pbray: (Josan)
The last week has been full of ups & downs, which perhaps explains why I've been quiet. Still dealing with one of those downs, but today I'm going to focus on things that make me happy, and remind myself of how very lucky I am. So in that spirit--

Thanks to my editor for pointing out a nice review of THE SEA CHANGE from the Contra Costa Times.

Googling turned up a hysterical entry from the University Book Store in Seattle entitled The Legend of Patricia Bray. (On foot! In the rain! Possible wolves!) I had a silly grin for hours after reading this.

Yesterday's mail brought my copy of the contract for the Russian language edition of THE FIRST BETRAYAL. It's fun to look at--each page is printed in two columns, English on one side, Russian on the other. I have only their word that the terms match, but so far the publisher has treated me very well, so I've no reason to doubt that I'll be happy.

Just learned that Bantam has sent THE FIRST BETRAYAL back to press--THANKS GUYS.

And finally, and most importantly, my editor liked the revised manuscript for THE FINAL SACRIFICE (giant sigh of relief is heard.)

So now it's onward and upward.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
THE SEA CHANGE was released into the wild today. Go forth and multiply, young book!

This part never gets old.

And while you're shopping, Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) and [livejournal.com profile] scott_lynch also have new books out today from Bantam Spectra. Make it a threesome!
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
"Hi, my name is The Sea Change and I'm a middle child."

I've heard other authors describe how their books speak to them, but I'm not sure this is what they meant. Recently THE SEA CHANGE began whispering in my ear, talking about the special challenges of being a middle book. As a middle child myself, I can sympathize with his plight.

The Chronicles of Josan is my second fantasy trilogy, and thus THE SEA CHANGE is the second middle book that I've written. And since it's about to hit the stores, I decided it was finally time to let a middle book tell his story.

THE SEA CHANGE speaks, an unvarnished interview with the second volume of The Chronicles of Josan )
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
THE SEA CHANGE hits stores three weeks from today. If you're interested, there's an excerpt up on my website at http://www.patriciabray.com.

I'm managing to persevere despite the heat and working frantically on THE FINAL SACRIFICE, with encouragement from the folks over at [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90.

I realized last night that the timeline in the book is hosed, so in the spirit of forward momentum I inserted a line that said
and kept on writing.

You see, if Ship One leaves port and heads north at y-knots, and Ship Two leaves the same port three weeks later and heads northeast at z-knots, and meanwhile Ship One has wrecked so the passengers are now on Ship Three which is heading east....

It's actually more complicated than that, but you get the idea. I've gotten better at keeping distances straight in my head, but building in time for messages to travel back and forth is where I lost it. As I've written it now, in order for Ship Two to rendezvous with the passengers who are now on Ship Three, Ship Two needs to have left harbor before hearing the news of the wreck of Ship One. Which is a problem, since that was the motivation for their setting sail.

I'm so used to the age of instantaneous communication that I subconsciously forget that in this world, the only way to get a message across the sea is for someone to physically bring it.

It can be fixed--it's just a matter of tweaking the time references, and tinkering with the departure of Ship Two. But it means sitting down and laying out timelines, which is something I need to save for the revision stage, not the "get the damn draft down on paper" stage.

Next time I write a fantasy, there's going to be a telegraph. Or twinned chisels that carve messages in stone tablets, like very slow e-mail.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
Came home from work today to find that Bantam had sent me an early copy of THE SEA CHANGE. Not an ARC but an actual final copy of the book as it will appear on store shelves in a few weeks.

Happy, happy, giant penguins dancing happy!*

Admired the book, petted it, and (barely) resisted the urge to find it a nice spot on the couch, hand over the remote and offer first dibs on the milano cookies.

This part never gets old.

*Because, you know, ordinary penguins aren't enough for this moment. Plus, I'd look silly dancing with a rockhopper.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
Congratulations to Pats DuBos of Louisville, Kentucky, who won the autographed ARC and matching M&M's.

For those who didn't win, THE SEA CHANGE goes on sale on July 31st, and can be preordered from your favorite bookstore or click here for suggestions on where to buy.

Proving this was a random drawing, the first pick yielded [livejournal.com profile] jennifer_dunne who had tossed her name in as a joke. Since she's my critique partner and has already sampled the chocolate, I disqualified her and held a second drawing.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
I've posted a brief excerpt from THE SEA CHANGE on my website here if you'd like to read it. Note spoilers, but no more so than you'd find from reading the marketing copy. And speaking of the marketing copy, you've got to love a character whose identity problems are so severe that even marketing refers to him as Josan/Lucius.

Also posted the contest announcement on my Amazon.com blog this morning--will be interested to see how many new entries this generates.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Pats DuBos of Louisville, Kentucky, who won the autographed ARC and matching M&M's.

THE SEA CHANGE arrives in stores on July 31st, and to celebrate I'm raffling off an autographed review copy along with a package of the matching M&M's to snack on while reading. To enter the contest post a comment to this message (note if you don't have a Livejournal account please include your e-mail in the comment). Or you can go to my website at http://www.patriciabray.com for instructions on how to enter via e-mail.

The contest closes at midnight on June 10th, and the winner will be announced here and on my website. One entry per person, please. Entries from overseas are welcome, though the M&M's may be subject to import restrictions.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
Yesterday I sent my editor the opening chapters of THE FINAL SACRIFICE (book 3), along with my suggestion for which scene we should pick for the teaser that will be included at the end of THE SEA CHANGE. As a marketing idea, it's great. As an author who still has major chunks of the novel to write, it's a tad scary, knowing that whatever scene is chosen must somehow make it in to the final book, regardless of how the story changes between now and final revisions.

With that said, I need to get cranking on the new book, so I've joined [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90. How can I resist a community that has "We Will Mock You" t-shirts? The community is open to all, and the next 90 day challenge officially starts June 1st. Folks can join now, and start warming up.

Oh, and in the SHINY! category, I received two copies of the bound ARC for THE SEA CHANGE. Later this month I'll be raffling one off--details will be posted here and on my website.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
I suck.

Eyeballs bleeding.

The only thing that makes this process worth it is the occasional bit that makes me think "Yes, that really worked." And the chance to catch typos before they become enshrined on the printed page.

Wish there were more good bits, but trust me, even the best of prose looks pretty crappy when you are staring at it word by word, punctuation mark by punctuation mark.
pbray: (Default)
Writing retreat going well-- I accomplished much this morning, until I found that there was wireless internet :-)

One of the other authors also brought her copyedits, so we are commiserating together. I've made a complete first pass through the manuscript and am overall extremely happy. The copyedits were light and the author queries will be fairly easy to handle.

I believe I get special bonus points for misspelling the very first word on the very first page. Though in my defense, that word was Acknowledgments, which I spelled as Acknowledgements, and that page was hastily added to the bundle right before I mailed it.

In other writing news, yesterday's mail brought the royalty check for the The Sword of Change series. DEVLIN'S LUCK was released five years ago this month. I'm humbled by the fact that it's still in print, still generating cash.

It's a nice reminder that I do know how to write, as I prepare to plunge back into the second pass of the copyedits.
pbray: (Default)
I'm now going to reveal one of the secrets of being a published writer™. Being a writer isn't about the money or glamour, both of which are in chronically short supply. It's not about the thrill of seeing your name in print, nor the fun of learning new things that you can incorporate in your stories.

It's not about the the fans, nor the cons, nor the joy of accomplishment when you finally finish a book.

It's all about the office supplies.

Really, you have to trust me on this one. There is no writing dilemma that can not be solved by the acquisition of the appropriate office supplies. There is no greater thrill than the freedom to go into an office supply store and buy whatever you want, secure in the knowledge that it is a legitimate business expense.

And there is no greater proof of the importance of office supplies than when it comes to the copyediting process.

Last time I posted about copyedits, I included my checklist of supplies:

At least 2 freshly sharpened green pencils
1 pencil sharpener (I will obsessively sharpen the pencils throughout the process)
1 artist's eraser
1 pad of small Post-it notes or tape flags
Scrap paper or notepad
Reference sheet of CE symbols & abbreviations
Caffeine, chocolate and alcohol

But I forgot to highlight the most important supply of all: transparent Post-it tape flags, the kind that can be written on.

As I make my first pass through the manuscript, each time I find a correction I want to make, I mark the place with a transparent tape flag and write the correction on the flag.

When I'm ready for the final pass (which usually involves a suitable cooling off period), I go through each page and either copy the correction onto the manuscript itself, or decide that it wasn't necessary. The tape flag acts as a pressure release valve. Before I found these, I would sometimes make a correction on the manuscript, then wind up erasing it later. This way I only write on the manuscript after I've made my final decision.

Office supplies--is there nothing they can't do?

If you'd like to know more about what's involved in the copyediting process from an author's side, click here to read my previous post on the subject.

ETA This entry is a spam magnet, so I've turned off comments.
pbray: (Josan)
Pray for me.

Though by stroke of luck, Saturday is the bi-annual STAR writer's retreat. This year we're trying something new--rather than meeting at a member's house, we're taking over a nearby B&B, so we'll have both a common gathering space as well as individual writing rooms. And a hostess providing meals & snacks.

So anything I can't bang out tonight or tomorrow I can do Saturday, when I won't be tempted by the distractions I'd find at home.

Goal is to finish up by Sunday, photocopy the sucker, and then express mail it on Monday.
pbray: (Josan)
A few days ago, I mentioned the difficulties involved in writing certain scenes. [livejournal.com profile] sylvia_rachel asked if I'd mind describing my process, so for those who care, it's behind the cut.

This is how Patricia writes the dark & scary shit. )
pbray: (Default)
Days spent revising: 18
New words written: 5,043
Reams of paper consumed: 6
Inkjet cartridges consumed: 2
Cost to mail revised manuscripts to E&A: $16.06
Caffeine, alcohol, chocolate consumption: Don't ask

Mailing your final manuscript to New York: PRICELESS


Mar. 20th, 2007 09:45 am
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
Finished. E-mailed. Printed. Shipped.
pbray: (TSC_Cover)
As previously mentioned, the revisions for TSC are adding a layer of darkness to the book--things that had been only hinted at are now being spelled out.

It's tough to get into the mental place needed to write those scenes. It's a difficult process, but once they're done I can comfortably describe the process to fellow writers, and explain the reasons why those scenes are necessary to fantasy readers.

But what I can't do is have an intelligent discussion about those scenes with my siblings. People who know me as Patricia first and an author second, tend to balk when I describe how I get into the mindset to commit (literary) violence. I felt incredibly awkward last night as I tried to describe what I was doing to my sister, and from her reaction I know I startled her. Not that she wasn't supportive of what I'm doing--just surprised. What I write is significantly beyond the limits of what she feels comfortable reading.

I had the same reaction a few years back when my brother (ex-Special Forces) read one of my books that featured an extended torture scene. He thought it was a good scene, but kept wondering how his little sister could have written such a thing.

Though my blood thirsty tendencies shouldn't come as a surprise. As children we made a home movie called "The Bopper" which featured a killer who went around killing people with a hammer, and the bodies were then hauled off in a Red Flyer wagon. Thank god that was long ago, before digital videos and YouTube. If a copy exists anywhere it's on Super8 film, unable to be resurrected to embarrass us.
pbray: (Lizard)
Custom M&M's: Arrived yesterday. Purple and silver mix, printed with either THE SEA CHANGE or PATRICIA BRAY. Bless my parents for giving me first and last names that fit into the 8 character limit.

Postcards: With help of art-minion, created postcard for TSC, which has been ordered and will arrive next week. Took advantage of special deal to reorder postcards for TFB, so I'll have some of those as well.

Lizards: Ordered metallic stretchy lizards and glow in the dark lizards as giveaways. Metallic stretchy lizards are the same ones I gave away last year, while the Glow in the Dark ones are an experiment. If I like them, I'll order more.

pbray: (Josan)
Ah, yes, the glamorous life on an author. It's not all writing, revising, and endless plotting sessions. It's also wracking your brain trying to figure out how to describe that novel in 100 words or less that you can fit on the back of a postcard.

By Patricia Bray

The key to survival is knowing who you are….

When the imperial family is assassinated, few are pleased at the transformation of Prince Lucius from condemned prisoner to Emperor of Ikaria. As he fights to secure his throne he also wages a deadly battle within himself—as the two souls trapped in his body vie for supremacy. Meanwhile, his nemesis Lady Ysobel has returned home in disgrace, where her former allies seek to rid themselves of her. When war is declared, she is sent on a mission meant to ensure her death—now she must fight not just for survival, but to shape the future of both countries.
pbray: (Josan)
A few days ago [livejournal.com profile] mizkit posted how she'd once obsessed about having a hero and heroine whose last names both began with "K".

I have so totally got her beat. This book is all "Z"'s, all the time, with Zuberi, Nizam and Zorion, not lead characters but all three are significant--two of them are viewpoint characters. And, of course, it's too late to change since all three were inherited from the first book in this series.

Not to mention I used the name Prokopios twice by accident--once for a character in the funeral scene and later as the person voted Most Likely To Be Assassinated. At least that one's an easy fix.

But other than the minor annoyances, the revisions are proceeding. One trick I've learned over the years is to create a scene list as I'm writing the book. It's a separate file that lists each chapter and has one or two sentences for each scene. A typical entry is:

Chapter 7
Lady Ysobel's POV--meets with Captain Zorion before he sets sail, summoned by council to discuss news from Ikaria.

The scene list serves as a master index for revisions, so rather than skimming through the entire manuscript, I can jump right to where I need to be. And, given that this book has two separate story lines, the scene list is a quick visual guide showing how I'm balancing the two, and whether I need to rejuggle before the reader forgets what's happening on the other side of the ocean.

August 2017



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