Archive for June 24th, 2011


I just got the electronic proofs (which I gotta proof) for the interior of The Compass Master.

OMG.

I mean, I knew my book was long, but it’s something else to find out that this baby is clocking in at 526 pages.  And that ain’t with a large font, folks.

I should add that I wrote this thriller in short chapters, the better to keep the pacing going, so there are 100 chapters plus an epilogue, which means white space at the end of most chapters.  But still… 526 pages?  Really?

One of the first things I did after seeing the proofs was to head for a bookstore over my lunch hour (I was at work) and look through just about every large-ish trade paperback I could find.  Happily big honkin’ historical sagas sag in at around 700 pages.  And The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series was certainly up around 500 in thickish tomes.  Then there are thriller writers like Daniel Silva and James Rollins who write solidly long novels.

Best of all, there’s the “epic fantasy” writer George R. Martin, who I guess is a big name in the genre.  His new hardcover A Dance with Dragons is… wait for it…1050 freaking pages!

And when TCM was in the hands of an agent and being read by a dozen editors (and all the way up to the editor-in-chief at one pub house), I never heard a single complaint about the length of my manuscript.

So I’m starting to feel better about The Compass Master‘s length.  I remind myself that in my last couple read-throughs I edited that baby down by almost a couple thousand words.   It’s a pretty tightly-written story, if I do say so myself, with no scene that can be cut without hurting the plotting.  But I always, always feel as if I can cut a word here, a phrase there.  I’m never content with anything I write because by nature I’m an insecure compulsive rewriter.

Anyway, you know what I’ll be doing for much of this weekend and for the next week or two:  slowly, carefully reading every word of TCM and checking out every one of about a million punctuation marks.  Oh joy.

Also next week I’ll have my first phone consultation with a CreateSpace graphics person about the cover for my book and the art I sent her/him for it.  I’m pretty excited about that.  Will keep you posted.

Have a gorgeous summer weekend, y’all.