Category Archives: Writing

BELL WEATHER Cover

Here’s the gorgeous cover for my novel BELL WEATHER, coming July 7, 2015 from Henry Holt.

Bell Weather

 

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Copyedits, Plots & Sequels

editsI spent the week copyediting BELL WEATHER and I’m almost done. Once I mail the manuscript back on Monday, I’ll begin plotting the sequel.

BW is the first novel I ever carefully plotted. I did something called The Scheherazade Experiment and the process worked beautifully for me. The story felt more organic than one without a plot; why not take more chances, and follow more instincts and blind alleys, when it’s only a mess of notes? When I began the actual writing, I was able to focus on the language and storytelling techniques more than on the plot.

But the plotting phase is intensive. I’ll be working out a high-level outline, a brief summary of each chapter, and then a detailed description of each chapter — so detailed that the notes are virtually a first draft. It’ll take all fall, maybe longer.

Other news: Holt commissioned my dear friend Melissa to draw the two maps that will be included with the book, and she’s doing marvelous work. I also signed off on the final cover design. It’s gorgeous. I’m not allowed to share it until November, but here’s a 50×50-pixel sample:

bw5050

 

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Fictional Words in BELL WEATHER

The copyeditor of my next novel, BELL WEATHER, listed all of the book’s proper nouns and invented words as a reference guide for future proofreading. Here’s one-tenth of them:

  • Aquarians
  • beesmyrrh
  • Bell, Molly
  • bird crabs
  • bloodpox
  • Bread Riot Massacre
  • candlefruit
  • craven (bird)
  • deadfall (season)
  • Dick’s Fortune
  • Elkinaki (tribe)
  • ember gourds
  • hoarfur
  • hummingbats
  • knotgut
  • Lumen Night
  • lunarite
  • Maimers, the
  • merryweather tea
  • mourningfish
  • nyx
  • Orange, Tom
  • Pike’s Salty Herring
  • quicksummer
  • Scabbard Island
  • shadowplants
  • smoakwood
  • song bees
  • St. Verna’s Fire
  • suicide weeds
  • upfall
  • waterbreath
  • winterbear
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BELL WEATHER Updates

A few updates on my next novel, BELL WEATHER:

– Holt will publish the book in July 2015. The tentative date is 7/7.

– It’s more or less done. I have a copy-editing round coming up, during which I will correct lots of stupid errors I failed to catch in my own many read-throughs.

– We’re considering cover-design options. I’ll post the finalized cover here as soon as I’m able.

–  My agent and editor are Men of Worth.

– I’ll begin working on the sequel this September.

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Compulsion

Aside from my increasing interest in vinyl, the following quote speaks to my now abandoned hobby of growing giant pumpkins, as well as my never to be abandoned writing of novels:

For the truly compulsive hobbyist, there comes a time when a collection gathers weight — metaphysical, existential weight. It becomes as much a source of anxiety as of joy.

Source: The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records

 

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Quill

Writing with a quill is hard. Plus I’m a lefty and write with the devil’s hand, so it’s extra hard not to smear that ink. Better I’m writing about the 18th Century than in it.

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Bell Weather

BELL WEATHER is officially the title of my next novel, which will be published by Holt in Summer 2015.

Here’s a description:

A young woman floats down a river in colonial Floria, a strange and vivid country in a reimagined 18th Century. Her name is Molly Bell, and her origin is unknown when she is saved from the water by Tom Orange, a surly local hero running a tavern plagued with trouble.

Molly — full of life and naturally calamitous — is powerfully drawn to Tom, who keeps her close but keeps his distance. As Molly makes her way in the isolated town of Root, fragments of her past come to light against her will. A desperate voyage overseas with threatening storms and shipmates. A genius brother, grim but loving, now mysteriously absent. Echoes of a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped.

As perils intertwine and secrets are revealed, danger menaces the tavern Molly and Tom call home: supernatural weather, forest thieves who steal people’s limbs, and a growing number of enemies who will force them to decide between surviving on their own or risking everything together.

Follow me here at the blog or on Twitter (@Giganticide) for future updates.

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