Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading the galley

Today I received the galley for Shadow's Son. For those not in the industry, a galley is a document showing how a manuscript will be laid out in book form.

It's both exciting and humbling to see how my novel will look when it's published.

Of course, there's work to be done. I'm reading the entire text from beginning to end in search of errors. When I send back the galley, the next time I'll see the book will be in printed form. Woo-hoo!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Writer Daddy

My life changed drastically sixteen months ago when my wife gave birth to our son. One of the things that changed the most (after learning that, yes, there is such a thing as five o’clock a.m. We had only seen it in movies before.) was my writing. Before our son arrived, I had a cushy schedule. You see, I only work weekends at my day job, so I usually had five days to myself every week. Pretty nice for an aspiring author!

It was this schedule which allowed me to write Shadow’s Son. I would wake up whenever the spirit moved me (usually around nine-ish), get something to eat, and then plop down in front of my computer. My daily quota was four pages of new text, but with six or seven hours to occupy, I frequently produced far more than that. The result was a brand new novel in about four months.

Fast forward to today. I still have the same work schedule, but now I have an added responsibility–our son. Because my wife and I don’t want to use daycare, I am Mr. Mom until mommy gets home.

Now I write in the evenings when the boy is asleep, which was a big transition for me. Having training myself to create in the morning and afternoon, it took me a couple months to make the switch to later hours. For a while I didn’t think it was going to work, but having a signed contract is a big motivation, so I stuck to it. Eventually, I got the hang of it, and now I’m back up to my daily quota.

In the shuffle, however, my wife lost something: her evenings spent with me. And this brings me to the real point of this post:

Writers, cherish your spouses!

They are the rocks that hold our families together when that deadline looms and you don’t have time to read “one more story,” or wash dishes, or any of the other million jobs they do while you’re busy creating new worlds. As for my wife, she is invaluable. She is wife, mommy, best friend, first editor, chef, seamstress, grocery shopper, and head cheerleader (and she has the pompoms to prove it, but I digress…) all rolled into one fantastic package.

To Jenny, my love. Thank you.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm currently reading . . .

Well, two books. The first is Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 to brush up for the Jumpstreet event this weekend (you can find details on my website

I'm also about halfway through Deadhouse Gates, the second installment of the Malazan series by Steven Erikson.

There's not much I can say about F-451 that hasn't been said a thousands times before. It's both classic and strangely contemporary in its social commentary. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend taking a peek.

So far I'm really enjoying the Malazan series. Erikson delivers a rich, vibrant world simmering with dozens of conflicts major and minor. I've heard some criticism that his novels are difficult to read, but I haven't found that to be the case. Complex and intelligent, yes; difficult, no.

After Gates I will continue with the series (I bought Books 1-6 on a good deal from Amazon).