Someone or other once said “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Well, I keep making plans and life keeps happening. That article on Vikings and volcanoes I started in April is still on the backburner because I need to do a bit more research, but other things have been occupying my time. Like my book and paying work—in that order.
Black Wolf has occupied a great deal of my time over the past three and a half years, but I still had to get my arse in gear to spiffy it up for its release later this year. It appears that I had fallen prey to the sort of writer’s hubris that allows you to (over)confidently ask for “just a light copy edit.” As an editor, I’ve seen that phrase a few times, and it usually translates to “clear your schedule for the next month”; as a first-time author, I couldn’t see the trees for the forest. I had the big picture figured out, but some of the details had gotten lost.
Yes, I’m a good writer, but it wasn’t until I received the second round of edits from Renaissance Press that my copy-editing brain finally kicked in and rubbed my nose in my own bullshit. After two and a half months of shredding text, I had slashed the length from over 242,000 words to less than 226,000 by cutting out weasel words, streamlining descriptions, and even removing a scene that just didn’t do quite enough work to justify its own existence. (I may use some of my murdered darlings in my follow-up book, The Fires of Jötunheim, but that project is still in its early phase.)
Meanwhile, my word-baby is in the hands of a proofreader, and I recently had an email chat with the cover artist to get some ideas going. In the next couple of months, this book will be a thing I can hold in my hands.
Holy shit, this is happening.