So I am beginning to notice that people ask a lot of the same questions when they hear that I have a book coming out. (One of those is, "Can I buy it at Barnes & Noble?" to which the answer is both yes-but-do-it-early and WTF? Is that the only bookstore you will enter? Are you perhaps afraid that other bookstores do not have standards high enough to keep the carnivorous bookshelves from their stock?)
Some of these questions that keep coming up might perhaps be interesting to some of you folks. So here goes:When did you write the book?
Most of Superpowers
was written in early 2002. The last chunk of it, though, which deals with some heavy stuff, I put off finishing until mid/late 2003.What were the revisions like?
I revised the original manuscript a couple of times on my own in 2005, after I had signed with my agent. She liked it, but even so we went back and forth through three revisions before she was ready to send it around. After it sold (in fall 2006), I went through two rounds of edits with Three Rivers, and I just finished a second round with the page proofs. (Page proofs = Not Fun.) So that's nine times (or more, depending on your math) through the manuscript before the public sees it. I consider the fact that I still like the book to be a small miracle. (If you'd asked me whether I still liked it during my first round of page proofs, though, I'd probably have made a face and grunted.)Is this your first book?
First book sold
, sure. It's actually the third book I wrote, of four so far. When there is news to report about any of them, I'll let you know :-)Are your other books related to this one?
Nope. None of my books are related, so far. Succession
may potentially become two books depending on how I revise it, and if I had the choice I'd do a series of stand-alone books set in the same world as Goblin Market
. But so far, the series bug hasn't bit me in a big way.How did you get your agent?
I got lucky. Basically, she found me, which is not the usual way that these things happen. So I don't really have a lot of helpful advice about pursuing representation. I did some querying, and badly, before Shana got in touch with me, but I found it a hugely frustrating process. What would I suggest? Go read the archives over at Miss Snark's blog
, and do what she tells you.When do you find time to write?
Actually, few people have asked me this, I think because most of the people asking the above questions have not been writers. To non-writers, writing looks pretty easy. You just sit down at the computer and make shit up. EASY. Especially if, say, you've got a full-time job, a commute longer than ten minutes, a pet, a spouse, a child, or multiples of any of those last three. Because then it's easy to get home from your job, quickly make a meal, and lock yourself in your conveniently provided office which comes standard with each dwelling-place. And then, as all writers know, the words just flow right out of your fingers and snap into place. Like Legos!
(No, that's not my answer.)
When I wrote Superpowers
I was working as a bartender. I'd work from 4 PM to anywhere between 10:30 and 2 AM, maybe watch some TV if I'd taped anything, and then write until 4 or 5 or 6. On nights I didn't work, I'd write for 4-6 hours, I'd estimate. I was about the most disciplined I've ever been, but the reason I was able to work that way was that I had no life
. Sure, I'd hang out after hours with my co-workers once a week or so, get drunk and act stupid, but that was about it. Oh yeah, and I was living with my parents. In other words, I had it easy.
Writing with a full-time job is hard. Writing with a full-time job and people in your life who demand and deserve your time is even harder. Writing with kids . . . I honestly don't know how those of you who are parents manage it. It's not just the time, it's the headspace to work through story stuff in your mind. But then, I am one of those shy introverts who needs to be alone (or at least ensconced in headphones) to get anything done, so YMMV.
The short answer is that I find time to write whenever I can, because it's the most important thing to me. That doesn't mean it should be the most important thing to anyone else, and it's probably healthier if it isn't. If and when something else comes into my life that matters more, that's going to be an interesting adjustment.
Got any other questions? WELL DO YA?!?