Tag Archives: bloody banquet

All across the wall

I’m working on book three of the Corpse-Eater Saga, and I have to say, there is a lot of stuff to remember.  There are characters of varying importance who may or may not come back into another story later.  There are descriptions of people and places, which, though not important enough for me to remember all the time, would be embarrassing to get wrong.  There is the description of distances and drive times.  There are endless details.  And, let’s face it, I am not good with details.

Because of that, my walls are becoming increasingly crowded.  I started by drawing a map of the my imaginary city, Collinswood Colorado.  Then I wrote out very brief sketches for each of the nine books that I’ve agreed to write in the series.  Then I drew blueprints for a couple of buildings, so I wouldn’t find myself describing a place that can’t exist in three dimensions.    Now I have a couple more buildings to draw, and several character arcs that I’m going to be sketching out.  I’m also about to start a list of events that exist to foreshadow upcoming plots and stories.  I should’ve done that at the very beginning.

Dammit, I’m running out of wall space!

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Bloody Banquet

Bloody Banquet is currently in the hands of my editor, which means that it shouldn’t be too awful long before it winds up on bookshelves… well, on virtual bookshelves everywhere.  I’d like to think that it won’t be too awful long before it ends up on physical bookshelves, but let’s be honest here, they’ll probably put out book one first, and since I still don’t have an ETA on that… I guess I’ll just focus on my end of things.

Anyway, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what I’m trying to pull off in book three, but I still need to organize a few of the major events and decide what foreshadowing I need for future books, and which lines of foreshadowing I need to make sure continue through this one.  I’m going to have to get a lot more organized, I think.  I’m also going to have to reread my books which I’m not looking forward to… hey, don’t look at me like that, I’ve already read both of them, like, half a dozen times while I was writing them!  There’s a limit to how many times you can read your own work before it starts to make you a little crazy.  Of course, I’m already pretty deep into crazytown, so maybe I just need to quit my bitching and get back to work.

Well, wish me luck, Book three, tentatively entitled ‘curdled cuisine,’ is going to be my focus for the next couple of months.

That being said, if you enjoyed book one, and if you like book two, please make a point of mentioning it to your friends.  As I understand it, I’ve currently sold about twenty-odd copies of Awfully Appetizing, which is somewhat on the disappointing side.

Anyhow, hope you’re all doing well, talk to you soonish.

That Itchy Feeling

Human beings have a lot of skin.  I mean, a whole lot of it.  As it happens, I have a bit more than your average bloke on the street, partly because I’m taller than average ,but mostly because I’m… well, wider than average.

Anyhow, we’ve got a lot of skin, and our skin is feeling a lot of stuff pretty much all of the time.  And most of the time we don’t even notice it.

But if you want to find out just how much your skin is feeling all the time, all you really have to do is find one bug on your person.  Just one.  Maybe it’s a caterpillar that dropped into your hair as you were passing under an old oak tree.  Maybe it’s a beetle that was passing by and decided to land, just for a moment, on your arm or the nape of your neck.  Maybe, if you’re fast enough and have good enough vision, it’s a flea that was lying in wait as you happened to walk past some poor mutt.

Whatever it is, once you find one of them, your body goes on alert.  Next thing you know you’re getting information about EVERYTHING that could POSSIBLY be another insect on you.

Occasionally it’s actually in insect.  Most of the time, though, it’s not.  It might be a tiny sliver of grass that’s stuck to you, or a thread that’s hanging off your shirt and brushing against your skin.  Or it could be the wind catching the hair on your arm and tugging it just so.

You could go days without even checking to see if you’ve got a mosquito on you, but the second you catch one, you’ll spend the next four hours checking yourself every twenty seconds.

I recently sent a manuscript out to a bunch of my beta readers, and now, thanks to years and years of experience, I know that I cannot check that manuscript until I have at least half of them back.  Because if I find one thing wrong, one misspelling, one piece of bad grammar, one wrong comma, I will be spending every waking minute from now until I get those copies back searching for anything that could possibly be wrong in my manuscript.  And I’ll be e-mailing all of my beta readers with up to the minute updates.  “Found another comma splice, sorry about that folks.”  “Crap, subject verb agreement problem on page 155!”

So even if I’m pretty sure, pretty damned sure, that I forgot to take care of something in the last chapter, that I left a tiny little plot point open that I meant to shut, I cannot, cannot, cannot actually go fix it.  Not yet.

No, I have to accept the itch.  Just endure it.  Endure it just a little while longer…

Off to the Beta Readers!

So, about four or five hours ago I finished my first round of edits on Bloody Banquet, book two of the Corpse-Eater Saga.  I currently have it sent off to three beta readers, two who I’ve used before, and one new guy.  I also have feelers out to try to get one or two more, new beta readers.  If all goes to plan, I should get the manuscripts back sometime towards the beginning of August, at which point I’ll make a series of corrections, then read it through again and touch it up, and then… I guess I’ll be sending it to my editor.  Wow.  That feels fast.  I mean, sure, I’ve been working on it for a couple of months now, but it really feels like I’m calling an egg a chicken.

I am absurdly anxious about this.  God only knows what I’ll be like when I actually have to send it in.

Research

Why is it that someone who wants to tell lies for a living has to spend so much energy trying to find out the truth?

Ugh!  Research!  I have to admit, research has gotten a  hell of a lot easier with the invention of the internet.  For those of you out there who never had to do any research before the invention of the internet… oh, god, you lucky little bastards!

Basically, whenever we had to research papers, the first thing we needed to do was schedule an outing to the library.  Some of us, myself included, had encyclopedias at home, but any time after elementary school our teachers were quite particular that we have a bibliography with four or five books in it.  So we went to the library and spent half an hour looking through a card catalog to get a list of books that might have what we wanted in it.  Of course, half the books we found weren’t available, and the other half were only nominally related to the subject we’d been assigned….

Trust me, it sucked.

But while the internet puts nearly limitless resources into your hands, the search engines of the world have not quite figured out how to sort through it all.  Or perhaps they have, but I haven’t quite figured out how to explain my requests well enough.  Probably a combination of the two.

Sometimes when I’m watching television or a movie there’ll be a scene where someone powerful will glance over at his or her assistant and tell them, ‘find out everything you can about her,’ or ‘get me the name of every corporation in the state that produces stool softeners for pregnant women,’ or demands some other random piece of bizarrely specific information.  One scene later they’ve got the list in hand.

Sure, what they do with the information is interesting, but what I want to know is how their assistant got all of that!  Is there a website somewhere with lists like that sitting around waiting for someone to ask?  Is there a guy you call?  My god, how do I get an assistant like that!