Friday the 13th. I know many consider it unlucky and such, but the 13th has always been a lucky day in my family. I was born on the 13th. My parents got married on the 13th. My brother was born on the 12th, but he’s always been impatient. And in Judaism, to which I occasionally subscribe, 13 has always been a good number. So don’t worry. Today is going quite swimmingly.
Aside from the fan who was hiding under my bed this morning, pistol in hand. Although she is very attractive (I trust all my fans are), she has been making some rather extraordinary demands. She wants me to share anything I’ve gotten from the publisher – that is, any physical objects – with her, and with you, dear readers. I’ve only gotten a few things, but I’m happy to show them off (she also told me I had to be happy, and with a demand like that, how could I not be?)
So let me show you some of the treasures I’ve gotten my hands on:
The cover proofs. I admit I’ve had my ups and downs with this cover, but I’m happy with the way its come out. I think the background is especially fantastic. But my favorite part is…
Is the spine. I just love it. I’m a first time author, and my name has little to no cache, so I don’t fool myself into thinking I’m going to get fantastic display space in bookstores. But I know the spine will be visible, and the spine will be visible on the bookshelves of my wonderful and attractive readers (such as yourself, and the woman with the pistol), so I consider it to be of vital importance, and I couldn’t be happier. I think it’s interesting and important looking. Much like myself.
Of course, once you have a cover proof, you simply must find a book to wrap it around. I chose Mary Robinette Kowal‘s Shades of Milk and Honey, because it’s another Tor book and cut to the same size. It is also, for the record, a spectacular book, which I highly recommend you buy and read while waiting for mine. The short way of describing it would be ‘like if Jane Austen could do magic,’ but that doesn’t quite do it justice. What I loved most about the book was that the sort of magic – glamours – were these beautiful, fragile illusions which seemed to reflect on the style of the writing within the book itself. When I was done, I felt as though I hadn’t just been reading about an early 1800s society in which people could create illusions, but that I had somehow witnessed one of these illusions, in the form of a book.
But I digress (as the lady with the pistol tells me). As I said, I wrapped one of the cover proofs around Ms. Robinette Kowal’s book, and I confess, the results were quite exciting:
The photo doesn’t really do it justice.
My book is somewhat longer than Ms. Robinette Kowal’s, so the spine doesn’t line up, and I had to fold part of the back cover into the book, but from the front, I imagine this is something like what the final produce will look like, which is very exciting.
Next I got my hands on a few Advance Reading Copies. These are the uncorrected, but bound softcover versions of the book sent out to reviewers and the like.
As you can see, something went slightly awry here. At one point, I had asked them if they couldn’t perhaps lighten her eyes (she has grey eyes, which I had always visualized as silvery, but on the original sketch were close to black) and give her a bit of smirk (Violet is the mischievous sort). The smirk, alas, they could not do, but the eyes they said they would try. On the cover proofs, her eyes are a perfect light grey. On the Advanced Reading Copies, she looks as though she is possessed, or perhaps a zombie. I believe this was part of the process of lightening the eyes, and it was as far as they’d gotten when the cover for the Advanced Reading Copies was due. But that isn’t even the worst part. Oh no. I hope you’re sitting down dear reader, because on the back, on my bio, they had… aged me. Thirty years old, it claims! Well I claim to be twenty-four, and even if both of us are lying, I do hope you’ll believe me over a book with zombie eyes. The author photo is also not correct on these, or the cover proofs, but that was the result of a misunderstanding. The correct photo (as seen on this website) will be on the actual book. And all mentions of my age will be erased entirely. It’s just so much more dignified that way, don’t you think?
But my favorite part of all this is the inside of the book. A woman named Heather is apparently responsible for it. I’ve never met her, but she is my hero, because the inside of my book is, in my humble, un-bias opinion, breathtakingly lovely. Let me show you:
My, I do have lovely, delicate hands, don’t I?
I’m sure you can see why I love the inside so much. The gears! The fonts! I really couldn’t be happier about it.
And finally, I have the page from the Tor catalogue for my book:
I believe you can click on it for a larger view. This has the old version of the cover, where they zoomed in and put the title on the gear itself. I do love the idea of that, but the actuality of it didn’t work for a few reasons; first off, the title (and, no less importantly, my name) were too small, and didn’t visually read as TITLE OF BOOK, which I’m told is important. Secondly, the zoomed out version has the shadows up top and makes it seem as though Violet is going up against something vast and mysterious, which she is. I think the zoomed out cover shows much more tension and intrigue, which is why I was happy they decided to go with that one. You’ll also note that the catalogue has my real age. I thought about blocking it out, what with having ones age known being so… crass, but I’m dreadful with computers, and I don’t know. Please don’t judge me, but do continue to serve me alcohol.
That, I’m afraid, is all I have in terms of physical artifacts of my book. The actual books won’t be out until the end of September, but as soon as I get a copy, I will share images of it with you, dear readers. I’ve been told I’ll be killed if I don’t.
And now, I must away, to put better locks on my doors. Have a lovely weekend.