I am the luckiest chick in the world. Holy Macaroni. Look at this cover. It is not the final cover art, but it is a very, very, good idea of what my 8th Dirk & Steele novel will look like. The Wild Road will be released in August 2008. For a larger version, click here.
Next up, Nora Roberts! Not only did she win the Quill award for best Romance Novel, she beat out Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore for the best book of the year. Dude. Rock on. Here is an old interview with her from Bookbrowse:
In general I do a first draft fairly quickly. Just to get the story down without looking back � I don�t worry about fixing or fiddling. Once I have that initial draft, I know my characters more intimately, know the plot line more cohesively, so I can go back to page one and go through it all again, fleshing out, fixing little problems, finding where I went wrong and adjusting it, or where I went right and expanding it. Adding texture, sharpening the prose. Then I go back to page one again, for the third draft, polishing, making sure I hit the right notes. If it feels right after that, I send it to my agent and editor. If it doesn�t, I go back and try to find what�s not working. No book is perfect. I try to send in the best book I can write at that time. And I trust my editor to tell me if it can be made better.
From Storytellers Unplugged, this lovely little essay on why writers throw themselves to the wolves, again and again, to tell their stories:
Why do we want to put ourselves into a business where we will most likely face rejection and attempts to squash our dreams? Where we voluntarily spend much time in pain and anger? Where we often experience feelings of inadequacy and psychic impotence in a world that rewards typed flatulence and punishes literary air fresheners? I think part of it is that we�re not too bright.
It’s more or less that upbeat for the entire thing. Read. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy.
And here, good advice from Jane Espenson on keeping your character alive (she is referring to scripts, but it pertains to novels, as well):
I mentioned keeping a character “alive” in a scene. You probably figured it out—if a character doesn’t speak for a long time, they disappear from a scene. In general, this is a bad thing. Sure, the marine guarding the door doesn’t have to say anything, but if you bother to have a major character in a scene, they should be kept alive in it.
This is harder, of course, with large casts. A problem I’ve encountered more times than not, given all the men and shape-shifters and crazy evil women running around in my books. Rule of thumb, though: If your character does not have a reason to be there, do not invite him/her/it to the party. No matter how much you want to.