Take Home Tuesday
UPDATE: The winner of THE HORSEMEN'S GAMBIT by David B. Coe is Kerri C at CK Farms! Congrats!!! Please email your physical addy to contests(AT)knightagency.net.
Today, David B. Coe is guest blogging to celebrate the mass market re-release of THE HORSEMEN'S GAMBIT, Book Two in the BLOOD OF THE SOUTHLANDS trilogy. Leave a comment and enter to win a copy of David's release! The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon. Take it away David....
One of the things that surprised me most about the publishing business when I first started my career as a professional writer, was the lag time between my submission of a manuscript and the actual publication of the book. Had I given the matter much thought, I would have realized that it made sense, that books don’t edit or print themselves. The production of a novel is a complex process. A book has to be written and revised, copyedited and proofed. An artist has to create an image for the jacket and an art department needs to combine that image with titles and design concepts. In the case of fantasy and science fiction, a different artist might need to draw maps of an imagined world. How could this process not take a good deal of time?
But sometimes people lose sight of this. I know that I did when I was still unpublished. Let’s take the case of my upcoming releases as an example. I have two books coming out in February. The first, due out on February 2, is the paperback re-release of THE HORSEMEN’S GAMBIT, book II in my Blood of the Southlands trilogy. The hardcover edition was first published about a year ago, and my publisher, Tor Books, is now putting this book out again in anticipation of my second February release . . . Which will be the hardcover edition of the final book in the series, THE DARK-EYES’ WAR, due out February 16.
In the past several months, many people have told me how much they enjoyed reading HORSEMEN’S GAMBIT and have then asked, “So are you hard at work on the final book?” They are always rather surprised when I say, “Actually, no, I handed that in last February (2009). I’ve started work on something new.”
Now for many people, particularly in these tough economic times, a hardcover book is an extravagance. They wait for a book to come out in paperback. So a lot of my readers haven’t yet read HORSEMEN’S GAMBIT; they have only read THE SORCERERS’ PLAGUE, the first book in the trilogy. So for them, GAMBIT is the newest thing I’ve done. And that’s a little weird for me, because I’ve written four books since I finished that one. I’ve written three since completing THE DARK-EYES’ WAR.
This is very common for authors. There are a few writers whose books are in such demand that their publishers release the things within just a month or two of their completion. But these authors are the exceptions to the rule. For most of us, there is a substantial delay between the creation of the book and the time when we finally get to see it in print. We often wind up promoting “new” books that, to us, feel anything but new. Don’t get me wrong. I still like the Southlands books; I’m proud of them and believe they represent some of my best work. But at this point, they are no longer foremost in my mind. When readers ask me questions about some detail of a character’s background or a certain twist in the narrative, I have to pause and try to remember. My mind is in another world, occupied by a new cast of protagonists and antagonists. The plot lines winding their way through my imagination are utterly unknown to the people reading my books. That’s how it should be, of course. It does mean, though, that my readers and I are living in different creative worlds, and that can be disorienting at times.
What world am I in now? Well, that’s probably a subject for another post at another time. Suffice it to say that I’m in several places these days. In the past few months I’ve been working on a book set in modern-day Phoenix, Arizona, and another set in colonial Boston, and yet another set in the late twelfth century, in the town of Nottingham, on the edge of Sherwood Forest. I’ve written short stories set in some unnamed American city, and in an imagined world called Islevale, and I’ve been playing with an idea set in a futuristic Manhattan. We authors may not get out much, but that doesn’t keep us from traveling through time and space.
So when you see me at a signing or a convention and you want to talk about the Southlands, please feel free to approach me with questions and comments. I’d love to meet you and chat with you. Just give me a second or two to get myself oriented. It’s possible that I’ve come from far away.
David B. Coe
Crawford Award-winning author of the LONTOBYN CHRONICLE, WINDS OF THE FORELANDS, AND BLOOD OF THE SOUTHLANDS
Soon to be Released: THE DARK-EYES' WAR, Book 3 of BLOOD OF THE SOUTHLANDS
Please visit my website at www.DavidBCoe.com.