Monday, September 10, 2012

TOUR CALENDAR! Plus some questions

Oh. Hi.

Guess what! I have a non-final list of tour dates for November! YAY! This is the Days of Blood & Starlight tour, and is covering almost entirely different places than the Daughter of Smoke & Bone tour (Los Angeles being the only revisit). I hope to see you! A few more events are pending, so check back! (So excited!)

Thank you so much to Lisa Moraleda at Little, Brown for setting this all up.

Oh, also: it all kicks off on ELECTION DAY so let's hope we're all in a really good mood that day and not devastated and shell-shocked!

PORTLAND, OR (hey, hometown crowd!)
Wednesday, November 6th 
Powell's Books at Cedar Mills (time TK) 

Wednesday, November 7th 
Blue Willow Bookshop (7:00 PM)
Thursday, November 8th
BookPeople (7:00 PM)
603 N. Lamar, Austin, TX 78703

Friday, November 9th
Changing Hands Bookstore (7:00 PM)
6428 South McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283

Saturday, November 10th 
Barnes & Noble (Desert Ridge; 3:00 PM)
21001 North Tatum Boulevard, Desert Ridge Market Place, Phoenix, AZ 85050

Thursday, November 15th
Children's Book World at Santa Monica Public Library (4:00 PM)
601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

Sunday, November 18th
Miami Book Fair International (Time TK)

KANSAS CITY, MO Monday, November 19th
Rainy Day Books at Unity Temple on the Plaza
707 W 47th St, Kansas City, MO 64112

Tuesday, November 27th
Barnes & Noble (Tanasbourne; 6:30 PM)
18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy, Beaverton, OR 97006

Okay, and the rest of this post is random. A reader emailed me some questions, and I thought they were pretty good questions so I thought I'd answer them here. Thanks, Connie!

1. How many words on average do you think you cut out of your manuscripts?

Because of the way I work, this is unknowable, but my best guess is ... many many MANY more words than I keep. See, since I revise as I go -- relentlessly -- I don't arrive at a "first draft" until pretty late in the process, by which time I'll have tried and discarded dozens and dozens and dozens of chapters and scenes. It doesn't happen all at once. My "working docs" are vastly larger than my finished books. It would not be crazy to speculate that I write several hundred thousand words that don't make it into the book. Yeesh. Crazy.

If you had told me this when I was embarking upon what would be my first finished novel, I would have needed smelling salts. I couldn't have handled the idea that it was this much WORK. Every scene I wrote back then felt so hard-won that I couldn't imagine scrapping it! But I've learned so much since then, and one of the best things that has come with experience is the true and comfortable belief that I can always make it better, and that a second or third of fourth crack at a scene is not torture, but an exciting opportunity for optimal awesomeness. I don't always know what I'm going for when I embark upon a scene/chapter/section, but I pretty much always know when it's not working. And when it IS working, oh it feels good. 

2. You took a pic of your workspace with a bunch of printed pages tacked to the wall, so: Do you eventually print out the whole manuscript and go over it in red ink?

Yes! I love this stage so much. Second drafts are MY FAVORITE PART OF WRITING. There is nothing better to me than typing "the end" at the end, printing out a huge fat manuscript, and sitting down with a new pad of post-its and some colored pens. For the second draft I am not so much "line editing" (fixing small stuff) as looking at the big picture, the structure, the plot, figuring out what BIG changes I need/want to make. This is scary but wonderful. 

For Days of Blood & Starlight, this part of the process was really condensed, on account of the first draft took me frightfully close to the deadline, so I had to be very focused and efficient with the second draft. With my editors' feedback, there were maybe a dozen major changes I needed to implement -- and oodles of little ones -- and by major, I mean BIG THINGS, MASSIVE THINGS, like weaving an entire narrative thread through the story and tying it into ones already there. And just really major stuff at the eleventh hour, stuff I hope that readers would never guess were not part of the story all along. I added 20,000 words of all new writing at this stage, in a matter of a week or two, which is INSANE for me. I was locked away in a hotel in order to get it done. It was crazy, but so so satisfying to finally get to the stage of fine-tuning when the book became the thing I had been trying all along to create. 

3. When you finally finish a project, what's your next step? 


Then I send it to my editor and the publishing process takes on a life of its own. There is still a lot of work at this stage, getting the book ready to, you know, be a book. My brain was so fried after finishing Days, I took a good stretch of time off before starting the next one. But it's always exciting to look ahead to the shimmering new book on the horizon :-)

4. Do you have beta readers? (other than your agent/editor) And if so, how many do you have?

Yes, I have a few: first and foremost my husband Jim, who is wonderful. Then there is my best friend Alexandra, who is the purest form of enthusiasm and always gives me the boost I need, and there is Stephanie Perkins, whose books you should read immediately if you have not already!

This last question is random, but I'm just gathering info and tallying up marks for an age old question: Which do you prefer, coffee or tea? I have a feeling you're a tea person, but I can't really know for sure. (So far those on the coffee side is a bit sparse and sad...:( that's too bad, I love coffee).

Tea? Fie! Coffee, oh sweet coffee, how I love you.


Commander Kip said...

Oh, bother! I used to live very close to KC MO, and I just moved to Minnesota for college, and I won't be on break yet by the 19th! *snarl* This makes me sad. In any case, Miss Laini, have a fantastic tour! I look forward to getting my hands on the book!

Gretchen Alice said...

Yay! You're coming to Austin!

Connie Onnie said...

YOU ARE COMING TO CHANGING HANDS I AM SO EXCITED!!! You know if you need anyone to show you around Debbie and I would be happy to ;)

LL said...

I was so excited to see that you were coming to Los Angeles... then I realized it was the day before my due date. So hopefully I will be birthing a baby. But if not, my very pregnant self will be there! :) So excited to read Days of Blood and Starlight!

tone almhjell said...

Whaaaaat, no Oslo?! Giggle.

It looks like an amazing tour. Also: coffee is great. Tea is great, too, when it's good tea, like Thé des Lordes. But coffee with a very cold square of milk chocolate...

Unknown said...

One of the only times I don't like living in Oz, is when US authors announce book tours. *glares at the Pacific Ocean*

Laurence King said...

I am really, really, really hoping that the pending events will take you to Boston! But whether they do or not I simply can't wait to read Days of Blood and Starlight!

Kate said...

No visits close to me, but another excuse to go to Texas or Oregon is fine by me! :)
And fun questions! It's so cool to learn about writer's personal process, everyone is so different! :)

Anonymous said...

I heard that your next book is a non-fiction masterpiece all about this unbelievable Alexandra person and that it will be approximately 290,000,000 words. Is this really true? And when will it be released?

Heather said...

No! NOOOO! Why is there no Michigan on this list????

We're not so bad, I swear!

I only JUST finished reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and will be writing a review in the next day or so... and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of the most well written YA novels I've read in a very long time.

Heather said...

ps... I am now a new follower... XD

If you go looking for the review and just find a blog full of dolls, you're on my other blog, LOL, I have one called Little Squeed that is for book reviews!

Anonymous said...

Both of those "portland" dates are Beaverton. Portlanders don't go to Beaverton! What's wrong with downtown Powells??

Suzie F. said...

Aw. No Boston area dates. It was such a pleasure to meet you the last time. Maybe next time :)

Pau :D said...

When will you come to Mexico? I wanna see you and your pink hair :3

beth said...

Ahem... New York is a glaring omission.

beth said...

ps.. Come to Woodstock NY, could totally hook you up with an indie bookstore!

magan bagan said...

So excited that you're coming to Houston! My sister and I both guessed that you might show up at our local shop and then it was announced that your coming :)

Can't wait!

Jenn said...

NYC this time please! Especially since we didn't get to see you at Book Expo this year. Purty please! I'll be front row. Thanks much.

Liza said...

I'm so excited you're coming to Houston. I will be there.

Dreamdark girl said...

No one comes to Juneau AK. It's not my fault that our library is't part of some big company that has one all around the US. Can you come here when the next Dreamdark book comes out.

PS - when will that be, approximately?

cristina said...

I can't wait to see you in sunny downtown Miami! pack light! <3 ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!! <3

Twi Sherry said...

So excited you're coming to Kansas City. Can't wait to meet you!!!

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