Editor Update: So long and Thanks for the Memories

Months ago, Laura Anne and I started this regular blog to discuss the process of putting together an anthology of original material in a shared world of the Steampunk kind.Book View Press

I am happy to report that “Shadow Conspiracy: Tales From the Age of Steam” will be sent into production this weekend.

Our jobs as editors will be done at that point and so will this regular blog feature.

Both of us are suffering mightily from tired brain syndrome.  My dreams are filled with a world of fashion conscious adventurers and fabulous steaming, animated machines.  (so far we have a dragon, a Pegasus, an elephant, and a bunch more) I can almost taste the sulphur.  No that is not a misspelling.  I’ve set MS Word to UK English to ease the editing process.  We decided that a Victorian age piece of literature, set mostly in England, and populated mostly with English characters should reflect their language.  I’ve begun to think of UK English as a foreign language.  How else do I remember when to use double ls as in travelled. Cozy has become cosy, sceptical favours the c over the k, and numerous other variations beyond the usual honour and centre.  (The funny thing is, before I started taking my writing seriously and marketing to US publishers, I spelled this way and got my wrist slapped by teachers and critique partners for not knowing proper English.)

Adding to the sense of total immersion into this world, I need to hold the entire book in my head as I edit.  How else can I catch inconsistencies?  Does Lady A have children or not?  Are agent Fraser’s eyes dark or crystal blue?  Is Madame M truly the bastard daughter of a Gypsy King, or just another Teutonic nurserymaid?  I have to know all of these factoids and keep them straight.

The one thing I cannot quite retire is my spreadsheet, keeping track of where each manuscript is in the process: when it was sent to Laura Anne, how long the author has had to revise it, which copy editor is working on it, etc. etc.  I have one more column.  Sending it to production and getting page proofs back and approved.  But that’s still a couple of weeks away.  Hopefully I can turn off the Shadow Conspiracy part of my brain for a while.

Come Sunday morning the Master Document becomes Igor’s, aka Steven Pizics’, baby and he can stay up all night coaxing the crank infant into cooperating.

It’s been fun folks, more fun than I can remember having in a writing experience.  So you can bet I’ll be back next year with Volume II.  After I’ve had a good long nap and a cup of Earl Grey,hot.

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About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: www.ireneradford.net Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.


Editor Update: So long and Thanks for the Memories — 5 Comments

  1. What you need to do is gafiate — get entirely away from Victorian England. I suggest Carl Hiassen, which is about as far away as you can get.

  2. Getting away from Victorian England is very much in my future. I have an urban fantasy to revise for DAW, I have a light and fluffy paranormal romance masquerading as an urban fantasy to finish, and a near future action adventure novel to line edit for an agent. Oh, and a fantasy anthology to edit for Book View Press.

    Believe me, by the time I get back to Shadow Conspiracy Vol II I’ll be ready for bustles and lace and top hats and goggles. I’m planning a pirate queen with a galleon class dirigible and 3 mechanical dragon harriers.

  3. OMG, I have got to get aboard with that!

    Urban fantasy ought to clear the palate nicely. Also the near-future adventure.

    You certainly deserve a break. You and Laura Anne have done a splendid job of herding all these cats, getting them waxed and duly wrangled, and turning them into civilized, excuse me, civilised entities.

  4. I’ve gotten off eaasier — my brain is mostly filled with discussions of cover design, and a dozen different typefaces and backshadows and iterations of copy, and talking to the folks who’re already lined up for Vol 2, abd making sure Phyl doesn’t throw herself or anyone else off a cliff…

    okay, so that’s a relative value of “easy”….