Deep Process: Settling the Score updates
So the fine folks in the editorial department at Dreamspinner have been busy busy busy! with the manuscript for Settling the Score.
I’ve already turned in the front matter. For the non-editors out there, front matter is everything between the title page and the start of the story. Authors have control over very little of it, since it includes things like the publication information, ISBN, copyright information, etc. What I control is the acknowledgements, and I’m afraid it was a bit of a kitchen sink affair. I also control the dedication. I don’t want to say it was a struggle, because it wasn’t. The dedication makes perfect sense to me. But I’ve already taken care of my immediate family, so I wasn’t sure at first who to dedicate this novel to.
Then there was the blurb request. These always baffle me. Well, that and annoy me. Blurb requests always make me feel like someone’s trying to get me to do her job for her. Or maybe that’s because I’m horrible at writing them. Let’s be honest, a blurb is rather like a sales pitch for a book, isn’t it? Writers aren’t really good with people. Sure, I’ve got my friends and I can deal being around them. Mostly. But perhaps this example will put it in perspective…
At Gay Rom Lit last year, I ran into two people I know, one I’d met before at Yaoicon (I’m pretty sure it was there…if it wasn’t, I’m more confused than I thought) and one I know from extensive email correspondence. I looked at Taylor Donovan like I’d never seen her before and furthermore who the hell was she. Fortunately she’s one of the sweetest people on earth and patiently led me through the realization that, yes, we had met before. For her part, Anne Tennino practically had to hit me upside the head with one of her crocheted penises. Yo, dumbshit. We email and text constantly.
Easily overwhelmed in public? Who knows, but it’ll probably be expensive to treat.
Anyway, blurb requests. They’re just awful. I had come up with zingers about the plot without giving away all the good bits. It’ll be interesting to see what Editorial comes up with.
Perhaps the most fun was the cover spec request. I can tell the Dreamspinner has been working on its editorial process, because this came hard on the heels of the front matter request. The amazing and talented Paul Richmond, now the assistant art director at Dreamspinner, has done the covers for my previous books, so I kind of begged for him to do the cover for Settling the Score in the name of artistic continuity. He’s taking his art in some interesting directions, as with the cover of another Dreamspinner title, Anna Marti’s Cricket for example, so maybe some of that will show up on the cover. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Interesting thing about this cover spec request, however. Unlike the other CalPac novels, I did n’t have that clear a vision about what scene I want on the front of Settling the Score. Burning It Down? By the time I’d finished, I knew what I wanted on the cover. But not this time. Covers sell books. It’s a fact. So this time I re-read the manuscript for every scene in which Philip and Stuart interacted. I think I came up with a good one this time, but I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
The only drawback to that was all the little errors I found. Okay, and the glaring contradictions within the text. I mentioned some of this to a friend on the editorial department, and these comment found their way to the Editor in Chief. She now thinks that I’m either a conscientious writer or a completely hopeless head case.
I think we all know the answer to that…