Monday, August 20, 2012

It's. Been. A. Week.

First, thanks for all your votes, mostly the votes of confidence. I don't think a single person said, "Ha! All these pictures look just like you and thus should never see the light of day. Do you want to scare away potential readers? Go for a pen-and-ink drawing. Or an avatar. But do not inflict your photo on the unsuspecting public." (Clearly I needed the votes of confidence.)

And photo #3 it is--downloaded and delivered into the hands of my editor. 

After the mental trauma of choosing a photo, I got an email last Wednesday from my editor that made me squawk in delight. (I don't squeal, I don't giggle . . . I squawk. It's distinctive.) In THE BOLEYN KING, a particular necklace plays a part in the story and Kelli said the art department is considering using an image of that necklace on the cover. THE COVER!!! I'M GOING TO HAVE A COVER!!! I mean, it's not like I didn't know there would be a cover to this book, but now it's becoming real. And the thought of something I created out of my head being given physical (if two-dimensional) form for the world to see made me, yes, squawk. So then I had the fun of putting together a handful of links for the art department to see what I had in mind when I created Minuette's necklace. 

So anyone in their right mind would assume that was quite enough excitement for one week, but the publishing industry is clearly not in its right mind. Because on Friday, I got the sad news from my editor, Kelli Fillingim, that she is leaving New York to return to the West Coast. I'm happy for her personally, because she'll be nearer her family, and I know she'll be wonderful as a freelance editor and whatever else she chooses to do in future. But I love her :( She's funny, kind, and remarkably easy to work with. As was my first editor, Caitlin Alexander. 

Yes, that's right, if you're counting I'm now on editor #3. As my agent, Tamar, pointed out, "This happens all the time in publishing." But I did get her to admit that having three editors before the first book has even come out is not all that usual. I had two immediate concerns: I'm now several steps away from the editor who acquired this trilogy, which can easily mean several steps away from genuine enthusiasm for the project; and also, How much longer can my luck hold in having outstanding editors who like my writing? 

The answer to the second question is--my luck can hold as long as it has to. Because my new editor is Kate Miciak. I actually knew her name as soon as I read it. You know how mystery novels are my deep and abiding love to read and my dearest writing wish would be to figure out how to write one really well? Kate Miciak edits some of the best mystery writers currently working. Alan Bradley and his Flavia de Luce series. Charles Todd and his Inspector Rutledge series. Laurie R. King and her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series (among others). Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley novels. 

I kept shouting names at my husband Thursday night. 

Me: "Laurie King!"
Him: "I know that name." 
Me: "Because there she is, taking up one whole shelf in the study!" 

Me: "Alan Bradley! I adore Flavia de Luce!"
Him: the silence of someone trying to go to sleep.

Me: "Elizabeth George! Elizabeth George!!!" 
Him: . . . 

Me: "I think I might throw up." 

I haven't. Not yet. Although after I talked to Tamar on Friday and she told me that Kate would be reading THE BOLEYN KING (finished to the point of copy edits) and THE BOLEYN DECEIT (first draft that I just got revisions on from Kelli) over the weekend, my stomach did some flips every time I wondered where she'd got to in the stories and if she'd taken to drinking to make it better. 

Apparently not, for today I got the most glorious, the most welcoming email from Kate. She doesn't hate my book(s)! She says my characters have a growing fan club at Ballantine! She says she's excited to be working with me! She says she looks forward to speaking with me tomorrow so she can tell me how much she loves my story.

This time I didn't squawk. This time I cried. 

I love my life.

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