Well, Alex Verus #6 has been sent. The final word count ended up being around 94,000 words, very similar to the previous volumes.
Now that the first draft’s done, I get a short (but much-needed) holiday. Generally, the sequence is first draft -> initial edit -> copy edit -> proof read -> publication. However, I can’t get started on the initial edit until I hear back from my editors at Orbit and Ace, which means that I’ve got a period of a few weeks while I wait for them to get back to me. Some authors work on other books or short stories in this time, but frankly, right now, I don’t think I’d be up to writing anything very much. To get this book in on time I spent the last three weeks doing pretty much nothing but writing and editing, and my energy reserves are low.
Still, the first draft is finished, which means the hardest part of the job is done. Over the next few months my editors will give the book a look over, then it’ll get shuttled back to me to respond. The same thing’ll repeat (on a decreasing scale) with the copy-edit and the proofread stage. And finally, in 12 months or so, Alex Verus #6 will be published, by which time I’ll probably have forgotten about it since I’ll be working on the next book and trying to hit that deadline instead. Still, this is where it starts, more or less. I mean, in a way, the book begins when I start writing it, but it always feels to me as though the book hasn’t really started down the road to publication until I send it off to the publishers.
This book’s been quite a headache to write – more so than Hidden and MUCH more so than Chosen. Still, now that it’s done, I’m reasonably happy with it, and everyone who’s read the first draft seems to like the thing. I guess I’ll have to wait until next year to see if you guys do too!