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    Today, my good people, is Release Day! THE PRETENDER’S CROWN, Book Two of the Inheritors’ Cycle, is on the shelves! I’ve written a bit about it here, at Suvudu.com (Random House’s sf/f website, where I’ll be posting weekly in the future), and now I come to do the dance of joy at my own website. :)

    This is 8th C.E. Murphy book since June 2005 (10th if you count the anthologies), and my 13th published work in that same time frame. It puts me very, *very* close to the absolute culmination of what I set out to do four years ago in terms of shelf space, and I am *utterly* delighted by that. (Also relieved!)

    I’m also pretty pleased with the book. Get your sex, politics, murder and betrayal right here, on a silver platter….and then buy a copy for your friends, so I can keep writing in this world. :)

    Excerpt behind the cut, if you haven’t already ready it at cemurphy.net!

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    the saga of the copy edits

    Did I actually post about my wibbling over whether I was going to photocopy the copy edited manuscript of THE PRETENDER’S CROWN? I ended up not doing it, because it was going to cost €92, which is about $116, and frankly that’s a third the cost of a document scanner and I simply do not have a hundred euro to drop on *photocopies*.

    You can all see where this is going.

    The manuscript, which was supposed to be in New York by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest, has not arrived. I, in my infinite wisdom, have lost the tracking number (I have to assume I put it in my coat pocket and it fell out when I took my gloves or hat out later), so not a clue where it might be. I suspect the post office might be able to help more than they could today, when they were swamped by dole-seekers, but I can’t pursue that until Monday, so right now there’s a significant degree of bollocksed. Bolloxed? Screwed. We’re screwed.

    Fortunately, Del Rey *does* have a photocopy of the CEs on *their* end, and by far the largest part of the CEs was changing the spelling back to British, so I have told my editor this (turns out they should’ve used the TQB stylesheets after all, I was right about that, and it just didn’t happen for some reason), and it looks like what’s likely to happen is unless the manuscript turns up today or Monday, they’ll stet all the spelling and when I get the typeset ms, I will go over it with a needle-toothed comb, comparing the semi-colons, colons and em-dashes to my own original manuscript.


    miles to Dunharrow: 57.5

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    gettin’ there

    I’m down to the last 130 pages or so of copy edits. I’m also in the stage that I suspect most writers find themselves at when they’re going over a manuscript for the zillionth time: there are moments when I think, God, this is really good!, and others when I think, Oh, God, what was I thinking, this is awful. I’ve just finished going over one of the most climactic scenes in the book, and I think it really works (so, apparently, did my agent, who said she almost stopped reading the book to send me a shocked email at this scene), and I know other scenes do, but … still, part of the brain goes “worst! thing! ever!” :)

    I desperately wish I had time to go over the manuscript at least once more before sending it out, though. I’ll get it one last time for the galleys and will be able to make final changes then, but a couple more days would be really helpful at this stage (*looks guiltily at Dublin Comic Con, which would have been those couple days, had I not gone…*). Really, though, what’s frustrating is that 95% of the copy edits could have been avoided. Del Rey sends a style sheet with the copy edits, and it simply *didn’t occur to me* that they might not refer back to the QUEEN’S BASTARD style sheet when they did the PRETENDER’S CROWN edits. I’ve used British spellings in these books, deliberately (for flavour, as it were), and I explained that in response to the TQB copy edits, and they apparently went “oh okay” and let me have my spellings. I just kind of figured they’d have that on file for this book, but instead am STETting all the ‘honour’ and ‘colour’ and ‘travelled’ and ‘defence’ and ‘curtsey’s throughout the manuscript. (Possibly it is sufficient to correct them on the actual stylesheet, but I would really, really hate to find out it wasn’t by way of having to correct all that spelling in the galley.) Next time, assuming I get to write more books in the Inheritors’ Cycle, I will include the corrected style sheet for TPC when it goes to the copy editor, and explain about using British spelling for flavour. :)

    In the meantime, however, my *utterly splendid* husband went out and bought me a British dictionary so I could check my spellings (which, btw, are all correct) without asking him to look up words for me on the computer. He bought me the Concise OED, in fact, and I’ve been practically petting it and cooing over it. (It also justified my use of semi-colons, which I was *sure* I was using correctly, and I am, by God. Despite the CE replacing a lot of them with commas. AND it justified my choice to often use hyphens in words that we would not typically hyphenate today: as recently as a century ago *lots* of compound words we don’t hyphenate now were still being hyphenated, so it is a stylistically correct choice. Can you tell I’m smug? Because I’m smug. :))

    Arright, off to do the last section. *zoomz*

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