Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Draft...6? Something like that.

It's been a while since I've actually been able to do some work on the first book. All the business with the cover stuff has gotten me amped up to dive back in and get this puppy out there! Thankfully, my editor was ready to oblige by sending me the first batch of edits for the manuscript. If he's reading this...WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MY BABY!!!???!??

Just kidding, Peter. Heh.

Seriously, I'm quite fortunate to not only have a great cover but also a great working relationship with my editor. There are some changes to be made, nips and tucks to be done, but it's all for the good of the book and it's turning out well. . .great. (Repeating word choice was one of the sticking points I need to work on)

Anyway, I'm putting that together and messing with other crap that needs to be done. The publishing date is sometime in December. Even though it's getting closer every day, it feels SO FAR away right now. I know I'll be nervous as hell when it does get out there, but at least it'll be out there and that will be great. . .no. . .good. . .ehhhh, see what editing does to me? And this is BEFORE I start getting nervous and crazy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The cover

Finally got my first look at the cover for Book 1. The artwork is simply phenomenal. Of course, I am a little biased here because this is the cover for my book and everything, but I couldn't be happier with it. My only reservations have been with some of the copy on the front, which brings me to a subject I think is worth touching on. It's even a subject that might give other authors (or struggling writers) something to think about. That subject is compromise.

This isn't my first series, although it is the first under my real name. Therefore, I've had a good amount of experience in compromising when it comes to working on a project. My first instinct when I was approached the first time to change something like the title of my series (and it could be any writer's first impulse) was to stick to my guns and fight for what I thought fit the series the best. There's a couple things to consider here. First of all, unless you're already famous, you don't want to piss off the higher-ups who actually put your books in stores and sign future contracts. Now, don't confuse this with ass kissing. I stuck to my guns for a while, but it became obvious that the publisher REALLY wanted this new title. I backed down, gritted my teeth about it, but eventually grew to like the title. Mainly, I took a breath and realized the title was the only major thing being messed with. The story, character, and everything else was in tact. It was still my book and the title wound up being better than my original.

Now, with this series under my own name, my title is questioned again. I want to defend it, but I open my mind and my ears to listen to what my editor was thinking when he dared to mess with what I'd named my precious baby. "Fine," I said. "If you want that title, at least let me know so I can mention it in the book." Personally, I like having the title in the book somewhere. It gives the whole package a sense of completion. Anyway, I thought about how to work the title into it and quickly came up with a solution to a plot problem that I'd been trying to work out for the next few books. I compromised and actually wound up moving my own thoughts ahead.

Sure, not all writers have editors and such, but compromise is always in there. Maybe the rest of you aren't as stubborn as I am. Maybe you come up with perfect titles and all that on the first try. All I'm saying is try not to view your work as infallible. My stomach clenched the first several times I got back my manuscript and it was covered in red pencil scratchings from the editors. 9 times out of 10, those comments will make your work better. Keep this in mind when you're editing your own stuff as well. Put it away for a while so you're out of the whole "This story/book/script/whatever is the best thing I've ever done!" phase. Perhaps it is. Even so, it could still use some polish and if you don't let your guard down and be willing to compromise on a few things to make it better, it will never BE better.

Eh, I'm no teacher, but those are my thoughts. Take 'em or leave 'em. The cover looks freaking great and I'm very fortunate to have it attached to my book.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.