Hi everyone! Today we’re very happy to welcome Kat Richardson on Book Lovers,Inc. Kat is the author of the Greywalker novels, the latest book in the series, Labyrinth was released earlier this month. Let’s give a warm welcome to Kat here telling us all about last minute deadline frenzy! Be sure to stay tuned for the amazing giveaway Kat offers at the the end of the post.
OK, so I’m kind of just posting wildly here because I was on tour and just got back and totally blanked on this column and now I’m typing like my butt’s on fire and I really need to finish up before something a little smaller catches. You’ve been there, right? Maybe not the book tour part, but the “Ohmigod, I gotta get this project in, like, Yesterday!” part. Right? (Please don’t say it’s only me….)
The irony is that in school I was always the smart-ass geek who did her homework in class and finished her papers early. Yeah, I’m that one. Was, was that one. These days it’s more like “Holy muck-a-luyah! I’ve got 12 days to finish up this book and there’s still 40,000 words to go. I’m gonna have to wing this sucker….” So I throw all common sense to the wind and anything like reality and start pounding away in a manic frenzy of creative fear. Which is a lot like regular writing, but faster and with less sleep.
I suppose I should be used to it by now, but not only do I always seem to find a lot of other cats to vacuum, but I now have books due two months after one comes out. No, I don’t start the new book right after the release of a book. I actually start back in, like, May with a deadline of October 1. But no matter how hard I try to get the manuscript in shape early, I always find some problem I didn’t anticipate and am busy wrestling with it when I suddenly realize I’ve got a book hitting the shelves in 3 days and I have to go out and promote it or no one is going to know the book exists! Argghhh!
So I abandon the baby in the word processor, run around like a mad thing and go to conventions and book signings while the ideas for my now half-written book wither or go feral in the back of my brain. It’s like an idea jungle in there! So when I finally am done with the tour and can sit down again and finish up the book…
I’ve forgotten what I was going to do and have to read the whole thing over and often start again about a third back from where I left off the last time because I’ve just realized that what I did before is all wrong and utterly stinky and can probably be smelled in all its rotten, bad-prose glory across the continent. The jungle has eaten my story! Where is a friendly witch-doctor with a clever plan in this jungle when you need one? I’ll settle for a drunken explorer, or better yet a scruffy archeology professor with a fedora and whip to get me out of this mess! Alas, no such figure ever appears and I have to slog my way through the literary wasteland with nothing but my native wit, a Mac, and a twelve-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper. And a machete (but a red pencil will do in a pinch.)
So I weed the literary garden by dumping about a third of it, then start in again with new stuff and bang it around until it actually makes some kind of sense. (Where is my literary Indiana Jones and the Temple of Decent Plots?) By which time the deadline has appeared and I rush through spell check, slam the lid on the beast, and e-mail it to my editor with a prayer that it doesn’t kill her.
So far, she’s still alive.
But we usually have to beat the manuscript into submission with a revision, which is rendered with considerable maneuvering—like that required to capture a mad rhino—and a copyedit. Finally the beast is groomed for presentation to the public with the help of the proofreader, who picks off all the nits and smoothes the beastie’s fur before we let it go visit the printer. Because we don’t want the printer to be mauled to death by the rampaging wild manuscript, do we? Only then can I breathe easily. Only then is the story tamed by the application of cover art and laudatory blurbs.
But now… it’s time to write the next one. Until the Beast makes its appearance on bookstore shelves and the whole panic starts all over again. I really miss the smart-ass me who did her homework early….
So what’s your running late/procrastination/dog-ate-my-homework story?
Kat generously offers a wonderful giveaway for 1 lucky commenter. The winner will get a complete signed set of her books!! Here’s what you’ll get:
- Labyrinth (UK paperback)
To enter just leave a comment either:
- Answering Kat’s question
- Asking Kat a question
- or just leave a meaningful comment about the post
This contest is open Internationally.
(Yes you heard right!!!)
Please leave us a way to contact you
(twitter name or Email addy in blogger profile is enough).
Giveaway ends on Saturday August 28th, we will announce the winner on Sunday.
Good Luck everyone!