Zero Draft, Jealousy Giveaway, And Snapback

How can I have a cold when it’s a hundred degrees outside? I ask you, how? Maybe it’s the mosquitoes. Several people have mentioned how the little buggers seem to be particularly bad this year. I believe the term used was “MUTANT ZOMBIE MOSQUITOES FROM HELL, Jesus!” And I heartily agree. I’m welted up all over.

Anyway, I have great news and some links.

I’ve officially finished the zero draft for Strange Angels 5. This is the end of the series, and I cried like a baby last night when I wrote the last few chapters. My laundry pile is threatening to eat the living room and I just spent a couple hours weeding through email correspondence that I literally haven’t had time to touch for the past week. The race to finish the book meant dumping 4-5K out every day for the past four days–not that I’m under serious time constraints, because the first draft isn’t due for a couple months at least, but the story had taken me over and it wanted out.

It’s called a zero draft because it needs work before it turns into a reasonable first draft that I can send to my editor without cringing. Of course, I’ll cringe anyway. That’s just how it works–the instant I hit the “send” button, I am assailed by the “what if they don’t LIKE it?” tsunami. But before I can do that work and regard the zero draft as just raw material, I have to set it aside. I’m thinking this book needs to be completely out of my head for at least a month before I will have enough emotional distance from it to go back and see some of the flaws enough to correct them.

Now I’m firmly in the snapback phase, which is what happens to me after I’ve focused all this emotional, mental, and physical energy on finishing a book. I’m pretty much exhausted on all three levels, but the engine in my head is still whirring and pulling. It hasn’t calmed down yet; I’m still feeling the reverberations. So I’ll need a day or so to let the force bleed off and return my brain to normal. (Yeah, I know. Or as close to normal as my brain ever gets.)

The other news? Guess what arrived the other day. Go on, guess.

Some shiny new copies of the third Strange Angels book, Jealousy, due for release on July 29! Which means tomorrow there will be a giveaway for two signed copies on my Deadline Dames Friday writing post. Plus, I’ll be sending out a newsletter soon (I haven’t sent one out in months–sorry, Dark Siders! It’s been a bit crazy here.) And, because my faithful Dark Siders are so awesome, I’ll be running a giveaway for signed copies through the newsletter as well. Exciting, no?

Now for the links:

* Mario Vargas Llosa on why literature isn’t dead yet.

*Chapman/Chapman on failing harder.

* And in honor of Jealousy coming out, Graves appears on a list of hot boys over at Suzanne Young’s excellent blog. There’s also a Facebook release e-party gearing up.

That’s all I’ve got, dear Readers. My brain is mush. See you tomorrow.

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