Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Monday, November 27, 2006

an early Christmas bonus!

I got a little surprise package in the mail today, boys and girls: a pack of real live cover flats for NOCTURNE!

Honestly wasn't expecting these - I've been using cover cards. These are NICE, folks. And I'm sure you know the value of a signed cover flat on the collectible market.


Fine then, the value of a signed cover flat for an author people have actually HEARD of. The smartass in the back of the room can shaddup. :P

But hey, you never know! I could hit the big time, right? New York book deals, multi-state book tour, private yacht? Right? Then it'll be worth zillions!

*crickets chirp*

Okay, so what will I do with all these lovely cover flats?

Gift with purchase!

From now until the end of the year, anyone who purchases anything off my web site or CafePress shop gets a free cover flat in the mail, personally autographed by yours truly. Postage is on me and everything. C'mon, you know you want one. They're so shiny and pretty.

And because I'm not a crass commercialist... shut UP, you in the back...

No, seriously. I am also offering an autographed cover flat for every Relay for Life donation. In case you've missed it the nineteen times I've mentioned it, I'm a team captain in the local Relay for Life, raising money for the American Cancer Society.

The easiest way to make a donation is to go to my Relay page:

Or you can send via the PayPal button on my web site at Which is also where you can buy lovely things at my shop, or follow the links to the CafePress shop (

I'll get automatic notification of your purchase on my web site. If you buy from CafePress or donate on the Relay page, forward your receipt to my address at to claim your cover card. Include a street address and your real name, please.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and did not kill your relatives. Relax and enjoy the quasi-peace of the season.

P.S. Don't forget - the Evil Teddy Bear and Nocturnal Urges ornament are only available through December!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Abaddon musings

The editing process is actually a lot of fun for me, particularly when it's been three months since I last looked at The Beast. I'm still dissatisfied with the structure of ABADDON, but it's better than I remembered it.

Writing is always a struggle for me now. It's like I know the book in my head, I know what it can be, and what appears on paper always falls short of what I know it could be. That should make editing torture - scrambling to make the work match the book in my head, and always falling short.

But with enough distance - a minimum of six weeks - I can feel the book as though it's almost new to me. And there's a lot of good stuff here. It's not the book I wanted it to be, but it's damn close.

The only rough part, actually, is knowing how much is riding on this book. If it tanks, I'm screwed. Or at least skipping Go and failing to collect $200.

So I drown out the nattering voice chanting, "This book is important can't screw it up can't suck make it a good one or you're back to rejection slips and pounding your head against the wall" with the playlist of DOOM. The songs are so depressing. Perfect.

Meanwhile, check out the Barnes and Noble listing for NOCTURNE:

I think this may be the worst listing yet. Not only is it still listed as "Nocturne Urges" with no cover art, but the publication date is August 1906.

Gee, if I've been writing this long I ought to be good at it by now, eh?

In other news... Christmas merchandise is now available at the Cafepress shop! A Nocturnal Urges Christmas ornament of your very own! Also... The Evil Teddy Bear! Sans wings, since Cafepress doesn't offer them. It's so cute, so fluffy, so deadly! :) C'mon, you know you want 'em.