Scarlet Letters

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

King of Swords

By the way....

I wish I knew why this book was like pulling teeth, but at least it's moving again. More tomorrow if it kills me. I know it'll be a great book if I can just get the words.

National Flunky Day

Today was Assistants Day, or the Artist Formerly Known as Secretary's Day Before We Decided That Was Rude. Katie called it National Flunky Day, but I don't listen to her. Much.

I took Katie out to lunch today, however, because it was a tiny itty bitty way to thank her for everything she does for me. Folks, this woman doesn't do what she does because I pay her scads of money.

*pauses for the hysterical bitter laughter coming from East Alton*

Believe me. The money ain't good. If I were Laurell K. Hamilton, Katie would be on salary with health care and all the trimmings. But at the moment, my cash flow barely covers our expenses, much less the kind of money that makes it a real attractive job. In the lean weeks between shows, payment is frequently in the form of baked goods.

And yet Katie Yates hauls her ass halfway across the Midwest and back for me, spends weekend after weekend strapped into a corset and shilling my stuff to men (and not a few women) trying look down her shirt. She's been known to drive halfway across the state and set up the booth by herself so I can go to a campout with my son and still make my required appearances. She handles the email orders and hauls boxes of books and lights a fire under my ass when the orders pile up and I'm too flibbertygibbet to get my shapely butt to the post office. She watches my son so I can do what I need to do without worrying about his safety (or discipline - he's more scared of her than me). She relentlessly hawks me to passers-by at signings and sees that there's a bowl of chocolate at every event.

Better yet, she smacks me when I need smacking, tells me to quit whining and work when I'm emo, and serves as a constant check on my ego so I don't become the Diva Writer we all would hate. There's a reason we're frequently mistaken for sisters, and it's not the hair.

Katie does what she does because she's a great friend. Because for some strange reason she believes in me, and she convinces other people on a monthly basis that they should give my stuff a try. And she's only gotten New Jersey and Delaware mixed up once.

Without Katie, there would be no books.

Everyone, please rise? I'd like you all to give Katie a hand. She sure as hell gives me one.

Friday, April 17, 2009

King of Swords

I spent part of tonight's session writing up an outline. I didn't use an outline for my first few books, but since my publishers started requiring them, I've become rather dependent on figuring these things out in advance. I'm rather pleased with the plot I've outlined - I think it'll be a lot of fun, and the characters are starting to take shape. I'm less confident in my worldbuilding - I keep trying to fall into my other space universe, and this needs to be standalone.

I'm not sure if I have enough plot to make a full-length novel. My fiction usually grows about one-third longer in second draft, but I think I definitely need another complication to make this a novel-length piece. One day I'm going to learn to write fiction in one draft with edits, rather than writing everything twice. No wonder I can only do a book a year.

Still, I'm enjoying this one pretty well. I think it'll be a lot of fun, and I hope the readers will like it too. It's a nice break from last year, too - I get to swear and shoot again. I'm still not sure if the title/theme is what I want, but we'll see...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Cover of Darkness

Happy to declare that the anthology COVER OF DARKNESS will be a trade paperback released the first week of May from Sam's Dot Publishing. They accepted my short story "Weathergirl" for the anthology, and I'm enjoying working with Tyree Campbell again.

Here's the shiny shiny cover art: