The Artemis Device

I’ve been calling this one “gothic sci-fi”; it was inspired by Gormenghast and Dark City, among other things.

Current status: copy editing

~April 2015: The new “first” draft (I’m calling it that because from my publisher’s perspective, it’s a first draft) is now done and sitting in storage waiting for my copy editor to tell me she’s ready to see it. (She has at least one other major project on her plate at the moment, with a tight deadline, so Artemis is on her back burner, so to speak.)

07-Sep-15: That first draft went to my copy editor a while ago, and she suggested a bunch of changes. It took a while because of a lot of personal and work stuff going on, but I finally got that finished yesterday. Version 2 of the files are waiting to be uploaded to the publisher’s account.

07-Nov-15: I uploaded the files something like six weeks ago, but my copy editor is busy—for one thing, she had at least one other project that was coming up for release, and then she got married! I’m not in any rush; it can wait a while longer.

22-Nov-15: It’s more than a month since I’ve had any contact with my publisher. That’s anyone at the publisher, including my copy editor. Something’s going on there, I know, and I wish they’d tell me (and the other authors on their books) what it’s all about.

06-Dec-15: The publisher is not acquiring new titles, at least for the foreseeable future. That’s a potential problem; I’ve been giving some thought to the idea of making Artemis the first of two or three books, but that would mean submitting a script for a sequel to a publisher that didn’t handle the first book—and most publishers aren’t going to be interested. So I have no choice but to ask the publisher about cancelling the contract.

07-Dec-15: Writing yesterday’s update triggered something because I suddenly found myself working up a story for a sequel and AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH, laying down some bones for a third book. And I found the ideas compelling and exciting, to the point where I’ve decided to put away the notes for the Urban Fantasy story I was working on and instead continue with this. I have a working title for the third story but not for the second (that’s the way it goes), but that should change soon. Watch this space.

11-Dec-15: The whole hoo-hah at the publisher turns out to have been a big nothing. There’s been a little change in management, and that’s all, but someone seems to have got the wrong end of the stick and thought that things were circling the drain. Not true. I should be getting stuff from my copy editor in the next few days, and I’ve been assured that sequels aren’t going to be a problem. Panic over; as you were.

12-Dec-15: The story ideas for the sequel are coming along, so I’m adding a new section (below) for that. Updates here will be specific to the first book from this point.

01-May-16: My copy editor has been out of the picture for the last four months, but we were in touch a few days ago and drew up a plan; in line with that, I broke up the original chapter files into one file per scene and organised those into directories. She has those now; let’s see what she thinks of them.

29-May-16: My copy editor worked on the files while I was in the UK, and there were updated files ready for editing when I got back a week ago. I’ve been too jet-lagged, and too busy on catch-up day-job work, to get properly started—until now; it’s Memorial Day weekend and I seem to be over the time shift. Getting on with it.

18-Jun-17: Christ, has it been this long? I have got very little editing done, and while there are a bunch of reasons I really don’t have an excuse. MUST TRY HARDER.

24-Jun-17: Pushed myself to make an effort, and actually made some progress. Spent forty minutes on the phone with mom, and another hour on a Google Hangout with my brother—routine Saturday thing, but it did slow things down. All the same, I almost finished Chapter One. No such distractions tomorrow—the plan is to finish Chapters One and Two at the very least.

25-Jun-17: YAY I actually got Chapter Two done. As much as I could, anyway—for some reason the file for the last scene is kinda weird, in that it looks like my copy editor bounced the file back at me without accepting or rejecting any of my marked up changes, and apart from correcting the alignment of the title line made no comments or suggestions. I think she might have accidentally sent the wrong file. Then I went to make a dent in Chapter Three . . . and hit a problem: the latest files I have are my own. It looks like I never got the next version from my copy editor. It’s possible she’s put them on Google Drive and I’m looking in the wrong place. It’s so long since I worked on it, I don’t remember where we’d got to. Email sent, so hopefully we can get ourselves back in sync. Meanwhile there’s one last little bit of Chapter One that I need to revisit—I’m still not happy with it.

27-Jun-17: That problem with the last scene file for Chapter Two . . . I don’t know what happened, but there was in fact a “proper” file with markups—I found it in the Google Drive shared folder that my editor and I use to send files to each other. (It had been so long since I did any work on the book that I’d forgotten where that folder was, and had to go digging for it.) I also found marked-up files for Chapters Three and Four. I was hoping to make some progress yesterday—and I did, but not as much as I’d hoped for, thanks to an extremely busy work day. But I was able to deal with that last Chapter Two scene, and today I’ve done the first of the two Chapter Three files and also made a big dent in the second. After work today I have a family commitment so I doubt I’ll get any more done. The plan for tomorrow, then: finish Chapter Three, and at least make a start on the Chapter Four files. I’m a little bit worried, though . . . my copy editor still hasn’t replied to my email, sent the day before yesterday, or the fact that I uploaded the Chapter One and Two files to the shared drive last night (she should have got a notification). It makes me wonder if there’s a problem I haven’t been told about. Later that same day: I finished Chapter Three and also did the first of the two scenes in Chapter Four. Not too damned bad. That just leaves Ch. 4 scene 2—and once that’s done I’m out of files until my copy editor sends more. Still no word from her. I’m wondering if the reply, when it does come, will say something to the effect of: they’re no longer interested because I went offline for so long. Well, once the last file is done and uploaded I’ll send a follow-up email and see what happens.

28-Jun-17: Chapter Four editing is done and (as part of the way my publisher works) I’ve updated the tracking spreadsheet with the version numbers and upload dates. Now I’m out of things to work on; I can’t do anything more on this until I get MOAR PHILES. So, I guess I can take a look at some of the other projects . . . see below.

29-Jun-17: Sent email to my copy editor to let her know about the file uploads and tracking sheet update.

3-Jul-17: Four days since sending email. Nothing back yet. It’s a holiday weekend so I’ll give it time—and in any case I’ve got plenty to do (editing Smoke & Mirrors, for one thing). Nevertheless if I haven’t heard back by Friday or Saturday I’ll send another note.

7-Jul-17: Still no word. I’ll be sending email tomorrow but I’m drafting it today—even if only in my head for now.

9-Jul-17: Sent email yesterday; got an acknowledgement followed by a longer reply today. My copy editor has a couple of higher priority jobs ahead of mine so can’t jump on Artemis right away (and I wouldn’t expect her to). Basically at this point it’s a matter of expecting the other chapters when I see them. So while I wait for that, I’ll make a start on outlining the Untitled Non-Fiction Project mentioned below.

19-Aug-17 07:49: No word yet. If I haven’t heard anything by the time I have the timeline for Untitled SF Project, I’ll send an email and see if I can get an ETA.

27-Aug-17 10:54: Well, since the timeline for that SF series is going to take significantly longer than I thought, I’m going to send that email anyway, later today.

16-Sep-17 08:28: I never did get around to sending that email. Maybe today.

9-Oct-17 11:30: Finally sent the email a little while ago. Let’s see what’s going on. I was really hoping to get Artemis out before Christmas; that’s looking doubtful now.

15-Oct-17 07:56: Reply from editor: she’s still swamped with work on other projects. She offered to pass my ‘script over to another editor, but both she and I would rather continue the way we are. Besides, we already completed the first pass and are partway into the second, so I’d rather not switch to someone not familiar with it at this point. It can wait a while longer.

26-Nov-17 11:41: Still waiting on my editor. See also the related note that I’m just about to write on the Phantasms & Magicks page.

18-Jan-18 07:43: Still no word. I’m getting a little worried, to be honest.

30-May-18 08:42: Sent email to copy editor the other day to see if there’s any change of status; no reply as yet. She’s offered before to give the ‘script to another editor rather than wait, and up till now I’ve declined (I like my copy editor – we work well together). But this can’t go on. If she make the offer again, I’ll take it.

07-Apr-19 12:52: No word from my copy editor or the publisher about anything in months. Publisher’s FB page hasn’t been updated in an age, and I don’t think they’ve updated their web page in a while either. I think they’ve closed up shop. I don’t expect to hear from them again. As such, when I get to the UK I’ll see about finding another publisher.

04-Feb-20 13:30: Nope. This book has been ready to go for far longer than it should have, and it should have been out there a couple of years ago. I’m going to self-pub this and Phantasms once I’m settled back in the UK. I don’t have the energy to screw around trying to find another publisher, and I’ve wasted more than enough time trying to get an agent interested. I’ve had enough. Self-pub is the answer.

14-May-20 08:27: Xchyler Publishing is for all practical purposes gone. I was about to write here that it’ll be going for self-pub but I see I already said that in February. I’ve decided to spend some money on this, though: I’m going to contact @Shecky when the time comes to see about professional editing. Also I’ll see about engaging a cover artist. If I’m going to self-pub, I might as well do it right. About to write something similar on the Phantasms page.