I made a goal to finish the first draft of Strawberry Fields before I left for WorldCon, and now with my trip looming just two days away I must admit that I’m nowhere near finished. I was doing really well for a while, but I had a lot of other stuff to do and my poor little writing project kept getting pushed farther and farther onto the back burner. It’s now actually behind the stove somewhere, untouched in almost a week and a half, but I promise to get back to it. It’s a fun book, albeit a very strange one, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out.
What other things have been getting in the new book’s way? The old book’s galley, for one thing. I had to take about three days to go through the US galley proof of Serial Killer and make sure that everything was in place and spelled right and blah blah blah. I usually hate doing this, because it feels so much like work (it’s essentially proof-reading), but I’m glad I did because I caught a couple of embarrassing errors and got them changed before the book went to press. Overall, though, the book was remarkably clean and I have nothing but judos to the editors and proofers at Tor. They’ve done a great job, and this is going to be a fantastic book.
One thing we’re still missing is a final cover quote. We have a couple of great ones from F. Paul Wilson and Brandon Sanderson, but we’re hoping to get a quote from Jeff Lindsay (the Dexter guy). If you look at the US cover posted on the site you can see a big weird empty space in the top left corner–arguably the most important area according to graphic design principles, because that’s where your eye goes first. That’s the space where they’re hoping to put a cover quote. So, if any of you have a connection to Jeff Lindsay, let me know; I will make it worth your while.
The other major thing I did in the past little bit was finish the edits on Mr. Monster. We were essentially done, and thought we were ready for the next step, but then in editing Book 3 we realized that Book 2 had a small but vital continuity error. That has now been fixed, and the manuscript has been sent to Tor, Headline (UK), and Piper (Germany) for copyedits and translation and so on. March 2010 is shaping up to be a huge month, seeing the release of Mr. Monster in both the UK and Germany–and I’ll be there for launches and signings and such in both countries. It’s going to be awesome, but it’s going to be a lot of work to get ready in time.
One more random thing before I close: I’m on Twitter now, so you can get pointless updates like this one on an even more regular basis. Please feel free to follow @johncleaver, if your interested.