20 October 2010
Where the work all pays off
Last night my editor sent me a draft of the cover for the next Library of Athena series book, The Mirror of Yu-Huang. Nope, can't show it to you yet, but it made me excited all over again for the release of this book, which for a while I thought never would see the light of day.
First of all, this was the most challenging book I've written to date. And I've written one and a half books since finishing it, so I can say that with confidence. I started researching it in 2007, when I bought a few Chinese mythology books. It is a complicated culture, mostly because it extends from the beginnings of time up to the present day. There are a bunch of different systems, between Taoism and Confucianism and Buddhism. Their fairy tales and mythologies are short and mostly morality stories, which complicated it even more, since I had been using 'hero' stories in the LoA books up until now.
Not only that, but up until this point, I had written about mythologies from cultures that have faded from the modern world. But China and its stories still exist today, and I didn't want to accidentally insult anyone. But I managed to hunt up a few older myths that I could use. Then I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote TOO MUCH. Trying to put in everything I had researched, I got off the story track and ended up with 20,000 words too many. (That's when I started using the nine-block plotting system.)
So finally it was done and polished and sent out.
And the publisher turned it down. Not for anything really terrible, but because they were moving away from tween books and didn't see it fitting into their new YA imprint (which hasn't gotten off the ground as of yet). Which was okay - it happens. But here I was with a great book and no publisher. So I went on the hunt and put a distress call out to my peeps at Broad Universe. The publisher at Zumaya offered to take a look, and the rest is history.
And now, almost four years after I started thinking about this book, it has a cover. Which you will just have to wait to see. :P