Friday, June 22, 2007

Here I am... and you thought I'd forgotten you all!

Not a chance!

Every comment goes to my email - I know when you've come a'calling... & I know how long its been since last post = far too long: you are so right Mr. Shayne de Comyn Esquire. Well, hang in there, its a long hall for anything worthy. I'd like to try and do this the first Monday of every new month. Let us see if that works, a little regularity to help folks know when its time to come and check old Monster Blog Tattoo once more.

I am currently working on a final draft for the final fine-toothed-cimb editing (what I believe is called copy editing) and loving all the questions and suggestions. Mr. Missfitt's idea of the submariner experience is a corker and I am thinking even now of a possible short story to describe just that (dedicated to him of course).

Now here is huge question for those of you have a care about such things - and one that needs pretty prompt answering. The question is:

Would you like to see what Rossamünd looks like - have me draw a view of his face or would rather that we never saw Rossamünd’s face during the series, that I left the subtlety, the mystery, the idea of his face to you the reader?

Just put your answers in the comments - no trendy poll widgets here, I'm afraid. I would be most definitely grateful to know your opinions - all of you.

Now, cause Coz asked for it, here it is – a picture of a monster…


... it is an ettin from some treeish swampland, rather smarter than your average ettin and a terror to the locals. You get a sense of this fellow's size by the skulls displayed at his hip. Does anyone want to have a go at naming him?

But the big question is, of course, Book 2 Book2 Book 2? I think I have another life somewhere, I have vague recollection of some other thing, like eating, and sleeping and going to the movies; I have this vague image of a woman with red hair… I think I married her recently – it is all so vague in shadow of BOOK 2!


Well, as far as I am aware release date is…

wait for it…

April 2008!

*wince*

A long time to wait?
Yes.


Does this bite the big one?
Yes.


Am I so very very sorry for the wait?
Still very much so, yes!


Will it be worth the wait?
Oh Lord, please may this be so!

Dan S. Tong bless you, sir, for such encouraging words. My word hitting the nail on the head for someone else feels so so good. I want people to respond that way – not just because I feel good if I know (oh my ego! arg!) – but because I actually want to give to the reader (those who are ready and willing) a great big other world transcendent experience. I want you to feel what I feel when I read my favourite books… That is my goal, anyways.

On of the A Nonny Mouses (cheeky scoundrels) asks: "... so could you please go into more detail about ranks and different rolls of service in HC wepenoary&c..."
I’d love to tell you all about the military (in its various forms) of the Half-Continent but I want to show you in detail about it in future books (should any publisher let me) and time and space are premium here. Therefore, in very very very brief right now: ... imagine ranks and files and blocks of soldiers in bright, stiff uniforms firing across the deadly gap at each other with firelocks and black-powder cannon, wearing proofing which makes them harder to hurt. Under great flying spandarions, regimental colours and company bunting, individual bravoes strut forward, suaves who are the darlings of their companies who challenge each other to dual. Across the dead-ground insults and musket balls are swapped and nothing much decided. An order relayed by runners, shouts and flags; one force starts forward 0 r maybe both. The armies close so that they might come to handstrokes where the troubardier is lord. Include now the thaumateers – the fighting teratologists: avertines (skolds) & bombastines (scourges) hurling their potives designed to harm men in to the steadily approaching foe in his neat ranks; somewhere a torsadine (wit) steps forward and putting hand to brow flattens sixty men before him in a perfect half circle. Now it is time for blows, the foe-man – three mighty troubardiers in proof-steal lorica are swinging their poleaxes at you. In leaps a tempestine (fulgar) and with a shout swings a fuse high and calls down lightning from the sky, felling the troubardiers instantly as the heaven-bolt leaps from foe to foe. This is how it goes for many hours till the moral contest is decided and one army quits the field, leaving the other exhausted and bereft after the terror and thrill of battle are gone. They retire to their camps and leave the desperate locals to loot the corpses of friend and foe.

Koallaku asks: “I have always wondered if it is harder to write the book or edit it when the writing is done? I myself hate editing my work so when it comes to that I usually do very little >.<”
Each has its trials, but actually squeezing the work out in the first place is – for me – the harder task (by far!). Getting started on editing is the big challenge, the (big! HUGE!) fear of the work actually in the end being no good at all, of having to dump the lot and start again, the fear of boredom because I already know how the story ends (darn it!). It has the two times I have engaged in it, been a very rewarding exercise; it can take an ok text on to being one worth putting before others, and that is a very happy thing. As to being edited by my editors (shall I say edit one more time?): yes, my ego gets dented in editing, but there is nothing wrong with our egos getting buffeted into a more other-friendly shape. Big egos are the cause of much ill in this world, and humility so little seen – I am thinking of myself here. Taking out 20,000 odd words from a text (I’m answering Andre here) is actually less painful that it sounds when they are the wrong words in the first place and the losing of them makes the story so much better.

Mr. Bomber's “Pigs might fly” question might have to wait a little, suffice to say that some existing clichés are “stuck between the stone and the sty” = rock and a hard place; “you can tell a light by its colour” = proof is in the pudding; “a face that would stop a horse” = a very unattractive person; “not everyone who studies law becomes a lawyer” = things do not always turn out how they seem; “even the sebaceous hexapods of Welter know!” = something is obvious and self-evident (the sebaceous hexapods of Welter are a mysterious, half-mythic race of weird, six-limbed creatures reputed to live in the depths off the southern Verid Litus. There are “heaps” more but I shall stop here (and figure out the pigs might fly equivalent… hmm…)

For breakfast today I had Skippy Cornflakes[TM].

And now: Half-Continent synonyms for real-world terms #009

horticulturalist = well most normally they are called gardeners unsurprisingly, or bowerists; also more technically you might find a flosfructors (technical), pomarians (fashionable), gartenbaurers (Gott), Imperial Hortomaths (the personal gardeners and gardening habilists of the Emperor).

31 comments:

Arty Bel said...

This is great news! Though the wait is a bit longer than hoped! Actually your first book has encouraged me on embarking a similar career. I know this is a bit of a cheesy question but do you have any helpful hints?

Kaollaku said...

I personally would like Rossamund's face to remain unseen. Because I have already got my own picture of what his face looks like in my mind, as I'm sure others do as well, I think it would be more pleasing to most readers if they were able to keep envisioning him how they see fit.

April 2008...man that’s far away. I'm going to have to go back and Reread the first book before then to calm the wait and remind me of the story details thus far.
You've did a fantastic job with the first book and I'm sure the editing and far off release date will make the second book more enthralling and exciting. I only hope the date doesn’t get pushed again xD

Oh and I don't know if someone already asked this question but have you already started writing book 3 now that you're finishing up book 2?

femina said...

I vote 'no' for Rossamund's face. His voice and his personality are in my head already - seeing his face would change that for me. If he looks cheeky, for example, he will immediately (in my mind) lose his innocence and I'll be reinterpreting all his actions based on the way he looks.

It may well be that I'm over-analysing this, but I'm a very visual thinker and the images in a book can have a big impact on the way I receive it. (Surely I'm not the only one??)

Welcome back to blogging, by the way. We've missed you!

Swelly

Winter said...

I also am going to vote 'no' on seeing Rossamund's face. I agree with Kaollaku's reasoning. (I do love your drawings though, they give an extra dimension to the work.) Also, when we're reading don't we often imagine ourselves in the hero's shoes.

A name for your ettin? Hmm, naming is tricky when you don't know a lot about the critter in question. Normally I might suggest something like Lurr or Krensh or Thunk or Stoneteeth for an Ettin, but if he's smarter he might have given himself a more fear inspiring name. "The Terrible Kreznar, Crusher of Bones" Is that too corny? We are talking about an Ettin, they aren't exactly known for refinement or sense of decent taste. ;)

madbomber said...

Great to see you have responded I was getting worried some tragedy had befallen you...

The April 2008 deadline isn't the greatest news, but it is news that I can live with. I wonder what I will be doing that far down the trail.

As for your question I think it would be better never to see Rossamund's face. You said it yourself let the reader make up their own impression.

Great to see you back.
Cheers,
Bomber

A, D and E said...

I would not like to see Rossamund's face... nice to have a vision of the back already provided (mostly for the clothing etc), but the face would mess with my imagination too much!

I'm doing a PhD on young adult fiction, and you have had a reference or two so far.. but just wish all three were finished in time to include them! Be sure I will do my best to get an article published on them in the future though. So the academic world will be alerted to such wonderful books...

Raven

madbomber said...

Raven,

where are you doiung your PhD?

Winter said...

I forgot to ask. So is the April 2008 date definite? Can I pen it into my schedule, or just use pencil? ;)

Random Missfitt said...

Yay I might have a book dedicated to me!

DO NOT SHOW ROSSAMUND'S FACE otherwise you may dissapoint a lot of your readers with what you think he looks like.

Also the other day i was seaching MBT on wikipedia and i saw down towards the bottom that the jim henson company was interested in making MBT into a movie, is that true? or is it just some wikipedia guy getting me exited for nothing?

-Mr Missfitt

Coz said...

Thanks for the great picture!
I don't really care if you give Rosy a face as long as there are plenty of MONSTERS!

femina said...

Just out of curiosity... do YOU actually know what Rossamund looks like?

MooseGuy said...

Hmmm... the ettin seems like a Rupert to me...

But Rupert is not so monster-y, so maybe Urngar. Or, to take a leaf from Winter's book, Urngar the Mostly Ferocious.

Joaquín Rosado Martel said...

YOUR BOOK LOOKS AMAZING!!

YOU ARE INVITED TO SEE MY NEW BOOK´S BLOG

Winter said...

Thanks mooseguy!

Ugnar the Mostly Ferocious = serious lol. :D

Or Rupert the Terrible?

You never know with monsters.

giantfan said...

May 2007 MBT Book 2 - ANZ/ US with other regions to follow
(indeed, I strain away at this very work even now... poor little Rossamünd...)
May 2008 MBT Book 3 - ANZ/US with other regions to follow

what a joke lol
if you cant reamber it was at the start of this whole bloging thing which by the way i have been folowing the intire way

giantfan said...

i dont want to see his face
so if i may offer a sugestion
you could host a link to a pick of his face and get the people who want to see it go there

but dont put it in the book mabey
a short message at the start or finish about the link and were to find it

MooseGuy said...

Rupert the Terrible?

That could work...

It sounds like Ivan the Terrible, and he was quite a monster indeed (albeit in a non-literal sense)...

giantfan said...

hey just thought id ask how do people
in Hc (allmost forgot the prefix? is that the right word)
greet each other
and appart from smugling what other things do Badies! (hate to use the childish term but cant thik of another word) do in this book?

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that so many people are voting 'no' on the Rossamund's face issue. Personally, I'd like to see it, considering that most of your other characters have (wonderful) portraits, and yet the main character does not. It seems a little lopsided to keep one character's facial features open-ended, and yet have all the others set in stone.

Coz said...

name the monster Cozgar.

Dustin said...

I remember seeing your book in the back room of a bookstore I worked at nearly a year ago. It was an advanced uncorrected proof issued to various book sellers. It fell into my hands that day to look over and peruse. It was from then on that I did not set it down 'til the last page. I felt so strongly about the book and your writing style that I set up a display for it. I got in a bit of trouble for it, because it went against company floor plans but it was worth it. I remember directing people to it, looking for something new to read, and remember the majority of them returning saying how much they enjoyed it.

Just wanted you to know that there is a large fan base out there that will be willing to wait for the next installment. Good luck and I can't wait to lose myself in the world again.

giantfan said...

hi was wondering
what do parents tell there childreen in hc when the undogeable
question is asked
were do babys come from
we have the stalk/cabage patch
what do they use in hc

giantfan said...

ive just realised wasent the 3rd book suposed to be out when the second one is jew?
anyway love your book
have you writen any others
ill go and check in a sec
keep up the good work
is lamplighter going to have the ribons becouse they are verry conveaniant *wince* not the best of spellers
ive recomended the book to all my frends who read which isent verry manny dispite my eforts
i hope you can read all of this
yours happens to be my fav book even more than harry potter
wich ive been reading sice i was 7 im now 17
so you have a loyal fan in me
giantfan

giantfan said...

ok just cheacked
hows the third book coming along? got any i deas on names yet?
just thought id offer my suport
and im shure the second book will be great

if your woried listen to Relax take it easy by meka all ways helps me calm down and chears me up

giantfan said...

ok arfter a bit more reacherch i dredged up some names
could you tell me who they are or would that give away to much
Trudgette a fulgar
and sagaar
or are they just random

p.s sorry bout so manny posts just im captavated by your book and want new info

giantfan said...

ok found more sorry again
what is a calander?
and who is Daimon?
who is dolours appart from being a calander?
and who are
duchess of the butterflies
hircinoid
ixidor
lady yelena
Quen
Rookwood

rosiegirl said...

Roll on April 08 then. Can't wait for the next one. I don't want to see a picture of Rossamund, i like that we see his profile but not his face, it adds mystery and i can use my imagination as to what i feel he looks like.. this does change on a chapter by chapter basis lol.
OOO the ettin....
Schnard - dont know why, just sounds sinister in my head :-)

MooseGuy said...

Yeah, Schnard is a pretty decent name for an ettin.

It gets my approval, anyway!

random Missfitt said...

it's the first monday... and there's no blog post have you forgotten us?

by the way to all these other pople especially people like "giantfan" if you can't do it with one comment don't do it at all

which reminds me, can you put the phrase "if you cant do it with one bullet, don't do it at all into h.c language?

Coinks said...

hey i have just read your book and was deeply upset there was no second book and now your telling me to wiat till 2008! man thats sucks, i like how you have detailed your world with picture and maps! I like following my heros progress. Oh and for naming the ettin, i always thought a ettin would name itself after what it likes most, and for rossamunds face i wouldnt mind it being kept a mystery. Keep up the pictures they are awesome!

Coinks said...

by the way im from Perth so you got alot of funs out(yeh i know) this way as well