Saturday, June 18, 2016


I've spent the last week going over the copyedited manuscript of WHERE THE DEAD LIE. Once upon a time I would get my original paper manuscript back with the copyeditor's marks on it. Now it's all done electronically with Track Changes. I liked the old way much better. Now I have to sit in front of the computer for hours and hours going through each of the copyeditor's little bubbles. Then I make a duplicate of the file, leave in all the changes but take out the bubbles, print out a clean manuscript, and go sit someplace comfortable and spend a couple of days reading it.

This is my last chance to make any changes. I will see the manuscript one more time before it is published, but at that stage I'll be reading galley proofs and the only things I'm allowed to change are typos or glaring mistakes (like calling a character by the wrong name).
I thought those of you who are not writers might be interested to see some of the copyedits (if you click on the images they will enlarge). I write fairly clean copy, although since my focus is always on story and flow, I can miss some dumb mistakes (like writing Eden when I meant Eton!). I always appreciate my copyeditors because they save me enormous embarrassment. I worry when I catch a dozen things after a copyeditor has already gone through a manuscript because I know that means some things are inevitably slipping past us. It's impossible for me to ignore story for words, so I'm a lousy proofreader. And then of course the copyeditors always change things I want put back the way they were.
Also this week I received the first version of the cover. It needs some modification, and it will be a while before I have approval to show it, but I'm going to cheat and share this screenshot of part of it because it's so striking--and because it's always sooo exciting when a manuscript inches this much closer to being a real book:

Saturday, June 04, 2016

This and That

Sorry I've been MIA for a few weeks. I've been busy with that project I can't talk about yet and that doesn't have anything to do with Sebastian. But hopefully I'll be able stop just hinting and actually talk about it soon.

In Sebastian news, Recorded Books has bought the audio rights for the next three books in the series (#13-15). They have also finally caught up with the earlier books, which means that the first eleven in the series are now available in audio. The audio for #12, WHERE THE DEAD LIE, should be out at the same time as the print release next spring.

And now for something you're not going to want to hear: because I have a new editor and her schedule for March was already full, it looks like WHERE THE DEAD LIE will be pushed back to an April release. I'm still lobbying to keep my old March slot, but . . .

In the meanwhile, they've done the photo shoot for the cover of WHERE THE DEAD LIE, so I should be seeing the mockup of that soon. And I've recently hit page 100 of the first draft for #13, which has no title yet. The first 100 pages of a book are always the hardest for me, so it's a huge milestone and big relief when I finally get past that point. I do wish I had a title for it, though; I find it oddly unsettling when I don't.

I've also been working on a long post about the rumors that Queen Victoria was illegitimate. More on that later!