Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yeah, I'm still alive.

Okay, so listen. The last three months or so have been among the most distracting and strange in my whole life. But I've gotten through them (officially, as of tomorrow) and while things aren't entirely settled, I think they're settled enough that I'm back into the swing of things and pushing forward at my old pace. Yesterday I pulled out Egypt 2.0 and wrote like my face was on fire before work, and really liked what I produced. Then all day at work I couldn't stop thinking about that book and about writing in general. I sneaked pieces of paper around in my pockets and wrote two poems clandestinely while on the clock and another on my lunch break, and I think they're all pretty decent. I believe this means I am officially Back On My Game.

Did I update with the news about Bride of Amun? Don't wet your pants -- it's not super-thrilling news (but not bad news, either.)

My rad agent Natalie (who just sold an adult historical novel earlier this month -- woot!) was not thrilled to death with the sluggish response we've been getting from the five editors who will have BoA on their desks. So she suggested we put BoA on the back burner and go full steam ahead with Egypt 2.0. E2.0 has a lot of good things going for it that can sell commercial fiction: battles, cross-dressing, secret lesbian affairs (yeah, my version of Hatshepsut is bisexual. That's what she told me she wanted to be, so I said, "Okay, Hat, you're the boss."), a plot to poison the kingqueen, and the early emergence of the Cult of the Aten, which, if you are an Egypt nerdo, will excite you and make you drool. Oh, and 150% more adultery by volume. This is basically the Michael Bay version of an Egyptian novel, whereas Bride of Amun's main strength is that the writing is really pretty. Otherwise, it's another book about two women in a rivalry to produce a royal son, which, let's be honest, WE'VE ALL SEEN BEFORE. Even in an Egyptian setting *coughMichelleMorancough*

I still believe strongly in Bride of Amun -- it's got a good story and, to toot my own horn a bit, some genuinely lovely prose. But I think Natalie is right -- it will have a better chance of selling to a really good editor who'll put a big push behind it if it follows something that's easier to sell to more people: explosions and lesbians and sex. Okay, there are no explosions in Egypt 2.0. But there is a totally sweet scene of Thutmose II getting beaned on the head with a rock thrown by a captive Nubian boy. Man, that guy is such a dick. He totally deserved it.

So the plan is to hold off on BoA and to get E2.0 finished PRONTO -- like, six weeks or less -- and start submitting that book right after the Holidays, when those acquisitions people are all fresh and chomping at the bit to acquire.

Can I write a kickass novel in six weeks? Yes. I'd better be able to, anyway. No, kidding. I totally can. I actually write much better and with greater discipline when I have a deadline. This is what will make me a badass professional writer some day. I'll be able to produce like Joyce Carol Oates (but not as depressing.) (Maybe as depressing. I can't promise anything.)

Actually, I can probably make E2.0 my NaNoWriMo project. I've already got about 20,000 words done (I had 20,000 words before but I rewrote them because I hated them), so if I get at least 50,000 done by the end of November I'll have a nigh-complete novel on my hands. Let's hear it for fast typing!

Now I just need to come up with a good working title. I can't keep calling it Egypt 2.0. I love the title Red Land, Black Land, but I think Natalie will hate it and anyway I have a friend whose graphic novel is called Red Eye, Black Eye even though it has nothing to do with Egypt so that's kind of out.

Damn! I hate titles with a passion!

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