Jessica Day George

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Copyediting? Done.

I just mailed off the copyedited manuscript for Sun and Moon. Whew! That means someone (the copyeditor) went over the manuscript with a little blue pencil, and corrected any grammar or spelling mistakes, and checked for continuity. What's continuity? Continuity is when I say that her skirt was blue on one page, and two pages later, I say its green. Or someone breaks their sword, and yet they are fully armed in the next chapter. That sort of thing. The manuscript was in pretty good shape (hooray!), although I did rewrite one page, because it just didn't hang together right. Now I have a nice break before I have to give the Dragon Slippers sequel a good scrubbing. By the way, the title of that book has changed from Dragon Helm to Dragon Flight, due to the question of "What the heck is a helm, anyway?" (Answer: it's a fancy fantasy way of saying helmet. Or the steering wheel of a pirate ship, although there are no ships in this book.) And how am I celebrating this break? Why, by taking out an old manuscript from many years ago, and giving it a thorough going over with the help of my agent, of course! There is no rest for the wicked!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Farewell, Harry!

No, that wasn't a spoiler of any kind. I just meant that I've finished the final Harry Potter book. And I'm not sure how I feel. It was wonderful. Rowling is a talented writer, a stupendously talented writer, in my opinion. She's created characters and a world that I will treasure forever, that I will visit again and again. But this was a hard book to read (as I'm sure it was to write). Tragedies occurred, and though, as Rowling said, there was a happy ending for the survivors, it was hard to say goodbye to my friends in the wizarding world. It was hard to close that book and think, I'll never again read a Harry Potter book for the first time. Sigh. Thanks, Jo, for seven books of wonder!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Can't wait for Friday. . . .

Having finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yesterday (Tuesday), I'm feeling a little let down. Having a hard time getting into the book I'm currently reading. Thinking how much I like Harry Potter, and all his friends, and all their madcap adventures. So this Friday I'll get a brand-spanking new Harry Potter book to read, and the thought makes me positively giddy with excitement. And I just can't stop thinking: what would it be like to be J.K. Rowling? To know that GAZILLIONS of people know your name, and have read one or possibly all of your books. What would it be like to go from total obscurity to being the most famous author in the world in just ten years? How crazy is that? If you're an actor, a model, a musician, you're hoping for this type of recognition. But as a writer you're just looking to seeing your words on the page. You're hoping a few people other than your immediate family and closest friends might buy the book. I doubt very much that it would even cross your mind that you would outsell the Bible. I wonder when it hit her that she was, you know, REALLY famous? Was she walking down the street and someone recognized her? Was it when fanmail started coming in those large mailbags you imagine Santa Claus getting? Was it when Sorcerer's Stone hit its second YEAR on the NY Times Bestseller list? And what was her reaction? I like to imagine her dancing around in her jammies, shouting "Woo-hoo!" And then maybe eating ice cream for breakfast. That's what I would do, anyway. Thinking back, it really wasn't overnight success, either. (Which gives me hope for Dragon Slippers. Word of mouth, people, tell your friends!) Until Prisoner of Azkaban came out, they didn't number the books because the publisher still wasn't sure they would sell enough to make publishing the whole series worth their while. True story. My Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets are unnumbered, and then suddenly on the spine of Azkaban there's a "Year 3" in a little box. (Yep, I've been a Harry fan since shortly after Year 2 came out.) I've also been thinking that I owe J.K. Rowling a great deal. For one thing, she's kept me entertained for countless hours. For another thing, because of her I have a publishing contract myself. If not for Harry Potter raking in the Galleons, Bloomsbury UK would never have expanded into the Wild West (or America, as it's sometimes known). Which means that they never would have offered a contract to little ol' me. So Shardas the Golden has a home thanks to Norbert the Norwegian Ridge-back. And now I really can't wait until Friday at midnight. I've even knitted myself a Gryffindor tie so that I can party Hogwarts style. (I was going to make matching kneesocks, but couldn't stand the thought of any more maroon and gold stripes.) I like to think I make a pretty good Ginny Weasley, what with the red hair and all.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Harry Potter Marathon

It begins. After hurrying to read "Stardust" and "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse", I am beginning the big Harry Potter Marathon. My goal: to read all six preceding books before the big one, Number Seven, comes out. I'm so excited, and yet slightly sad. After this there will be no more. No more new Harry. We'll finally know the answers to all our questions, but at what cost? Oh dear. Better not get into too much of a downer. But I'm eighty pages into "Sorcerer's Stone," and just loving every minute of it, even though it's at least the seventh time I've read it, if not the tenth. And in more personal news, I found out yesterday that "Dragon Helm", the sequel to everyone's favorite book, "Dragon Slippers" will come out in summer of 2008. That's a lot sooner than I thought, but they've moved it up so that it will be released simultaneously with the paperback of "Dragon Slippers". So that's our publishing schedule so far: "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" in January of 2008, "Dragon Helm" and paperback "Dragon Slippers" in the summer of that same year. Whew. My agent said, you're going to have a big year, I hope you're not planning on having a baby or anything. . . .