Ramblings on Delays, Memories, and Characters

One of the interesting things about being an author with one of the Big 6, Gentle Reader, is the time lag between finishing a book my end and finishing a book on the publishing end. I’m not complaining, just getting pensive and ruminative in my old age.

Those of you who follow this blog regularly over the past few years will have grocked some of thsi time lag. You can calculate about when I finish a project, about when I get copy edits and then galleys, and exactly when the book is released. Timeless, for example, I finished early last year, and it comes out the end of next month. The first Finishing School book, Etiquette & Espionage I finished late last year, and it will come out early next year.

I’m not criticizing the process, not in the least. I feel blessed as a writer ~ continually delighted with my agent, respected by my editors, charmed by my publicists, fortunate in my cover art, and lucky in my career. I guess I am just trying to articulate the odd distance I sometimes feel with regards to my own books.

Time spans between writing and releasing is the nature of the publishing beast but hell on a memory like mine. As a friend once said, “I have a mind like a steel colander.” In a month I go out on book tour for Timeless and I remember very little of what I’ve written. As with Heartless I’m going to have to reread my own book, cover to cover. (Never good, because all I see are the flaws.)

On the other hand, this can be exciting. Someone will put a quote up on Twitter or Goodreads from one of my books and I’ll say to myself, “Did I write that? Why goodness, I guess I did.”

This might tie in to the idea of writer as conduit. Sometimes the words go in one end and out the other, in an organic and somewhat digestive manner, and with as little memory attached. If you see what I mean. Oh, lets get away from that analogy, shall we?

All I’m trying to say it that it is odd, and somewhat temporally disassociating, to sit down and start a project (as I am doing now with FS#2 Deportment & Deceit) knowing it will be years before it comes to fruition. I am excited to write it. I am learning all sorts of interesting (and not so interesting) facts about 1852, but often I feel I can’t really blog about my trundlings through my current book because its release is so very far away.

What do you think, Gentle Reader?

Would you like some insight into my research despite the time lag?

What do you hope to see when you drop by my little corner of the internets?

Right now I can’t really take the time to craft posts outside of my current project ~ that’s the way of things when I am in the 2000-words-a-day stage of a book. I’ll try to bring you some final Parasol Protectorate character studies and Dear Lord Akeldamas as Timeless gets closer and closer to release, but for me those characters are graduated, off in their own lives now. I have new babies to concentrate on.

Am I rambling? I think I’m rambling. I’ll stop now.


Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Plagiarism & Copyright in 2011

Timeless: Now in production. The release date on Amazon is correct.

Etiquette & Espionage: Copy edits done! Awaiting galley. Release date Feb 2013. Have seen initial cover mock-up and it is stunning!

The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Prudence floats! Release date fall 2013. She’s started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

Book News:
Creativedeeds says, “Oh Alexia, what fun you are to read about!”

Quote of the Day:
“To the British, Myat Toon was a bandit; to the Burmese he was a national hero. Such differences of opinion usually result in bloodshed.”
~ Byron Farwell

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Posted by Gail Carriger


No Responses

  1. Anne D said:

    I know all too well the feeling of looking at something I've made, and seeing only the flaws. [hugs]

    My Aged Mum has taken to keeping her Parasol Protectorate books on the sofa next to her, so she can dip into them whenever she wishes. Thank you again for giving her such a lovely diversion.

    We're both counting down to the release of Timeless, upon which day I will go out and buy two copies, one for me, and one for Aged Mum. I intend to devour mine immediately, with relish and a nice cup of tea.

  2. Amy said:

    I rather enjoy reading about the research process. Some of the things you have posted in the past about etiquette inspired me to do my author research portfolio for my Victorian Lit class last semester on Isabella Beeton. I had to secure special permission since a cookbook/etiquette guide is not exactly literature. The sources weren't as easy to come by as they could have been with most other authors, but my teacher rather enjoyed the unconventional author choice.

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