Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I'm Back...


My time blogging at Inside A Dog is now done. It was a blast and for me very frequent (though perhaps not frequent enough for the folks who frequent Inside A Dog with greater frequency) .

Editing progresses.

Time runs short.

Time, time, always time...

The 'mountain' is steep but if I keep looking at how hard it will be to climb then I just will not get anywhere, frozen by fear. So head down and on with todays work: those handful of chapters designated as today's challenge. Tomorrow's challenges for tomorrow.

This brings me to the necessary yet painful revelation that MBT Book 2 will not be out in May of this year, that being 2007. It is more likely to come out late this year (2007) or early next (2008) - but certainly no later than this!


I am so sorry to have to do this to those of you hanging in there with me. I apologise for the misinformation several posts ago. That was out original target, yet the process of making MBT 2 any good is taking some time. For those of you who continue with us in this, I truly think it will be worth the protracted wait. I truly believe, however, that a good book late is better than a bad book on time.

For those of you who are still here and have not vacated in frustration at this revelation, Winter expressed curiosity at the origins of the vinegar seas. I sometimes wonder if eagerly divulging my creative process is ruining it for people, like seeing the strings on a marionete or getting that blue-screen fuzz about a spaceship that is meant to be hurtling through space ... I could go on. What do folks think? Reveal all - or keep the mystery?

Having said that I'll answer Winter's curiosity and say that there were two things most directly influential on the invention (if I may call it that) of the vinegar seas.

First came my delight at Homer's term "the wine-dark sea", and wanted an equivalent in the Hc that had a similar poetic impact, a way of refering to the all-inportant oceans that was more that just a technical name. I do not recall where exactly the idea of "vinegar" came from - probably the association with wine - but having settled on that as possessing the right 'vibe' I then had to justify why the seas were named so.

The second part? Watching a documentary on flamingoes I was struck by those multi-hued soda lakes in Africa, the very home of these birds. A conjunction formed in my thoughts: I had actually wondered if the Homer's "wine-dark sea" might actually be deep red in colour, and these soda lakes were red (and torquoise, and yellow and so on) in colour. So perhaps the vinegar seas are actually alkalai oceans filled with all kinds of exotic chemicals to make them odd and lurid hues, that the appellation "vinegar" comes from the sharp, sour-wine-like smell of the various chemicals within the waters. Click. For me it all fitted and so the idea became firmly a part of the Hc.

From there it was - and continues to be - a matter of allowing for the adaptions and habits such an aquatic world might force on people, on shipping and seaside living, and what manner of creatures might lurk beneath the turbulent waves.

I hope this does not ruin the idea for anyone.

And as yet I have not had breakfast, though it is most likely to be Sultana Bran [TM] with a few extra saltanas for increased sultanary goodness.

... and I am still very very sorry for the disappointing news of MBT2's later than expected publishing date.

NOTE: MBT = Monster Blood Tattoo, Hc = Half-Continent


midwishin said...

No problem with the delay of Book 2. Even though it may be disappointing for a lot of people, I agree that a better book is worth waiting for. I guess there must be pressure from your publisher et al regarding finishing the book asap, but I hope you are always able to include as much (or as little) as you wish and attain a finished product close to what you wish to produce.

Your world is too precious to settle for 2nd best. You have created this world, but when it is published it becomes everyones world. And everyone always wants the best. So stick to your guns. As much as it pains me to say this - I don't mind waiting.

Your challenge word is horticulturist.

Anonymous said...

this is what i have to sa about the publishing date :-[

also, it wouls be cool to have an adenture in the hc where they test a submarine (new to the hc) and the find one of the false gods and other things... just a thought

-mr Missfitt.

madbomber said...

gday mate,

As I said I showed MBT to my class last week, in particular my lecturer was interested in the text, She says her son would be super keen to read it. I also got a fairly overwhelming response from people that expressed disinterest in the genre based on previous experience. I tried to explain that your characters and the language used are much easier to follow than Lord of the Rings, but when I showed the explacarium my best laid plans of convincing them all were spoilt.

In reponse to your answer of the religious beliefs on the HC. I thought what you said seemed, I dunno, right. I could almost picture the different followers in the act of prayer...from the beast cults maybe dancing around strangely lit fires deep in the woods, or the simpler religions wherein all the "followers" do to actively "pray", is keep watching the stars. The concept of the old technology worshipers does interest me, and also any possible cults that sacrifice, or believe in blood drinking or human mutilation. Things of the darker side. Though I can't see Rosamund getting caught up in this...

The mutilation the habilists do to themselves could perhaps be an example of some of the things I am thinking of.

Here's a query for you. When HC people talk of chance, or possibilities/impossibilities do they have any popular cliches?

For example we might say when pigs fly, when we mean its nigh on impossible.

This may not fit in the HC as I'm sure there are something like pigs which actually DO fly though. ;)

Don't feel too bad about the delay, all the best things should be held off and more importantly if you release it with flaws it would be a far greater crime!

Cheers Bomber

Winter said...

A good book later is much better than a bad book on time, so don't worry too much.

Thank you for divulging the origin of the vinegar seas. Very cool. I do understand though that somepeople don't like to know about these sorts of things. I don't watch a lot of behind the scenes features for movies for this reason. For me writing is different. I always like hearing where people get their ideas from and how certain ones come about. This probably has to do with the fact that I also write. Get two members of a craft together anywhere in the multiverse and you know what they'll talk about. :)

Oh, and I second madbomber's suggestion of cliches in regards to chance, etc. That's a good one.

Anonymous said...

in your acknowledgements for the new book will you mention us? because it would be awesome to be in the book somewhere, or even a part at the back full of our ost tricky questions that other reders might be interested in... if it's not to much trouble.

-Mr. Missfitt

Kaollaku said...

Indeed a late book that rocks is better than a Bad book on time, which is why I can wait the extra months for the release (although I was looking forward to the May date ><)

In regards to the Vinegar Sea, every time I read it I got that rancid acid taste in my mouth, but the image it invoked was great!

Andre said...

Dont worry about Rushing it for us dude, take your time and it will be ALL the better for it. Cant WAIT to read it tho,

catch you some time soon


Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed Monster Blood Tattoo and can't wait to read the next book.

Your choice of names of characters, places and things I find especially commendable, because they create a special feel and atmosphere that nothing else can create.

Your work compares very favorably with my other favorite authors such as Jack Vance (The Demon Princes, The Last Castle etc.) who is renowned for his incomparable inventineveness. I should also include Gene Wolf, and Ray Aldridge (The Pharaoh Contract).

Too many SF and Fantasy authors use unimaginative, boring, trite nomenclature.

You are indeed an extremely imaginative and creative writer. Thanks for the wonderful journey you took me on with Monster Blood Tatoo. I wished it would never end.

Dan S. Tong
Chicago, USA

Anonymous said...

I am sad that I have to wait longer for the next installment but I understand that the process must be completed.

Good luck and keep it up.