Jessica Day George

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Copyediting Fairy came. . . .

Also known as the UPS man, the copyediting fairy leaves large padded envelopes on my doorstep which contain manuscripts, manuscripts which have been bled all over by a red pencil. Copyediting is what happens after all major changes have been made. The first edit, my editor (Melanie) sends me notes like, "This chapter is too long." and: "I don't get it, WHY is he helping the dragons?" And I rewrite and rewrite so that it all makes sense. And is also shorter. Melanie is big on shorter. I am big on long, loooong conversations and descriptions that are yes, only entertaining to me. So then the manuscript goes back to Melanie, who reads it over to see if it's better/faster/stronger, and then turns it over to the copyeditor. This is the person who makes sure that all my words are spelled correctly, and all my commas are in the right place. She also checks for repetitions, like someone saying "Amazing!" three times in a row or everyone in the room nodding like a bobble-head all the time. A big, scary job. She also checks for continuity to make sure that everyone's clothes and hair doesn't suddenly change color, and that things make sense, like why the villain is helping the dragons and what the status of Creel and Luka's relationship is. Yes, the manuscript the copyediting fairy dropped off is Dragon Flight, and yesterday when I glanced through it I started to moan. Not only has my brave and intrepid copyeditor found SCADS of little technical mistakes, but there are also copious notes from Melanie, who is not quite convinced that Creel and Luka's relationship is where we want it to be. This relationship has been giving me nightmares, people, NIGHTMARES! This is not a romantic book to me, so holding hands and gazing deeply into each other's eyes is just not gonna happen. But both astute early-draft-reader Amy J. Finnegan and Melanie and Amy the Agent have been crying, "More romance! But not in a kissy way!" To which I reply, as Marta would say, "GAH!"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Robert Jordan passed away. . . .

yesterday after a long battle with a rare form of cancer. He was the author of the Wheel of Time series, possibly the longest and most complex fantasy books ever written. I've been hooked on them since high school when my friend Megan told me about them. Jordan was working on book twelve, the grand finale, when he died. But even more frustrating (and scary, as a fellow author, to contemplate), he has said on his website ( that he had other series planned for that world, prequels and sequels, as well as notes for other unrelated books. Wheel of Time book twelve, The Memory of Light, will be finished by what's been referred to as an "army of writers", but what about these other books? Maybe he was just getting warmed up! It's a terrible loss for the fantasy world, and my heart goes out to his family as well.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


All right, I gave in to the pressures of today's society and got a MySpace page. I need to update and it put fancy things on there. For now it just has a picture of me (yep, a really picture really of me!), and pictures of Dragon Slippers and Sun and Moon. Join me! Be my friend! Let's all be MySpacers together! By the way, I'm almost finished with Frank Beddor's "Seeing Redd", the sequel to "Looking-Glass Wars", and loving every minute of it. What great books!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Throwing away a perfectly good book. . . .

I'm a very absent-minded person. Sometimes because I'm making up stories in my head, sometimes because I'm walking around with a book in my left hand, trying to clean the house and cook dinner with my right. I've been known to throw a used tissue in the hamper instead of the garbage, and put the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the pantry. Usually I realize that this has happened a minute or two later and recitify the situation. Then last night I was looking for the book I'm currently reading (Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly). I looked in every room of the house. I checked between the sofa cushions and pillows on the bed. I looked at the bookcases, because I had been shelving a recent purchase earlier. Then I started to check drawers and closets, thinking that if I hadn't done something weird, my toddler might have. No book. Frustrated that I was 200 pages into a thrilling tale of mystery and ancient Chinese curses and couldn't find it, I grabbed my recent acquisition (Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor) to read as I brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. This morning I began the search anew, asking Boy "Where is Mommy's book?", checking the fridge and the hamper. My husband came in and said, "Did you put it in the trash?" I had actually checked in the recycling bin already, because I last remember seeing it under a pile of plastic grocery bags. I pulled out the kitchen garbage (into which I had already glanced once), and began to sift through icky things like greasy wrappers and bits of tomato. And there, under some juicy, juicy strawberry tops, was Bride of the Rat God! Chinese curse? Perhaps. Absent-mindedness? Perhaps. But I actually suspect my snickering husband of this episode. You see, the book was folded into the empty bag of dog kibble which had previously been lying near the book on the counter as a reminder to buy more. And all things kibble-related are Hubby's responsibility. . . . Hmmmm. The book is only slightly the worse for wear: it was bought used anyway, and now sports a hint of strawberry red on the top, adding a certain menace to the lurid cover. But the question remains, which of us threw away a perfectly good book?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Monster Blood Tattoo

You heard me: Monster Blood Tattoo. I'm reading the most freaky-cool book ever: Foundling, Book One of the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy by D. M. Cornish. So good. It's like Charles Dickens wrote a fantasy about a young boy traveling from the orphanage where he was raised to the new city where he will become an apprentice lamplighter. The catch? His world is highly populated with MONSTERS! And strange people who hunt monsters. And oceans filled with vinegar instead of water. And he's just discovered that his new job will be to light lamps along the highway, at night, in the monster-invested countryside so that other travelers don't get eaten. Does this sound great or does this sound great? I'm going to check out the author's website ( for info on the sequels, since I am nearing the end of this book. Although there is a hundred page long glossary at the end of the book, which looks interesting enough to read every word. Also there are maps and illustrations and all sorts of fun. Hooray!