|Pruning and Fine Tuning|
If you haven’t seen it already, the UK cover of the The Conductors has been released! It creates quite a contrast with the US cover, not only because of its brighter color palette but because it’s a bit more abstract. Yet at the same times I can see echoes of both.
The UK is being published by Penguin UK through their Del Rey imprint and will be out in March as well.
I’ve been staring down a deadline for the final draft of the follow up to The Conductors, otherwise known as The Undertakers. A book which, if all things goes well, will be coming out this fall. The book was fairly easy to draft. It’s another mystery in Philadelphia, and there were a lot of elements that were taken from my first cut of Conductors, which I reworked for this book. Plus I got to reference at lot of quirky fun stuff i found in my research. So it’s been fun in some ways working on this book. The hard issues of explaining the world, the magic, are gone, so I get to dive into other aspects.
Revising been tricky. Because while drafting the problems of coherent character arc and plot are all problems for Future Me. That joy of drafting is that the future can handle these problems. But in this case Future Me ended plagued with issues that are more than just being uncertain of my writing. Yes there is some of that. I think there’s a point in every book I’m ready to delete everything and forget the book entirely. But mostly it’s been the outside world. Problems and issues that largely are out of my hands, and where the things I can do feels so small. To call them distractions trivializes them. But it’s worries that flow through me wanting to take shake. I think a large part of my jitters revolving my books, is just worries about the state of the world funneled into the one place where I some control over matters. So me overly fretting revisions , or extra determined to meet hard deadline early, is just me putting some fraction of my energy somewhere useful instead of staying tangled up inside of me.
As promised, below are the character art I got done with the main characters plus major supporting characters. The art was done by Jaria Ramabran ( website) who helped me with a Clue inspired set of cards. And in my humble opinion she knocked it out of the park!
Most of the books I read recently were all research related, for very specific things and for secret projects so I can’t share them yet. I won’t say I’ve been too busy to read, but nothing noteworthy to share.
I spent December, watching a lot of Christmas related things. Anything from well loved classics, random holiday themed movies, and a few holiday cooking competitions. One standout was Jingle Jangle which was an instant classic for me the moment I watched. I went in with little information as possible, as was pleasantly surprised with great songs, a lot of heart, and math magic! Plus it was visual treat with bright colorful costumes and actors/ dancers who looked like they were having fun (shout out to the trio in the Miles and Miles!)
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