Friday, November 08, 2013

Don't Know Much About History

I have a busy day and weekend ahead of me, and really, I just want to hibernate. In addition to working on these revisions, I need to make a library run. I have a party to go to tonight, and I have to bake something for that. Then I have a "meeting" that's really more like a party tomorrow, which also requires baking. The party tonight is an annual affair, a real "grown-up" party, but since I was away all last weekend, I kind of just want a nice Friday evening on my sofa. I know I'll have fun, though, when I make myself go. I may be home early on Saturday, though, once I run completely out of steam.

Next weekend, though, I have absolutely nothing on the calendar, for perhaps the last time this year. I may be working frantically because after I finish going through the editor's notes I'll need to do another pass to tinker with things (I'm keeping notes on things I might need to go back and fix), and then I'll need to do a read-through, and I need to get the book back to the editor by the 22nd. With any luck, that will give me most of December free while the editor goes back over it -- though the way things tend to go in this business, that means she'll send it back to me right before she goes on Christmas break, and she'll want a revised version back early in the new year. Editors like to leave for holidays with clean desks, but then they want to get right back into things when they return.

I've talked to my agent about the revisions, and not only will I include an author's note on the changes to history, but I'm also going to include a list of locations and what they correspond to in the real world, with a suggestion of maybe including a map, since I'm also getting a lot of questions about the geography, and I'm not even tinkering with that all that much, aside from changing place names that have to be different because of the timeline changes (if the American Revolution hasn't happened, there probably isn't going to be a Washington Square). When the book comes out, I'll probably put some more detailed information on the history and some suggestions for further reading on my web site. Maybe I'll spark or encourage an interest in history in some readers. I certainly learned a lot while doing the research for this book. I'm into history, but I realized how lacking my knowledge was. My school history classes were always taught by coaches, which meant that we mostly read the textbook chapters, then answered the questions at the end of the chapter while the coach sat at his desk and read the sports section of the newspaper. And somehow, we never managed to get to the end of the textbook, so there were portions of history we never even covered.

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