Excitement is…

…the long awaited arrival of a paperback proof.

In this case it is The Yin and Yang book – which we published as an eBook in October last year. I’m in love. After fears about the continuity of the cover, the spine blends beautifully with both the front and the back, and as our very first book on cream paper… it feels like a ‘real’ book. There are a few adjustments to be made on the inside, but looks like they are few and far between.

I’m ecstatic! Can’t wait to launch this book and get it into as many hands as possible.


Read an eBook Week

Over at Smashwords it is read an eBook week. It is a great way for those who have a new eReader or who are curious about eBooks to dip in with little cost to themselves. Or for readers to test drive a writer or a genre they’ve been curious about for a while.

At eMergent Publishing and Chinese Whisperings we are part of the festivities. All four of our Chinese Whisperings anthologies will be heavily reduced for the rest of the week and at different points until Sunday – free. To find out more follow us on:

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@emergentpublish

@ChineseWhisAnth

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eMergent Publishing

Chinese Whisperings

The Agony, The Expectation and The Release

Lily Mulholland likened publishing to giving birth and I have to agree. Right now I’m in the post birth glow of the release of The Yin and Yang Books… but I’m also bone-tired and know there is still work to do.

We started writing back in February 14th to coincide with the New Year and we kept to the schedule of writing (that alone should get a ‘shock-horror’ gasp). We lost one writer along the way (compared to six last year) but in a serendipitous moment picked up Lily Mulholland who’s story “Double Talk” tied in with Paul Servini’s story ‘Three Monkeys”, and my Prologue and laid the groundwork for Paul to write the Epilogue (which I continually type in as Prologue). While you can read the two anthologies singularly… they were meant to be read together. The fit, the symmetry between first Yang story and last Yin story, the uncommon view of characters already seen or about to be seen… beauty in literary motion. Yet I should caution… the stories are anything but sweet, lovely and beautiful. There are many… but it seems the book I worked on, The Yang Book, is rather dark… full of people being fucked over by others with a few sprinkles of the best of humanity as well.

The highlights for me have been:

  • testing the sliding doors formulae and seeing it work. My one regret last year was that the writers weren’t a little more gungho in winding their stories together. The Yin and Yang Book/s certainly do not suffer in this regard.
  • working with a group of ten amazing, talented male writers who have allowed me to grow and mature as an editor. I’ve been given all-access passes into worlds and characters I could never have dreamed of creating. And no one thought I was too much of a loon when I said, “This morning I was in the shower and thinking about your character…” I’ve learnt editing is so much than I ever thought it was and there is no one editing style.
  • seeing stories within stories, and subtext where I hadn’t originally thought there was.
  • Watching characters intergrate themselves into stories as if they’d always been there – while a lot of it looks organic (and it is) there is also a lot of narrative interaction which is retro-fitted. Dan and Tony for one knew their characters met along the line, but it took a while to work out where that was. And there’s also the case of the man in the cobalt blue suit. I can’t wait for people to start speculating just who he is!
  • Being privvy to the work of Lucas Clevenger creating the book covers in such a short space of time. And as always the love, care and support of Carrie Clevenger. It is more proof that the people who need to be part of any project will be the people who are there.  Carrie’s friendship throughout has reinforced this time and time again (for those who don’t realise, Carrie was referred to us by Jodi Macarthur who we initially approached. Jodi said she’d love to part of the project but the demands on her time made it unrealistic to accept the invite… and introduced us to Carrie!) Thank you Jodi!

It’s never easy and this year I had to sacrifice a large chunk of time with my family to keep the project ticking over and my own writing, as I discovered writing and editing cannot co-exist. I’ve loved being in the unnamed Europen airport with the cast of hundreds, but I’m so ready to collect my recently issued boarding pass with an airline unlikely to be grounded by the perversity and scheming of a certain family. You could say this is good-bye to Pangaean Airlines and but not farewell to the supportive family of writers who are not just ‘writers’ for Chinese Whisperings’ but are part of a larger social and professional structure which will live on beyond this anthology.

And after another tough year, Paul and I have come out of it together.  Not that I ever imagine we won’t, it is always just a bit of a surprise because its not all fun and games behind the scenes and Paul has had a particularly rough year which means he’s not always able to be around. And it would be easy to begrudge him for that, but I never do. I know regardless, he’s always there when its most important. We’ve worked like dogs the last two weeks to get the project to completion and its just a shame we’re not in the same space together to go out together to celebrate. As I type this Paul’s recovering from running a half marathon!

On an entirely different note… there were four questions offered up during the week for me to answer and I will get around to them. I’m only just realising now how mentally exhausted I am. So keep an eye out… I think I might just babble on audioBoo for five minutes a piece and hope at least 10 seconds of it is gold and vaguely relevant to the question.

Until then… check into the check-out and purchase the Yin and Yang Books. I assure you, you will not be disappointed!

The Land of Line Edits

Paul and I finished up another line editing session this morning around 2:30am. Given I’ve had little sleep across the last two nights and devoted about 20 hours to line editing, continuity fixes and some retro-narrative fitting, you’d think my head would hit the pillow and I’d be off.

But no!

Lying there with a foot in the land of sleep and tossing-and-turning wishing I was asleep,  I fell into one of those weird semi-lucid dream states. Here, I started to pack a suitcase, with three days clothes, to take with me to ‘line edits’… as if line editing was a discrete, geographical location I could travel too. Perhaps it would have cocktails, a sunny beach… no, hold on. It’s work destintion… gratefully one with plenty of laughs, good gossip on old friends and point scoring with punctuation (yes, and you thought punctuation was boring!) None the less, a place of work.

While I was sharing my weird dream-ish notion with Annie today, it occured to me that ‘line edits’ as a location does sort of work. Why? It works as a place to transit through, on the way out of the airport. It feels  like I’ve stuck in for the past nine months, as The Yin and Yang Books have been written, in an unnamed European airport. Not to mention I have been stuck there with people I would, for the most part, not choose as travelling companions.

Line edits could possibly be a purgatory type place, so I’m keen to move on through quicky. Already twenty hours feels long enough. I feel a little like Medae right now (as she was in the first draft), wanting to move quickly through the transition and away with the painting. OUt of where she had been and over into the next phase of her life. Hopefully I’m more successful than her though.

If I listen to my semi-conscious thoughts, there are three more days to go. And no, it seems I didn’t pack my party dress to celebrate at the end.

Line edit highlights from last night:

  • Realising in a parallel airport, there is no Rex to distract Mother. Does she then see  Claude leaving the toilet ahead of Calvinsweetheart then? And what are they actually arguing about when Mildred approaches them in “The Other Side of Limbo” as a consequence?
  • Jasmine’s story “Cobalt Blue” was sub-titled “Gosh You’ve Got Pretty Eyes”… a joke which still got mileage at 2:30am.
  • Realising Sam Harris, Jasmine’s main character had a shot at being the hero in the story, but was too lazy to take up the opportunity because it would have meant extra work. In chosing a different path,  Leon would have stayed out of jail (well perhaps not), Bullwick would not have been shot and Sam… well, no spoilers! Then again, maybe Bull would have been shot? This is the joys of this multi-layered anthology.

If you’re on twitter… follow the hashtag #yandy or @ChineseWhispAnth, @jodicleghorn or @panderson1979 for funny twitter interludes. This is what happens when two people separated by a nine hour time zone get together to finalise a manuscript.

Image via TWTFD

Chinese Whisperings Book Trailer

Alive and brilliant today – the trailer for The Red Book.

Kudos to Tina Hunter for her hours of work and patience with working with two people who didn’t initially know what they wanted, 10 writers who had different ideas about what they wanted as photographs to represent their work and then getting her head around the various movie programs.

Stellar job Tina… and thank you, very much! May the goosenbumps be with you…