When I returned from Australia, where I finally finished the final revision of Grave, I felt a little burned out. I went back to work on War, but progress there was slow. This happens sometimes when I haven’t quite emerged from a state-of-anxiety with regards to writing — and Grave was definitely that. As I’ve said before: when things are hard, I feel incompetent. When I feel incompetent, I tend to withdraw. The internet is full of bright, shiny, entertaining things — none of which I am at that particular moment. I am always at my most gregarious when the writing is going well.
Something arrived at my doorstep, literally, that really helped.
In the mess of deadlines, more deadlines, emergency deadlines, page proofs, it actually made me very happy — but I had forgotten entirely that it was coming. (I tend to be an over-focus person when I’m trying to get something done: I see what’s in front of my face, but everything else kind of fades to the periphery. This does not, as you imagine, make me the easiest person to live with >.<).
It’s the same artwork that graced my very first Michelle West book, by the inimitable Jody Lee. But you’ll note the colors are slightly different — they’re the actual colors of the original painting.
I’m now including Michelle-home-photography in an effort to tell you why I love this book so much, and why it makes the bibliophile in me so happy. First, the cover scan doesn’t give you any sense of its size. It’s a trade paperback. It’s a large trade paperback.
Second: I’ve seen some reprint paperbacks that essentially enlarge the previous books’ typesetting. This one has been entirely reset. It’s very much like the type in the House War books.
And Third: I can read the book without creasing or cracking its spine, which is a result of both paper and glue choices.
If you have the books already, there’s nothing new in the words — but everything about it feels bright and shiny to me at the moment.
I will be going to the Worldcon in Kansas; I have a partial schedule, and when I have a full one, I’ll post it.
I’ll be bringing what I have of War (It’s not finished yet, sorry >.<), and will probably read from that. Or the next Cast novel. Or possibly even Grave, although I’ve read the opening from that in public before — it being the one thing that’s remained fairly constant.