Some of you may have been wondering why I've been doing so little blogging lately ...
Well, it's because I've been so busy I managed to exhaust myself. I took a six day vacation in Germany last week, and came back more tired than when I set off. I have to face facts: I am not going to finish the final submission draft of "The Rhesus Chart" (Laundry Files #5) in 2012.
So I'm unilaterally granting myself a two week extension, and now expect to hand it in in mid-January. (My agent and editors see no problem with this, seeing I was 6 months ahead of the contractual schedule anyway ...)
This has been my busiest (writing) work year since 2003. And it started with a New Year's Resolution to henceforth only write one novel a year. After a decade of pushing out an average of two books a year (despite "Halting State" and "Rule 34" taking 15 and 18 months respectively) I felt entitled to it. I mean, I'm officially middle-aged, dammit.
But you know what happens when plans make hard contact with reality, right? Right. This year I:
* Checked the copy-edits and page proofs of "The Rapture of the Nerds"
* Wrote the final 60% of "Neptune's Brood" (around 65,000 words)
* Wrote the first draft of "The Rhesus Chart" (around 116,000 words)
* Re-drafted/edited all six Merchant Princes novels for republication in the UK in omnibus editions (making over 11,000 changes in the process)
* Organized getting someone else to check page proofs of the MP omnibuses (I'm not suicidal: editing/proofreading an 1800 page story twice in six months would be crazy)
* Checked the copy-edits of "Neptune's Brood"
By my reckoning, I think I checked one set of page proofs and eight novel-length edits—which is about as much work as writing an extra novel. (To put it in perspective, the MP edits took me around 8 weeks of wall-clock time, working 6 or 7 days a week, for rather more hours than I'd usually be able to put in if I was writing fresh copy.)
So I can reasonably say that 2012 was the equivalent of a two-and-a-half or even a three book year for me. And I am so tired I am taking the rest of the year off work.
But I can't renew that hazardous New Year's Resolution, because I really can't gear down to just one book a year. Because I just signed a contract for a trilogy, delivery due in 18 months.
Which is why I am lying flat on my back, panting, and leaving the heavy lifting to Stina for a bit.
Happy Newtonmass! Happy Hogmanay!