It may sound odd, but until now, my upcoming novel Giant Thief and its half-completed sequel Crown Thief have mostly existed as two very separate entities in my mind. That has a lot to do with the fact that Giant Thief was more or less complete by the time I started Crown Thief, which then more or less dominated my attentions for the subsequent six months. Where Giant Thief was pretty much a done deal, Crown Thief was most definitely a work in progress, complete with steadily approaching deadline, so my brain's been tending to sideline the former in favour of the latter in a major way for quite a while now.
But there have been clear rumblings from the Giant Thief camp for a while, and now - with the release date less than six months away - it's most definitely becoming a going concern again. At the start of the week I got the copy edit back, which was unlaborious enough to make me think that doing five major redrafts wasn't so crazy after all. Meanwhile, I got a look at an early pencil sketch of the cover a few weeks ago, and it was pretty amazing. Then, a couple of days ago, I got to see the painted (painted!) version and ... yeah.
I really wish I could show it off right here and now. I wish I could at least announce who the artist is, because it's someone I've got a ton of admiration for, and I'm sure he (clue there!) has plenty of fans elsewhere. But that would be cheating. Because I'm pretty sure we'll be at the official reveal point soon, and until then, I can amuse myself by drooling over the copy on my desktop. I tell you though, for someone who think patience is something hospitals have, it's proving a hell of a struggle.
So the Giant Thief stuff is getting exciting, to say the least. But there's also real work to be done, and the real work is the second draft of Crown Thief. And it really is real work. Much of this week has been spent hammering the first two slow, expositionary chapters into one single lightning-fast introductory slap about the jowls. Seriously, I'm a week in and I've already excised five thousand words. This is editing from the Edward Scissorhands school. If Crown Thief was a Miramax movie, Harvey Weinstein would be telling me to rein it in a little. It's a crazy, scary process, but it feels like the right thing to do.
The upshot of all this is that my brain - a device prone to sticking its metaphorical fingers in its ears in the face of fearsomely big ideas - is slowly absorbing the fact that I have my first novel coming out pretty damn soon. And that that novel leads into another novel which is also going to be coming out in the not too distant future, if I can just finish it and hammer out the glitches.
Of course, while all that's going on, I really ought to be putting together that synopsis for book three...