Proof-reading, reviews and so on (30/11/08)

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The proof copy for The Adamantine Palace arrived a while back and I’ve finally made my way through most of it. This is a strange experience. Having left it alone for months, and in the meantime written King of the Crags and seen all the ARC reviews come out, I find I see it in a different light. Proof-reading has turned out to be a weirdly different way of reading text, too. It’s amazing how some mistakes have gotten this far (one clear search-and-replace error, for example, crops up several times. Stopping to read every single word in every single sentence it become glaringly obvious, and yet somehow if I read normally, it becomes almost invisible).

It was pointed out to me last night that I haven’t added links to some more recent reviews. There are a few more out, so here’s the current summary (obviously I pick and choose my quotes :-)

The book is an entertaining mix of Pern and Westeros, with the knowing characterisation of Abercrombie and the endearment of Novik.SFFworld.

“The Adamantine Palace is a fast, furious and entertaining book that grabs hold of the reader and whisks them off like a rollercoaster. The dragons, as promised, indeed kick ass.” The Wertzone.

“…full of everything that I like about fantasy right now; strong characters, a complex plot and loads of dragons.” Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.

In short: dragons, intrigue, poison, mercenaries and a Big Dark History. If you like that sort of thing then this is definitely worth a look. Sandstorm Reviews.

If there is a general complaint, it seems to be that the book is too fast and too rapid-fire and skims on the background detail for the sake of pace (which it does, and deliberately so). King of the Crags is, I think, a little more measured. Not that I deliberately set out to be so, just the way it came. Or maybe I should leave that for the reviewers to decide…

Anyway, back to making a mess all over the proofs and then I guess it’ll be time to re-write King of the Crags again before I send it to Simon for some proper editing, and while we’re at it, I’ve made a start on The Order of the Scales. Although I don’t dare go too far with that, as there’s a certain scene I’ve promised to write for the Orion publicity manager if he managers to pull off an absurdly ridiculous request (I might just write it anyway, Jon).

The closer we get to publication date, the more I chew my nails. I shall have to write quickly, before my fingers become bloody stumps.

Books for charity (20/11/08)

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Win a signed ARC for The Adamantine Palace and a host of, er, possibly even more cool stuff in the great Patrick Rothfuss charity spectacular! There’s a pretty awesome thing going on here.

And the proof of The Adamantine Palace arrived this morning. Arguably more personally exciting, but of lesser global importance…

I, nerd (16/11/08)

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Pop-quiz, hotshot:

You’re a newbie author for whom things are going unexpectedly well. You have a number of reasons for celebration. You’ve finished the first draft of your second book well ahead of schedule. You’ve sold your US rights for more than pocket-change. Your first royalty cheque came through not all that long ago. It’s time to reward yourself. Time to give yourself a little pat on the back for working so hard. Do you:

a) Take youself off to Las Vegas for a long weekend and go mental?

b) Carefully invest in a high-interest savings account and plan to pay off your mortgage over the next six trilogies?

c) Hire a babysitter and take your wife/girlfriend away for a luxury evening of champagne and caviar ?

d) Not bother with the babysitter and take someone else’s wife/girlfriend out instead?

e) Buy a Lego Death Star and spend the next few days feverishly building to the exclusion of all else including food, sleep and sex?

I shall say no more except to point out the bit about the first draft of King of the Crags being finished again. If I start asking for Lego Star Wars mini-figures in exhange for signing copies of anything, it’s sheer co-incidence. Or it’s for the kids. Yes, that’ll do, it’s for the kids, right?

La la la la la l’america (13/11/08)

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The one (and only) big advantage of being sent to far-away places in service of the day-job is suddenly finding myself with lots of free time at very strange hours of the day. Even in sub-urban Los Angeles, there really isn’t a huge amount of touristy stuff that I want to do when I’ve just woken up a three o’clock in the morning. Actually, mostly what I want to do is have breakfast. However, it’s also turning out to be a fine time to get some writing done, and so King of the Crags has raced ahead. Word count is sitting at 113k and the book is very nearly finished (the very first draft, at least). With a bit of luck it’ll be done in time for the proofs of the Adamantine Palace to arrive next week. It’s not going to be any longer than The Adamantine Palace, but the chapter count is a little lower which might please a few people. There’s more dragon, too, but you’ll still all have to wait until book three for certain mysteries to be resolved.

And the other America news is that a deal has been struck and The Adamantine Palace and all its little friends will be being published in the US as well. More when I know it.