Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tantalize Preliminary Page Samples

"If you like us, tell your friends.
"If not, tell your enemies."
--written in chalk on a sign at Amy's Ice Creams
at Sixth and Lamar in Austin, Texas
(that's what I call win-win marketing)

The big news this week is the arrival of some preliminary page samples of Tantalize (Candlewick Press, March 2007), so I can get an idea of how the various interior design elements will look. I'm entirely wowed but still soaking them in. First, there's nothing like professional typesetting to make a manuscript start to feel like a book, which in itself--at least for the author--is thrilling. But this manuscript had a number of opportunities for design, and clearly, CP is taking everything to the highest level, really investing in a vivid reader experience. The only thing missing was the Table of Contents, which apparently will come after they get the page count nailed down. Design and production quality are two of the aspects of the house that have always impressed me, so I can't say I'm surprised. Yet I so much appreciate that they really "get" the story, its world, and have the artistic ability-commitment to reinforce that perfectly.

GLS and I have a pact to celebrate any and all tangible progress on the writing front, so we celebrated this great landmark Tuesday night by splitting a Mediterranian platter at Jeffrey's.

Crit group was last night at AB's (author interview) house, and she served chicken chili with Fritos and berries or peach pie a' la mode for desert. As usual, it was a fun and thoughtful meeting. We're a lively bunch--three men, two women; three of us with law backgrounds, two with teaching. Everyone gets along, has a good sense of humor, and really applies themselves both to listening and offering feedback. It's an excellent dynamic.

Today I had lunch with CB, who had some questions on the soon-to-be published front, at Suzi's China Grill-Shoal Creek. That reminds me, if you're not already reading his blog, I highly recommend it. I also had a Lesley sighting while driving down South 1rst, near the School for the Deaf. He was sporting a hot pink halter top, thong, cowboy hat and boots. Quite fetching.

Beyond that I have finished grading my second round of VC packets, and so now it's back to F&M. I'm finally going to spend a few days on that character work I kept talking about and then start revising the second first draft. Yikes.

Spooky News & Links

Thanks to EH (author interview) for the hand-y bookmark and mini journal as well as to AS (author interview) and NR for their e-cards! Cheers to SC (author interview)!