Okay, so this was announced last Friday on Publisher's Marketplace
today, so I can finally give you all the big news.
Del Rey (an imprint of Random House) has purchased my novel Spellbent
and two of its sequels. I believe their tentative plan is to release Spellbent
in early-to-mid 2009 and the other books in the trilogy will of course come later (first I have to write them!)
I'm entirely geeked about this. I got into science fiction and fantasy as a result of reading Del Rey authors such as Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley, so I'm pretty darn happy to have become a Del Rey author myself.
Y'all probably want to know what the book's about, right? Okay. Here's the semi-official book blurb:
Spellbent is an urban fantasy adventure set in Columbus, Ohio. Jessie Shimmer is a young, Talented woman who studies wizardry under her lover, Cooper Marron. He's a roguish practitioner of ubiquemancy, the art of finding the magic in everyday things. When the pair go downtown to call a rainstorm for local farmers, things go terribly wrong. A hellish portal opens, and Cooper is sucked through.
With only her ferret familiar to help her, Jessie must find the dimension Cooper's trapped in and bring him back alive before dark machinations make both of them vanish for good.
This, really, tells you practically nothing about the book. Blurbs are like that. The novel has a lot of humor to balance out the gritty bits, and I'd like to think it has the sense of wonder that's missing from a lot of current urban fantasy. I tried to write the kind of book that excites me as a reader who enjoys a wide variety of genres.
Out of curiosity, since I've never had a book published but would like to some day, what's the delay? Why would this be printed in 2009?I reply
: There's a lot
that goes into making a book. A big publisher like Random House buys titles well in advance ... the book has to go through line editing, final editing approvals, I have to approve the galleys, the cover art has to be commissioned and created, they have to decide how it fits in their marketing schedule, the book and its cover have to be designed and laid out -- and the people doing these things are also doing them for many other titles at the same time. All things considered if they have it out before May 2009 (and that would surely fit with the early-to-mid part), that will have been less than 12 months, a relatively speedy acceptance-to-press cycle. Gary's sold books that took several years to get to bookshelves. My collection Sparks and Shadows
took almost exactly one year between acceptance and coming back from the printer, and that was the only book the small-press publisher was working on. These things take time.
There are "instant books", but these are generally nonfiction titles produced to try to take advantage of some popular trend, and they're deemed lucrative enough that they can have the staff drop everything to get them into production.