So, the final Deadgirl book is taking a long time to come out, you may have noticed. And believe me, it’s weighing on me pretty near-constantly. But for the tiny group of Constant Readers, I figured you deserved an explanation before I started drifting into George R.R. Martin territory.
I can’t disclose too much information because it’s not exactly public, but there’s a serious medical issue in my family that cropped up right before the pandemic began. It’s not me, somehow. I’m still mildly healthy despite my diet of burritos and bourbon (and a solid decade of dedicated self-destruction).
Needless to say, the one-two punch of a global pandemic and an immuno-compromised loved one in need of care has not improved my productivity or my creativity. Add to that my dayjob and the usual responsibilities of a dad of two feral boy toddlers, and, well, you can do the math if you like. Not that I would ever do unnecessary math.
I’m a human mess at the best of times, and to be completely honest this series of comically bullshit events has been too much for me.
I’m working on the book when I have the energy, but the engine is sucking fumes.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks. Deadgirl: Daybreak is still in the drafting phrase, and I’d call it 70% done. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd acts are buttoned up, and the 4th and 5th acts (typically the shortest in my structures) are heavily outlined but in need of prose.
Once those acts are completed, I do what I call a “structure draft” to make sure everything makes sense and is relatively consistent. It might not be a good book at this phase, but it ceases to be random word vomit and becomes a semi-coherent story.
After that, it goes to my beta reader (my wife Gina, as always), who usually only needs two weeks to tear the story a new stata chocolata. I make her changes and fix the story up again.
Then it goes to a professional editor. From there, I’ll do a final cleanup draft that’s basically a read through. Then, a professional formats the book for print and ebook. Luckily, I had the cover art commissioned and finished ages ago so that bit is already in the can.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, first I always find it interesting to see someone else’s process, and I’m hoping you do to. But what I’m saying is once my original prose draft is finished, it’s pretty much a month or two from there to publication.
I don’t know when the first draft will be finished. My life is currently not structured in a way that allows me to be creative or feel human emotions beyond “exhausted” at this point.
But, I’ll let y’all know when it IS finished, and we can calculate a month or two out from that will be when it gets published.
Anyway, thanks for listening.
Bobby, I’m sorry to hear that. I’ve been poking at you (gently, at least in my mind) now and then because of course, I’m craving for more Lucy & co., and I’m craving to know how it all ends. I hope I’ve never sounded pushy instead – and I hope that you at least got some sense of “people still love my work and are actually waiting for more” out of it. Thank you for being so forthcoming (which we weren’t entitled to of course), for your honesty, and for the info – and yep, I love to hear about creative processes and whatnot too. I hope things will get better for you and your loved one soon!