I used to hate the warmer months. Granted, I’m still not much for summer. Living in New Mexico, the heat can be brutal. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve started to look forward to warmer weather. I love the night time, and there’s just something magical about being able to step outside long after the sun has gone down and not need a jacket or sweater. We’re getting to that point now. Soon, it’ll be too warm for my taste and all I’ll do is complain about how much I can’t wait for the fall. But for now it’s nice. It mellows me out, and mellow is good.
Mellow helps with deadlines. I’m currently knee-deep in editing The Neighbors, which is slated for a December release. I’m excited about it, but I’m also tired. When I wrote the first draft of The Neighbors, I immediately knew that there was something seriously wrong with the manuscript. I didn’t feel the spark that I had with Seed–that ‘people are going to love this’ feeling that gave me the courage to put Seed out there and see what happened. So after a bit of a break I went back and I rewrote just about all that I had. After the rewrite, I felt much more confident about the story. I liked the characters a hundred times more. The dynamic between characters had changed for the better. It was a lot of work, but I was happy with it because it had taken the story in a new direction and, hence, to a higher level.
Those of you who have been following me for a while may remember that The Neighbors was slated to be released in December of 2011. Well, that was nearly five months ago at this point, so what happened? It seemed that my rewrite paid off, because Amazon loved it and proposed to purchase the rights along with the rights for Seed. After talking it over with my agent, we decided that it was a good move to sell both at once. So we did, and December 2011 turned into December 2012.
But I have to say, I couldn’t be happier about that decision. There was still something missing from The Neighbors, and with the help of my amazing editor, we’ve nailed down some pretty awesome plot points. Unfortunately for me, I loved her suggestions so much that what was supposed to be an edit turned into rewrite number two. But this time with a deadline. This is where I stick my finger in my ear and blow my imaginary brains out.
I have spent the last week and a half in serious rewrite mode. And when I say serious, I mean serious. See that weird little rectangle on your left? I’ve minimized the image that much to spare your sanity. If you want to see it in all its glory, click on it. I dare ya’.
Oh, that’s not the entire document. No sir. That’s maybe half, if that.
It’s amazing how many people think being a writer is glamorous; as though I sit around on my silk-upholstered chaise eating bonbons all day. Sure, it’s got it’s perks, especially when you start raking in the dough (not quite there yet, myself), but it’s a hell of a lot of work. I’ve been writing full-time for nearly two months now. In that time, I’ve written a full-length novel and have rewritten another. My brain has started to liquify itself inside my skull. It isn’t easy. If you run into someone who says it is, laugh at them, and then remind yourself to never take anything they say seriously again.
Despite the work, I’m thrilled with the results so far. It’s been hard, but yet again, The Neighbors has become something so much better than what it was, something that I can’t wait to share with you guys come December.
But before we hit December, we have the summer to trudge through. And you remember what that means, right? The Seed re-release. The set date for the new version is July 17th. When I think about it, I can’t stop bouncing up and down in my computer chair. I can’t wait to hear from readers of the first, original version, because there’s no doubt in my mind that comments like ‘I love this book’ are going to turn into ‘how could this have possibly gotten better?’ But it has. Again, with the help of my indispensable editor’s help, we’ve elevated Seed to something I’d confidently present to the harshest horror critic. I love the story and it’s characters even more than I did before, and I can’t wait for you all to re-experience the story in a new way.
I’ve been hard at work with 47North, working on a new cover for the re-release, and that’s difficult as well. I love the original cover, and I did have the option of keeping it. But I’ve added so much new material to Seed that it felt strange to leave the same cover. I wanted to make sure that when it does come out, those who have already read it will know that it’s new–not the same thing they read before. I should have a sneak peek of the new cover for you all soon, though I’m not sure if I’ll post it here or on my Facebook page, so if you don’t already follow me there… you should! And if you’re an eager beaver, the paperback copy is already available for pre-order on Amazon here.
Speaking of the paperback, as weird as it is, a lot of readers who are hellbent on buying Seed in paper have been asking me if I’ll autograph their copies. Honestly, that’s really strange to me. The idea of someone wanting my autograph is just freaky, but of course I’m going to oblige. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, whether I’ll ever have an actual book signing or what, and even if I did, it’s crazy to expect people to travel to those things. (I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t do it. Maybe if it was Stephen King and it was a few hundred miles, but otherwise, no.) I have a lot of UK readers, and a few of them have requested that they mail me their paperback copies to be signed and returned. So, if you’re one of those people who asked, or someone who would be interested in collecting a completely random autograph from a completely random author, I’m planning on signing and returning books. I’ll have more information on how we’ll go about this process closer to the re-release date.
Oh! I nearly forgot. Something else I’m doing for the re-release: a Seed soundtrack. I’m compiling a list of songs that inspired me as well as make me think of Jack, Charlie, and the rest of the Seed gang. I’ve asked for reader suggestions on my Facebook page, but I’ll take them here in the comments as well. So if there’s a song or three out there that makes your skin crawl, let me know! And if you feel like it, I have a ‘favorites’ playlist on Spotify. This list will be added to, subtracted from, and constantly modified according to my mood. But if you feel like crawling inside my head, these are the songs that are really doing it for me right now.
Okay, that’s it for now. This blog post was way too long. ‘Till next time. 🙂