Been busy lately. A lot of that was writing. Back at the end of November, I decided that I needed to buckle down and get moving forward on getting Perils ready for publication. I had worked on revisions based on my editor’s notes for a while, but I never got any traction because I still had some outstanding questions. As November came to a close, I realized that it was a prescription for procrastination. So, it was time to get something done.
I contacted my editor and asked my questions via e-mail, and starting on December 1st, I re-started using The Magic Spreadsheet. Each day in December through January 23rd, I spent at least half an hour a day revising Perils chapter by chapter. So, what changed on January 23rd?
Yup. The fourth draft of Perils is finally complete, and last weekend I sent it off to my editor for a new round of comments. I believe I’ve addressed all the issues she found in the previous draft. I just hope I haven’t introduced too many new problems.
And I am sick of dealing with noble titles.
One thing I’ve discovered in the course of writing and editing this book: 95% of the books out there that deal with noble titles do them wrong. Yup. Dead wrong. At least as far as the British Empire is concerned. Oh, they know the real titles, and the proper terms of address, but they consistently get something wrong in just about every book.
Yup, capitalization. Why capitalization? Because all those honorifics are supposed to be capitalized. And the titles? Unless they are part of a proper name, not capitalized. So when the duke comes to dinner, you call him Your Grace, My Lord, or Sir. Pretty much in that order. You don’t call him your grace, your highness, my lord, or sir. To omit the capitalization would be just wrong.
And yet, just about every feudal fantasy you read gets it exactly wrong. Ok, maybe you can forgive those which aren’t set in the British Empire, but there are still plenty of books that are set in the empire that get the capitalization all wrong. Quite a lot of steampunk books. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that if I grabbed up one of my friends successful steampunk books and found a section where nobility are addressed, I bet I’d find they got the capitalization wrong, too.
I wonder why that is?
Lord knows that my editor sure knew the proper rules. And took me to task for getting them wrong.
And now I’m giving her another chance to do it again.
Ok, I think I got them all, but that is what editors are for. To make sure.
Sooooo… still on track to publish the book this summer.
I need to arrange for a new cover artist, though. The artist I had previously lined up was all excited about the project at first, but she’s not an artist. She can do some amazing things with stock photography and Photoshop, but it is very difficult to find stock photography that is applicable for a steampunk book. We decided that it would be better all around for me to line up another cover artist.
I have been talking to a couple of artists to see if there is any interest. And who I can afford. The spectre of steampunk stock photos has already raised its head on at least one front, although thankfully that isn’t the only option open to us.
Honestly, if anyone out there knows of someone with a source for steampunk stock photos, or who is willing to grant us rights to use their photos of people in suitable steampunk costumes, please let me know. I don’t think I’ll be able to afford dressing models up in character appropriate costumes and taking the pictures ourselves. Not that this is a bad solution. The problem is that there are very few cosplayers for characters in books that haven’t been released yet.
Now the characters for this book have been released to the public before. They were in a short story published in Flagship Magazine’s Steampunk Spectacular issue: “A Walk in the Park”. Unfortunately for me, I have no idea how widely that issue of Flagship was read. It is still out there, though. You can buy the electronic version of the issue on Amazon. The rights have reverted to me, but I haven’t had time to re-publish the story in electronic form.
Are you a steampunk or Victorian cosplayer who’d like to be on a book cover? Would you be willing to have me use your image for the book cover for a nominal fee? Please contact me.
If I can’t find someone, then I’ll have to take a different approach, or find someone who is willing to draw or paint a cover within my (admittedly low) budget.