Tuesday, February 28, 2012
A Rare Luxury...Or Not
One of the things that make this writing business a bit crazy is that authors are usually one or more books ahead of their publishers. For those of us on a one-book-a-year schedule, our next book is typically due on our editor's desk at the beginning of the same month our newest release is coming out. Thus, with the release of When Maidens Mourn scheduled for 6 March, the final manuscript for the next book in the series, What Darkness Brings, was due 1 March. This has two effects. First of all, authors find themselves suddenly having to talk about a book they finished some twelve months before and generally wiped from their minds in order to focus on the story at hand. But perhaps the most brutal aspect of this kind of schedule is that an author can find herself frantically pushing to finish a manuscript at exactly the same time she needs to devote loads of time to scheduling book signings, doing interviews, writing guest blog posts, updating websites, designing newsletters, etc, etc. It can make life pretty insane.
So this year I was feeling rather cocky. Once, I'd had dreams of finishing the eighth book in the Sebastian series by last fall, which would have given me four or more "found" months to start a new book. That didn't happen, thanks to some scary family illnesses, my daughter's wedding, and a ton of houseguests. But I still finished my manuscript with weeks to spare. And I thought, This is nice; for once I'll escape that deadly double crunch that always comes right before a book's release.
But you know what? Having finished book #8, I'm now deep into the planning of book #9. This is, for me, one of the most intense and pleasurable of the stages of writing. And just when I want to lose myself in the creation of this new story, I find myself instead constantly answering emails from my editor and publicist, designing newsletters, trying to remember when my next interview is. Which just goes to show that there's no pleasing some people.
An updated schedule of events:
February 28, 6:30 PM & March 3, 12:30 PM (CST)
Interview with Susan Larson on "The Reading Life"
Listen live on line or access the archives at
Saturday, March 10, 2-4 PM
Garden District Book Shop
Corner of Washington Avenue and Prytania Street
New Orleans, Louisiana
Saturday, March 25
Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival
11:30 AM-12:45 PM panel—"Bet You Can't Read Just One: Mysteries for Fun"
Muriel's Jackson Square
New Orleans, Louisiana
With Ace Atkins, Barbara Hambly, and Greg Herren
Saturday, March 31, 4:30
Murder by the Book
I'll also be doing a guest blog on Wednesday, 29 February at Paperback Dolls.
Now you'll have to excuse me, because in the mists of my imagination, Sebastian is on his way to confront Marie-Therese, the daughter of Marie Antoinette. And Gibson has just rescued this lovely Frenchwoman with a mysterious past who....
Note: the above beautiful image is by Jon Miller Whiteny. Visit his site at jomiwi.com.