Gentle Reader, I always find it interesting what strange things I have to investigate on my meanderings path through authordom. Yesterday, while working on Book the Fourth, I spent almost 20 minutes investigating croquet.
Prior to that, it was the history of the streetlamp, as well as the proper names of said lamp’s component parts. And no, I am not going all Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on you. Afterward, I moved on to early balloon technology and how it might have evolved into smaller faster aircraft in my alternative 1874.
Then I spent nearly an hour with my nose deep into Baedeker’s from 1876 trying to determine the exact location on Motcomb Street and the Pantechnicon (yes, yes, I know it had already burned).
So yes, sometimes I do get carried away by research. I managed to hit my word count and then some, although I am down for the week’s total as I spent a glorious few days shepherding the lovely David. J. Williams around the true beauty of California. (I love showing off my home state.)
I suppose what I am attempting to point out is this (trying not to sound defensive): I can’t research everything. I don’t have time. I would end up pulling a George R. R. on you all and spending years on each book. Yesterday alone I spent 3 hours on research and that wasn’t even the tough stuff. Combine that with the 3 hours answering email, facebook, twitter inquiries, fielding requests for interviews, organizing travel for book promo, and phone conversations (in this case over pronunciation of Scottish names for the Book II audio). Add that to my 2 hour exorcize routine (no, I can’t cut back), a shower, and eating and the question becomes: where does writing the actual book fit in to the day? (Let alone writing this blog post.)
So, sometimes I cut back on research. Mostly, I hope to catch any errors in edits, or hope one of my three beta readers will catch it (or at least mark it so I can go back and double check the facts), but every once in a while some silly little thing will slip through. Now, sometimes this is intentional, I do like to drop cookies that won’t be picked up for ages. But sometimes I just messed up, good on you for catching me, but really, in the end . . .
I write farcical alternative history, people! Sheesh. Even if you miss the alternative bit you can’t possibly misplace the farcical. If I want lasers on my top hats I can flipping put them there and explain them away later. You want historical accuracy in pure unadulterated form? Go read Gaskell. My friends and I call this Clark Kenting. As in: “You know what I don’t get about Superman. Why no one ever realized he was also Clark Kent.” To which one tilts one’s head and says, “Why, because the whole flying thing was so eminently believable?” I do understand that sometimes small detail errors may muck about with your suspension of disbelief and honestly, I try my very best. But remember sometimes it’s no error at all but a laser and it’s meant to be there, for this authorbeast has wicked little tricks under her top hat.
Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Fashion and food linked together! My two favorite things. Now I really have to go to London!
Your Tisane of Smart:
TripIt, learned all about it on GeekSpeak. Fascinating new handler for trip coordination if you have a smart phone. I’m intrigued, and I like the idea, given how much traveling I’ve done this year. One check in the “Get a Smart Phone” column.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
On June 27, three years ago, I finished the rough draft of Soulless. Almost exactly a year later Locus broke the news of its sale to Orbit and then Orbit posted the official press release. So, my little hodge-podge of a novel-that-could will be 3 years old this weekend. Thanks to all of you who grew her up into the strong healthy little creature that she is.
Intellectual blathering, “I couldn’t help laughing out loud at places, but don’t think that this book is all about the giggles. At its heart are characters you can’t help but fall a bit in love with, a tightly written mystery story that never did lay all its cards on the table until the end, and a romance that is anything but Victorian.”
SPOILER ALERT! Changeless blurb gives away ending of Soulless. Giles’s thoughtful take, “While some novice authors may stick to a familiar formula that glares at the reader throughout the story, Carriger abandoned the pattern Soulless followed to create something new for her world. Her characters, as a result, were required to mature as people, stretch their own talents, and face new challenges that forced them to become stronger men and women.”
Out September 1, 2010! Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first.
Heartless: Plugging away. Due Nov 1. IH Copy due soon.
Super Secret Project F: Under revision. Due July 1.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
See table of contents here.
Short story turned in. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 available for preorder.
Quote of the Day:
“You are what you read.”
~ Esko Valtaoja