Friday, January 29, 2010

Is it done yet?

After the usual frenzy attendant upon my finishing a book, the fifth book of the Carsington trilogy (I know) is now in production.  LAST NIGHT’S SCANDAL follows into adulthood Olivia and Peregrine, the two troublesome children of Book Four, LORD PERFECT

The thing with a manuscript is, it keeps coming back, like the undead.  We finish it—we think—and send it to our editors, who send it back for Revisions.  Revisions can involve anything from tweaking a few lines here and there to massive rewrites of less-than-deathless (as in OMG, I can’t believe I wrote that crap) prose.  Then we send it back again and a few weeks later, there it is on our doorstep, this time as a Copy Edit.  The copy editor has gone through the manuscript looking for errors and inconsistencies.  This phase usually requires our Gentle Author to scream quite a bit and bang her head against the wall in frustration.  Then the manuscript goes back with a lot of Stets (for the uninitiated—and you’d do well to stay that way, like a virgin—that means “put it back the way I wrote it”).

Several weeks later, there it is again, on the doorstep.  This time it’s Page Proofs.  But nowadays, thanks to so much being done electronically, this phase is fairly painless and even enjoyable.  We get to see the book the way it’ll look in print.  All we have to do is check for printer’s errors or our own mistakes we somehow missed in the ten thousand times we went over the manuscript already.

I’m not at that phase yet, but I’ll be sure to make a big deal about it when it’s done, because then, really, the book is done.  The next time I see it, it’ll have a cover and everything.

For LAST NIGHT’S SCANDAL, that will happen at the end of July 2010.  Since that’s a long way away, I’ll save talking about the book itself until we get closer to the date.  But for now you have an idea why a book takes so long after I “finish” it to get to the bookstore.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Bride returns

Let’s face it. My brain simply isn’t big enough to finish writing a book, blog every other day or so at Two Nerdy History Girls, and blog here, too.

Now, though, I’ve sent off the copyedited manuscript (more about that later)—and the experience may well provide blog fodder. That leaves me in the stage of staring into space, wondering what the next book will be about.

So here’s some news.

Once upon a time, between Lord of Scoundrels and The Last Hellion, I wrote a novella, “The Mad Earl’s Bride,” for an anthology titled Three Weddings and a Kiss.

Avon has reissued “The Mad Earl’s Bride” along with works by Catherine Anderson and Samantha James, in a handsome new volume titled Three Times a Bride, which will be out in May.

You can learn more about early 19th century weddings and dresses here.

The wedding dress pictured below is from the 1829 Ackermann’s Repository, as is the description.

A ROUND dress of Brussels lace over a slip of white gros de Tours ; the body of the slip is cut low and square ; the corsage of the dress is made up to the throat and fastens behind, it sets close to the shape round the upper part of the bust, but has a little fulness at the bottom of the waist. Long sleeve à l’Imbecille over the manche à la bêret of the slip. A biais of white lace, finished at the upper edge by a white satin rouleau, goes round the skirt, and is surmounted by an embroidery of uncommon depth and beauty. A Turkish pelisse of white satin is worn over the lace dress; it is open in front, and the corsage open before and behind falls over the bust in a deep fold, which is divided on the shoulder; a satin rouleau edges the front and corsage of the pelisse; the bottom of which has no other trimming than an ourlet of uncommon breadth. The hair is arranged in front in the Madona style, and disposed in full bows on the crown of the head. Head-dress, a garland of flowers (orange) and a Brussels lace veil; pearl necklace, from which is suspended a diamond cross; diamond earrings ; gold bracelets, à la Grecque, with diamond clasps ; white satin slippers laced in the sandal style; white kid gloves.