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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Upcoming interviews and another update

Okay, so you can't say I'm resting on my proverbial laurals, I've just gotten an enthusiastic "yes" from David Blixt, author of the recently released and terrifically engaging historical fiction novel Master of Verona, to be interviewed on this blog. That makes two men writers who've agreed to share their insights and I'm seeking out more.

If you want to get to know David before I post his interview, please head over to the indefatigable Sarah Johnson's blog
Reading the Past, where she's just posted an in-depth interview with him that offers great insights into him and his work. Thanks, Sarah!

On my front, I'm very pleased (and relieved) to report that my editor at Ballantine Books has officially "approved" my revisions to The Last Queen. To those who might not understand the significance, this means I've entered the final phase toward publication. Acceptance of the revised manuscript was crucial, as the changes my editor suggested were dependant on my ability to implement them. I'm glad to say that, while challenging at moments, the revisions significantly improved the book, not to mention that it was great fun to rediscover the characters while writing several new scenes and revising / altering others.

I've since returned to my Catherine de Medici manuscript, which poses its own unique challenges in that I find myself struggling against a word count limit that my book clearly would rather exceed. Nevertheless, the discipline I must exercise in keeping the words under strict control has taught me some invaluable editorial lessons in how not to indulge my near-incontrollable urge to pile on those rampant adjectives and adverbs.

4 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

Congrats on getting The Last Queen into shape.

You need some Adverb-B-Gone spray? :) Though for me it's not so much adverbs but having too many scenes. I weave tapestries for castle halls, but publishers prefer them living room size.

C.W. Gortner said...

Oh, I have that problem, too. Big, vivid, detailed scenarios down to the glitter of the candlelight on the roast peacock in its sugared feathers -- most of which ends up on the cutting room floor. I truly miss the by-gone days of the big historical. The word limits on books these days force a writer to cull the scenery, in order to save character and dialogue

Amanda said...

I have a copy of the Last Queen (unread as yet). But having seen that Ballantine are issuing another version, and that you have re-edited it, I was wondering how different will the versions be?

C.W. Gortner said...

Hi Amanda,
Thanks for asking. They'll actually be different in several ways: new scenes have been added, the relationships between characters have been subtly changed, and there's a significant shift toward the end. My new editor had very insightful comments and suggestions which I think improved the book greatly. I spent almost 3 months adjusting it. However, the version you have is fast becoming a collector's item. I saw on amazon.com that there are two for sale at around $90 each! Who knew?