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Wednesday, June 03, 2009


American proofs are here!

This morning a package arrived, containing the author galleys for the American edition of In Great Waters. The US release looms closer...

Reading proofs requires discipline. There's always the urge to fiddle, and in this case it's an urge I have to resist as far as possible: the UK edition is already out, and I need to keep the two as consistent as possible. This makes it rather nerve-wracking: if I spot something I regret, I may just have to leave it.

I've decided to treat it rather like a workout. There are about 400 pages; these I'm breaking into chunks, aiming to get through a certain amount per day. But I've already noticed a tendency to glance at the page I'm on much like I glance at the timer when I'm working out. 'Three minutes gone - okay, I only need to do that nine more times and I'm done...' or 'Four pages gone - okay, I only need to do that ninety-nine more times...' This is a long haul, and I'm in for the duration, and it'll probably do me good.

Having said that, the print is really rather nice: legible and attractive, well laid out and generally pleasant on the eye. I'm looking forward to the finished product.

Which nobody will get if I don't proof the darn thing, so I should stop blogging and get back to work, really. While I'm doing that, how about declaring this an open thread? Anyone who has something they want to promote, be it their own work, a recommendation, a blog or anything else: this is your moment.

I'll go first! I would like to promote my new blog, Voices From The Past: Adventures in Historical Fiction, on which I am reviewing new historical fiction titles (and perhaps some older, forgotten ones).


I would love for you all to come and take a look.
Sounds interesting! Good luck with it.

Have you tried Gillian Bradshaw? She's my favourite historical novelist; really engaging.
I haven't, but after reading your recommendation I popped down to my local library. I've borrowed Alchemy of Fire and Dark North. What's your favourite work of hers?
Sure, why not?

A short story of mine:
It's not precisely a fanfic, as it doesn't feature any canon characters, but it's set in the world(s) of the Bordertown series of shared-world anthologies, edited by Terri Windling.

Or, for those interested in writing advice, here's a class I did on writing melee combat:
It was written use on a Wheel of Time fanfiction/roleplay site, so most of the examples are pulled from Robert Jordan; but if you can forgive that, I think it's fairly useful information.

There are other stories in the library on my site, but they're mostly juvenalia and/or unpublishable for other reasons.


Michael Mock

Verification word: "asine", which presumably is the sort of thing you find along the side of arode.
Holy crow, MM, that piece on writing combat is EXACTLY what I've been needing for something I'm working on right now.

Thanks ever so for posting this!

[verification word: sorisli -- O RLY? YA RLY!]
What's your favourite work of hers?

In her historical opus, I'd say maybe Island of Ghosts, which is about a Sarmatian commander trying to readjust to life in Roman Britain, Imperial Purple aka The Colour of Power, which is about a state slave in Tyre who works in a weaving factory for the Emperor and finds herself commissioned to weave a cloak she knows must be for a treasonous plot, or The Beacon at Alexandria, which is about a young woman devoted to Hippocratic medicine who escapes an arranged marriage by disguising herself as a eunuch and running away to study at Alexandria. The two you've got aren't bad, but I wouldn't say they were her best, though that's just my opinion.

If you like a fantastical twist, I'd also highly recommend Down The Long Wind, which is a trilogy set in her version of Arthurian Britain, which is fantastic - incredibly sad, but really good at conveying family frictions and making you see all sides of the argument. And also The Wolf Hunt, which is a retelling of one of the lais of Marie de France about a man who's betrayed by his wife when she discovers he's a 'bisclavret', or werewolf.

Interesting on combat, MM. Writing advice is always good.

On the subject of fan fiction: if anyone wants to post to their own I don't mind, but I'd ask that everyone keeps to authors they know don't mind their work being - what's the word? Fanned? Ficked? Anyway, I know it's a contentious subject but, legal issues aside (and I don't want to get into legal trouble either), I personally feel it's discourteous to circulate work based on an author's stuff if the author has asked people not to, so willing authors only, please.

Word: awamptie. A Scottish dialect word describing a level of disorder so great it looks as if the room has flooded: 'Your floor's all awamptie, hen.'
Note: the above post was not intended as a criticism of Michael Mock, just to be clear. It was in case anyone read his story and decided to post to fan fiction of their own. :-)
I'm still blogging away about the process of revising my novel for publication, if anybody's interested.


Now hurry up on those proofs, Kit, the US is waiting!
And, just for the record, Terri Windling *has* indicated that she is fine with people using that setting. She has even gone so far as to grant permission for people to use characters from some of her stories, though everyone I know who wrote in that world just made their own characters. That may be a natural outgrowth of the shared-world nature of the original anthologies, though.

Hapax, I'm thrilled that you found it useful.

Michael Mock
The new indie press Verb Noire


One good thing to come out of RaceFail.
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