This is always a strange time for me. I joke that agents and editors get into ‘What have you done for me lately?’ mode, but in fact I am maligning them when I say that. It is pretty much all internal, my own increasing feeling that I need to figure out a next book.
I’m reading widely. If I say ‘all over the map’ that is pretty much the truth. I actually try not to narrow to times and places yet, I don’t want to, even subliminally, close myself off to being struck by a sudden idea. (I’m the same way when I actually start writing, I hate talking about ‘what this is about’ too early, because what it is about is still taking shape. The more I describe it, the more a new book risks coalescing around the way I talk about it. I am one of the worst ‘proposal writers’ on earth. Or, putting it another way, my editors know not to take anything too seriously, by now.)
I’m also still monitoring events as we head towards the launch of River of Stars in the UK a month from now. We’ve had a ‘soft’ rollout already, with the e-book available there since April when the US and Canadian editions appeared, but their hardcover (and audio) editions have not yet been launched. One advantage my publishers in the UK have is that they are able to use the reviews and coverage that started accumulating in the spring (River has been really generously received). Even on the book itself they have quotes – and normally, with a worldwide simultaneous release you can’t do that till the paperback. Here’s the full UK cover. As part of my ‘inside news about how books get made’, have a look at the number of positions that are to sign off (in theory) on a cover.
Last note. As I’ve mentioned before, I take real pleasure in new countries acquiring rights to the books. I wonder if it is partly because I’m Canadian: that sense that the wider world matters more. In any case, I happily signed contracts for Macedonia (the Mosaic pair) and agreed to terms with an Indonesian house for Under Heaven and River of Stars last week. Time to give a shout-out to the foreign rights team at Trident Media, who handle all of this.