(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Oh Yeah, The Cover

You people like cover art, right?  Everyone likes cover art.  Here's the cover for volume two of the Inscrutable Machine.

This may be the most pure and perfect example of cover art ever revealed, because everything on the cover is in the book, and everything is drawn completely wrong.  The gate is wrong, that's the wrong moon, those are the wrong kind of tentacles, Conqueror Orbs don't look like that, and the cat... actually, the cat isn't HORRIBLY wrong.  And none of the spaceship interiors look like that.

And he didn't include Remmy, and you don't have a book without Remmy.

Small note on the edits: We removed most of a page from the first book in the magic shop where the kids recap to Lucyfar.  I agreed to cut it precisely because you are losing zippola, so it shouldn't have been in there in the first place.  I know you folks like to know what changes.

Right now and through Christmas there's a 99 cent sale on the first book, in case any of you don't have it yet!

Friday, December 19, 2014

As Promised, The Additions

Book two's editing is finished.  It's releasing on January 25th, and is available for pre-ordering already!  The link is, uh... okay, here.

But you're not here for advertizing, because let's face it, if you're reading this you've already read my books.

Book one's editing is so close to finished that I can finally share with you the two significant additions.  I put two points in the first book about why Penny and her friends weren't caught that were too subtle, and not many people picked up on.  Given their crucial importance, I thought I'd better go back and make them a little more eye-catching!  Here they are:


I stared. I was being treated to what should have been a close-up of Claire as she and Gabriel chatted, but it wasn’t. Who was this girl? Claire didn’t have a dimple. I’d been seeing Claire’s smile most of our lives, and she didn’t.
Or did she, with her power turned up high? What exactly did she look like then? All I could remember were eyes and a mouth, those oh-so-serious expressions she was giving Gabriel.
My stupid mouth acted on automatic. “She almost looks like Claire.”
Dad just chuckled. “She does, doesn't she? I think it was a half-hearted attempt to frame Claire. The name is deliberate, and the costume is a reference to her power. I say 'half-hearted', because if E-Claire were really trying she would hide her face. The first words out of your mother's mouth were 'Her cheekbones are wrong', and her body language was wrong in the first video. She can't even claim to be Claire in makeup.”
Claire Lutra, you little vixen. You knew all along your secret identity was completely safe. Your Mom must have known as well. And if E-Claire couldn't possibly be Claire, then her teammates couldn't be me and Ray. You devious shape-changing vixen, Claire. You'd covered us all.


“The Brain Auk does sound like a mixup waiting to happen,” I conceded, letting my grin at least peek out.
Dad's mouth twisted in momentary disgust. “So did the Dark Brain, Bad Brian, Sir Brian the Brave, and that guy with the mind control powers who just called himself 'Brian'. He was never caught. By the time we figured out what he was doing, he'd disappeared.” Woo, so much weight on those words. Dad really hadn't liked that guy. No wonder I'd never heard about him.
Dad was so eager to move on, he kept talking. “E-Claire is just the beginning of Claire's problems. When she gets older she'll have to deal with Clairevoyant, Clairion, and half a dozen others. Get used to people suspecting you're Penny Pincher, Penelope Peril, Penny For Your Thoughts, and probably Paranoiakk. I've always suspected we're related, and she's young and female.”
I giggled. It wasn't just funny. Safety from discovery felt pretty good. “Does this happen a lot?”
“Constantly. If you have a common name, there are hundreds of heroes and villains who share it. And they all love puns.”
Giving him my biggest, most impudent grin, I asked, “And the Brain Auk?”
My stratagem worked. He changed the subject.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Actual Progress? THIS CANNOT BE

Sometimes, an author's job is really hard, as in 'work my perky little butt off' hard.

I am here to report that the first round of editing is done for Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up The Moon, which I shall forever think of myself as At Least I Didn't Blow Up OUR Moon.

It took forever.  It took several times longer than any previous editing job.  It took two months to get the notes, and two weeks to go through them.  It took so long that I am not sure we can make the December 31st release date.  I'm not happy about that, but we play the hand we're dealt.  I certainly worked myself into exhaustion every day these last few weeks.

The first round of edits are also done for the first book, but my publisher and I agree that the second book is by far higher priority.  The updates to Supervillain can wait until Moon is finished.

Going forward, here is what has to happen:

A second round of editing, and possibly a third, must be finished.  While I cannot guarantee how fast my editor moves, the general rule is that these take a day or two total, because they involve editing 1/100th the content of the first round.

Then I make some minor changes to the text, adding in story elements my editor and I agreed on.  Then those have to be edited.  We're talking less than a page of content.

We send those to the proofreader.  In a normal editing run, this would be by far the biggest delay left, and it's the reason I don't think we can make the release date.  The proofreader cleans up misspelled words, out of place commas, incorrect grammar, stuff like that.  I have to go over those edits like I do the main edits, and it encompasses the whole book.  They are much faster than the regular round of edits because this is almost entirely limited, obvious stuff.  An awful lot is just 'accept accept accept' as commas scroll by.  However, there's no predicting how long it will take the proofreader to go through a whole book, especially since my books are never small.

I can't predict anything for sure, because this has taken so much longer than a normal editing job.  The biggest delays in the remaining rounds of edits should be me and my editor finding time to sit down and work.  That's how little actual work is left.

But this time, I don't know.

I haven't gotten to write in two months.  I'm looking forward to this being over.

Damn if you aren't getting a book that's polished until it squeaks.