It took longer than I expected, almost four full weeks, but the revision of Book 3 is complete. Let there be feasting and song! I’ve mailed it off to my US editor and a few of my alpha readers (those who hadn’t read the first version, which I suppose technically makes them beta readers). I know that several of you expressed interest in reading it after my call for help went out on Twitter yesterday, and I thank you very much for the offer, but there’s a couple of reasons I said no to most of you. The first is time: I’m under a lot of pressure to get this manuscript finalized ASAP, because Germany is already asking for a final version they can start translating, and that means anyone who would have to read book 2 before commenting on book 3 is out of the running. Sorry.
The second reason is more selfish: I’m trying to restrict my pool of alpha/beta readers for the time being, just so I still have people who haven’t read it when it comes out for real. The first book won’t even launch in the US for another eight months–as much as I’d love to share it with everyone now, I don’t think this is the best time for book 3 to start making the rounds. I have this irrational fear that the handful of people I’ve met in person are the only ones who read my books, and I know it’s not true but it scares me nonetheless. So I’m being mean and making you all wait. Sorry.
The good news is, I now have a few days to get back to Strawberry Fields, which I left approximately half-finished when I went out of town for WorldCon a month ago. My writing group is burning through it–they’re reading chapter 9 this week, out of the 15 that are completed–so I really need to get back in and finish it. The good news is, I think I can complete the first draft by the end of September. After that I’m almost certain that I’m going to launch myself into a Dark Fantasy that will be much longer and more ambitious than anything I’ve ever written (well, except for my very first book, which was ridiculously ambitious, but then that’s how first books usually are. Especially from fantasy fans).
So anyway, that’s the news. I’ll be getting back to my “Starting from Scratch” series of posts about Strawberry Fields, continuing to catalog its creation, either tomorrow or Monday.