In writing as in life, most of what you do depends on what you know and when you know it. There are luck, circumstance, and people that can help of course. But what you know and when you know it allows you to better take advantage of luck, your circumstance and anyone who can help. At the very least, it can prevent much frustration and head pounding by evading journeys down fruitless trails. Read More
The last changes sent, the manuscript now started forming its chrysalis.
Now all I have to do is make sure nothing breaks before it emerges as a fully formed book, such as checking the changes once effected. Protect yes, but also work on getting people to notice it exists once its pages can be touch or swiped: Major shifts, yet the transforming manuscript weighs on my mind still. These last changes don’t nettle me as much as the lyrics I used or transformed, and that because of silence: Neither an “okay, you’re good,” nor a “look, you can’t use this, so change it.” Simply nothing. Read More
The latest round of changes sent, I returned to a holding pattern, and it remained hard to relish how near to publication my first novel was. After twenty-two months of work, from initial contact and submission in May 2015 to waiting on the second round of updates in March 2017, the work on the book itself is not yet done. I cannot recall my exact expectations of how long it should take from submission to book in hand, but probably 4, perhaps 5 months. Perhaps I never had a specific number, but nearly two years is much longer than whatever notion I might have had. Read More
Well, the book had gotten the Editor’s Choice designation with the italicized text, so, I figured, it makes sense to put the italics back in, and then, push come to shove, make that argument—the changes weren’t my fault, and I’m really only making it right again—and see what happens. At least, I hope the manuscript was read in the form I sent it in. The launch was getting behind for an April launch, in fact, the whole process was months behind what I had anticipated, so I shoved that worry to the side and pressed ahead. Read More
With the first proofread, all I was allowed to do was respond to the changes the proofreader made or suggested, as listed in a pre-formatted Word document. Any additional changes I wanted were to be held for this second proofreading. In other words, I hadn’t any reason to reread the manuscript, which was going to be changed anyway after I submitted the proofreading sheet. Occasionally, I flipped to the manuscript when I needed to check some context, but that happened rarely.
Now that I looked at the typeset manuscript carefully, the advice of the Quality Editor came back: that after the book is typeset, it needs to be proofread as things can happen when the conversion is made from MS Word to the typesetting software. Read More
While waiting on the response to the lyrics from songs I’d pressed into service, I sifted through the collected lists of every book, movie, music venue, bar and club used or referred to in the book, organizing them by chapter, coding them by how a work was referenced or used, or if a venue, whether a scene is set in it or it functions as set dressing. These venues are as important to the book as the music, in fact, they can’t exist apart from one another, and I had plans for the venues with scenes set in them, especially given that several no longer existed, yet people still speak fondly of them on social media. Read More
Since I knew I had made a lot of references, and suspected they could be fun to list or reveal somehow or use as a game of sorts, deep into the life cycle of its marketing, I had marked them as I revised. In Scrivener, the software used to write the manuscript, I took advantage of the commenting function, which allowed me to quickly find each one, in order and in context. Read More
The road to publication still had a few twists to ride out, starting with the final proof having problems that needed fixing before I could check the accept box. A Perfect Blindness is about, on the surface, two close friends and their escape to Chicago to finally make it with a band. They found a new band called Mercurial Visions, and much of the narrative backbone unifying the three interweaving stories follow the fortunes of the band. Music is the milieu, and as such, the text is drenched in music: songs play when they are in their loft when they go out to the bars, and clubs, and even in their thoughts. Sometimes references spill from their mouths in phrases or entire sentences, either verbatim lines or riffs based on lyrics of songs from the era. Mostly. A couple of references are anachronistic, coming from songs after this time, but they are kindred. Read More
A bit over a year after I’d submitted the manuscript, I got an email with the fully formatted, ready to go to print files. Felt good. Color cover. Well laid out type inside.
Damn that feels so good. Read More