SUNBORN Is Still…(probably) SUNBORN

Okay, I didn’t mean to not follow up for a week and a half, but I sort of crashed and burned after turning the book in. I still have some editing work to do on it, even before my editor comes to me with comments, but all the things I’d been putting off while finishing the book came rushing back at me.

Meanwhile, my editor and his assistants started saying they liked another title better. (After saying, all this time, “They’re all good—just pick the one you want.” Aaaiieee!) But I think we’re holding firm. I ran it past some more writing colleagues, and they preferred Sunborn.

I’ve been doing stuff like rewriting dust-jacket copy and coming up with a sort-of synopsis of the first three Chaos books, for the benefit of new readers. That’s a lot harder than you might think. It has to be short and enticing, and not a boring plot summary. It’s probably a good thing that this came right after we talked in the SF writing workshop about writing good query letters, and the importance of keeping it short and not writing boring plot summaries. I needed a dose of my own advice, and it was helpful.

Meanwhile, I just got word that scheduling changes at Tor are forcing a delay in the pub date. Auugghhh! Now it’s scheduled for winter of 2008, just a little over a year from now. The good news is that it’ll allow more time for proper preparation, by which we mean getting (we hope) nice quotes from other writers, in time to get the sales and marketing people excited about the book. (You probably thought publishers put all of those quotes on books to entice you to buy them. That’s partly true, but they do it even more to entice sales and marketing to get excited about the books.)

That about all I have on Sunborn right now. But I’ll sign off with the news that wrestling season has just kicked off for my daughter, and she started off with a pin in her first meet. That’s the way to start your senior year!

0 Responses

  1. Charlza
    | Reply

    bah, you deserved a break after that marathon.

    At least with 2008, I still have time to re-read the first 3 books 🙂

  2. paul
    | Reply

    This is great news, 🙂 I’ve been waiting for this book since I was in highschool, I believe late 90’s to 2001? I honestly don’t remember when I finished the last one anymore.
    Now it’s time to start rereading all the previous ones!

  3. Phil Friel
    | Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Remember me from the old SFLIT Forum on Compuserve? I’m the proud owner of all of your books, most of which I bought directly from you way back when, and all in one large batch, if you might recall.

    The last book I got from you was a signed 1st edition hardcover of Eternity’s End, which I jumped at as soon as it was published. I remember with fondness the big thing when everyone on SFLIT was invited to help suggest a good title for what eventually became Eternity’s End. That was great fun.

    The Chaos Chronicles series was always my favourite among your books – I remember getting all three volumes in the large box of books that I received from you. It seems like a century ago – heck it WAS a century ago (late ’90s?), and I remember badgering you for ages about when Vol 4 was coming out. Eventually I gave up, and resigned myself to the strong probability that I’d die of old age before the series was ever completed.

    In the intervening years, a lot of things have changed in my life, and mostly not for the better. I’ve got older (haven’t we all?), my health and general fitness have deteriorated drastically, and (only last year) I’ve lost my son, my only child, to cancer at the age of only 14.

    I’m no longer the bubbly, optimistic nutter you might remember from SFLIT (which can’t be too surprising), but some things still make life worth living. Foremost among these, for me, are good music and reading a good book. And now you tell us that SUNBORN is coming our way next year. I never thought I’d live to see Vol 4 of the Chaos Chronicles, so you have no idea how happy this makes me. Thank you, Jeff.

    Now git yer nose to the grindstone and whip up the manuscripts for the final two volumes before we all die off (can’t have you kicking the bucket before you finish it). 🙂 I wanna see how the story ends. 🙂

    My kid was a huge Harry Potter fan, followed all the books and movies, but died before he could find out how the story ends. The last thing he did right before he died was watch HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE on DVD. He was dead within half an hour of the film ending (it was almost as if he was holding on for the end of the film before “letting go”).

    It would be tragically ironic if his poor old dad were to suffer the same fate re: not finding out how the Chaos Chronicles ends. Lets hope it doesn’t go down like that!


  4. Jeffrey A. Carver
    | Reply

    Hi, Phil! I sure do remember you, and it’s great to hear from you again. Thanks for posting (and I hope you stop back to read this).

    That said, what terrible news about the loss of your son! I’m so sorry to hear it. As the father of a 15-year-old and an 18-year-old, I can only guess that it must have been about the worst thing in the world, to lose your child to cancer (or to anything else). I don’t even know what to say, except to offer my sympathy. I’m sorry, too, to hear about your own health problems.

    In any case, I often wondered myself if I would live to see Sunborn finished. I’m still waiting for final word from my editor, as to when it’ll appear.

    I am indeed at work on the next book, though mostly in my head at this point. The outline I wrote for it many years ago is somewhat the worse for wear, and needs rethinking. That’s what I’m doing. But things come to me more slowly than they used to, especially storylines. Too much stuff up in the memory banks, clogging the works! I’ll get there, though. I definitely don’t want to fall off the perch here before I’ve gotten that story told.

    Thanks again for stopping by and saying hello. I hope you’ll visit again.


  5. Phil Friel
    | Reply


    Glad to hear that you’ve already started on the fifth Chaos Chronicles book. What you said about forgetting the details of the previous books: You should be keeping all the details of your stories in a database as you’re writing them down – InfoRecall is a great free text database that can contain info on everything you’ve ever written. You can even write your novel alongside all the notes, and export it in RTF format into Microsoft Word, WordPerfect or whatever wordprocessor you prefer.

    There are also dedicated novel writing programs such as Novel Writer Professional which structure your novels chapter by chapter and allowing you to keep notes on characters, events, etc. Again this program allows you to export in RTF format to import into your favourite wordpro, or alternatively print out in traditional publishers 12pt Courier.

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog, but I’ve been dropping in on your website every few months for years now in the hope that you’ve brought out a new novel. Glad to see Sunborn is in the final furlong, and just waiting on publication.

    I can unfortunately confirm from hard experience that losing your child is the worst thing you can possibly imagine, multiplied by ten. I can’t even begin to describe it. He was my only child, and I worshipped the ground he walked on. It’s like my whole life has been flushed down the toilet. There’s no future (my kid WAS my future), no reason to go on living. It’s a year and a half since he died, and I’m still barely functioning on a daily basis. My already bad health has worsened considerably due to not giving a damn if I die or not (most times I’d welcome it). I’m afraid of nothing now, not even death (and I used to be terrified of dying. It feels, literally, like drowning. I’m trying to claw my way back up from the depths of hell, inch by inch, but I keep sliding back…

    But enough of this depressing crap. I need something good to read. And some good music. And a cold beer, and…


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