To the left, a scene from issue #4 of The Last Zombie: Neverland (on sale in all good comic shops next Wednesday) in which we learn that my friend Kasey Lansdale’s music is still popular post-apocalypse. If your local comic shop doesn’t carry The Last Zombie, burn them down and then order one online here.
As promised two weeks ago, I’ll be posting an occasional writing journal for those who like reading such things. Here is the latest installment, after the cut.
In the last installment of my writing journal, I explained how my work week is compressed into Thursday through Sunday, essentially making it a work weekend. This weekend was no different, except for the work being done.
On Thursday, I combed over the manuscript for the Author’s Preferred Edition of Earthworm Gods. This involved going through scenes that were cut from the original editions and deciding whether or not to include them in the new one. Most of the scenes remain cut, but I’ve restored a few (including a great sequence in which Kevin, Taz, Ducky, and Juan encounter their first white fuzz-infected humanoid). I also wrote a very long afterword that will be exclusive to this edition, in which I talk about the novel’s origin, its publication history, and why it has a special place in my heart. Much of this is stuff I’ve never discussed in public before, and I think you’ll dig it. The manuscript is now being picked over by trusty pre-readers Mark Sylva and Tod Clark, and Deadite will bring it your way later this year (probably right around the time that Earthworm Gods II: Deluge is released in hardcover).
Speaking of Deadite, many of you have been asking about the delay of Dark Hollow and wondering what’s behind that. Basically, it’s the manuscript I turned in. It was formatted from a PDF rather than a Word document, which makes the production-process a little lengthier than normal. Added to that, Deadite lost a copy-editor (Troy, who has moved to New Orleans to open a voodoo shop, and we all wish him luck in that endeavor), so they’ve been tied up with finding a replacement for him–somebody who’s freaky enough to willingly copy-edit works by myself, Bryan Smith, Edward Lee, Wrath James White, and the rest of the stable. But I’m told the delay won’t be much longer, and I submitted the Deadite versions of Ghost Walk, An Occurrence in Crazy Bear Valley, and Entombed in Word, rather than PDF, so we’ll catch up quick.
Anyway, Thursday and Sunday were spent working on that. Friday was spent re-tooling the synopsis for this mass-market political thriller that J.F. Gonzalez and I are writing together and aren’t allowed to tell you about. You might think that spending an entire day writing and re-writing a synopsis is a bit of overkill, but it’s not. When you are ghost-writing for a brand name — be it Tom Clancy or V.C. Andrews or whoever — you not only have to write in the house “style” but your plot has to be in line with the brand, as well.
On Saturday, Mary, J.F., and I checked and replenished our stock at The York Emporium (as you may recall, the three of us entered a bookselling venture earlier this year). When that was over, we had lunch in downtown York and then Mary and I headed over to the home of authors Kelli Owen and Robert Ford. Robert Swartwood and many other peers were also on hand, and of course, writing dominated the conversation–discussion of everything from Anthony Giangregorio to digital books to a history of the small press to what constitutes the bizarro genre.
A non-writer (or even a new writer) might read all of the above and think, “Well, he didn’t do any actual writing.” And it can certainly be perceived as such. But all of these things–edits, afterwords, creating a synopsis, catching up with peers, trading industry gossip, and even bookselling are all things that a working writer does as part of his or her living. The trick is to write more than you do these other things.
But tonight, I’ll make up for it by working on The Lost Level and this short story for Cemetery Dance…