Neglectful

Wow, I can’t believe my last post was nearly two weeks ago. How very neglectful of me. Actually, I’ve been working pretty hard on finishing a book, and it can be difficult to hold the whole story together in my mind, so I’ve been lost in what my wife calls ‘Dan World’. This means I don’t remember much of anything she tells me and I spend a lot of time hidden, typing away on the computer – made all the nicer by my new keyboard and mouse.

Anyway, I drafted a children’s book set in 1941 and showed it to my agent who told me the book needs to be ‘bigger’, so that’s what I’m doing – I’m growing it. While this innevitably means the book is longer, that’s not the real intention. You see,when my agent says ‘bigger’ she means richer, deeper, more significant. It’s not just about length, you know. And so my story is growing, but the problem with stories is that they’re organic. Sounds strange, but they grow – at least that’s the way I always see it – and if you change something, even just a very small detail, it makes a tiny wound that can have a large impact elsewhere. And every time that happens, those wounds need to be repaired, cultured and regrown. (Trust me, this analogy makes sense to me even if it doesn’t to you.) And these changes can be hard to track and keep a handle on.

The other thing that can make things tougher is the setting. DRY SEASON happens in a place and time I know well. DARK HORIZONS, too. This story, though . . . well, I wasn’t around in 1941, and it’s really surprising how different life was. It’s not that long ago, but we’ve come very far in those few years since.

Well, the good news is that I’m now coming to a stage where I can re-read what I’ve put together. This means I can emerge, blinking like a pit pony, from my garret and rejoin the real world as best as I can. Until, that is, I receive the line edits for my next novel THE CHILD THIEF.

This is the point where I tell you how excited I am about The Child Thief – and I really am excited. My editor at Orion absolutely loves the book, tells me there’s very little to do in terms of editing, and I can’t wait to see what the art people are going to come up with for covers. DRY SEASON and DARK HORIZONS are very diffferent books, and THE CHILD THIEF is going to be different again.  It’s due out in spring 2012, and I only wish it was sooner. It’s gonna be . . . well, it’s gonna be great, isn’t it?

You’re gonna love it.

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