in 2014, I will have two new books and a new short story out.
It still doesn't quite feel like it will be a real year.
Anyhow: back to work.
* All titles are subject to change, not that I know what that change will be.