October 16, 2009:

In slightly panic mode, I spent all day working on the galleys of EXCEPT THE QUEEN since they want everything back by October 21. I got all the way to page 256 out of 370, so still–as you can see–I have a ways to go. Am being Senorita Crankypants with friends and family because of it.

Why, you ask? Isn’t it fun re-reading your book in its printed form? Admiring the work that went into it.

Well, yes and no. I am sometimes amazed, gobsmacked at phrases I like and had forgotten writing. Of course, since I wrote the book with Midori Snyder, the phrases I most admire I just assume are hers. But since this book has been running late all along, we just finished the revisions about a month ago. Not enough time between heavy readings. So it has felt less like revisiting an old friend and more like a compulsive cup of tea with a feared and fearsome old besom of an aunt. You have to mind your P’s and Q’s. You have to be alert. You have to keep your napkin on your lap, your knees locked, and not dribble down your front as you are wont to do. She won’t tolerate it and she will not be quiet about it either. In other words, this visit is not fun but laborious.

And yet. . .and yet. . .it has its moments. I think it is a fairly good book. I can offload my fears onto my co-author. And truly I think the best character is her construct: the fairy Highborn lord Hugh, now called Hawk and also Long Lankin, who is tattooing human women and collecting their blood in vials to bring back into Faerie to revitalize the faerie clans. He has made a pact with the Dark Lord of the Unseelie Court and. . .But he is not all bad, just become a monster through grief (his wife killed herself) and pride.

So I have another day’s slog before I send the stuff off. There could be worse jobs in the world, as I keep reminding myself. Many and many worse jobs. And really, I normally love this part of the book business. Am just feeling pressure and of course with the ear thing and the sinus infection, I am not feeling 100% anyway. Not even 60% if truth be told.

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