One more day

I’ve got one more day to work on this rewrite before I have to set it down and do the page proofs for A PERFECT BLOOD.  For those of you who are interested, page proofs are produced at the same time as the ARCs, and therefore will still have mistakes and errors in them.  My publisher doesn’t like it if I have to make more than typo changes, but if there is an error of fact, I can change it while trying to make minimal shifts in the text.

I usually make an event out of page proofs, clearing my desk and radically changing what I’m listening to.  Sometimes I move out of my office entirely.  I try very hard to find typos–but what I’m most interested in is the movement of characters so that Rachel doesn’t stand up twice without sitting back down between them, or that she remembers to take her purse if she walks out of a room.  I like physical movements, almost as much as my dialog, and often use them to remind the reader of where we are, what time of day it is, or the mood she’s in.  ie “Arms over her chest, Rachel sat down, her bobbing foot, catching the morning sun that slipped in past the kitchen’s small window.”  But you can’t just stick a line like that in without making sure everything follows.  This is typically the last time I will EVER read any given piece of work, and when it’s done, I don’t look back.  Sometimes, it takes chocolate.

After today, I should have enough changes made in the next book so that I can use the page proofs to find where I left the emotional state of everyone, and then begin my rewrite over to lightly tweak it to emotional smoothness.  Timing is everything.

It’s also Friday, thank all that is holy in the world.  I need some time to push back and regroup.  No plans for the weekend, but I might make tapioca pudding from scratch, as in soak-over-night scratch.  I’ve also got a pie I could make from my home-grown pumpkins.  It’s definitely going to be a kitchen weekend.  We’ve already been threatened with the first frost of the year, and though I know we will have some warm afternoons yet, it’s clear that summer . . . is over.

Keep your eyes open for another manic monday.  We’re going to move out some jewelry next.


Filed under Drama Box

39 responses to “One more day

  1. I missed lurking over here (sigh). Been bubble-wrapping my NYC apartment for the move down south and flipping out about not having a new music studio lined up in Florida. It actually kept me off the Internet for three whole days – oh horror! (LOL)

    I am very excited about “A Perfect Blood.” Is it the white cover without the guy in the background or the black cover with the mystery dude? (Yup. Got picks of both covers like the Kimaholic I am – LOL). Running off to be a blog fiend and make up for the brief silence. 😉

    Hope your week end was amazing and that Monday is a very lovely, productive day.

    Counting the days to Comic Con (and gotta go post about that before Book Club spanks me – LOL). 😉

  2. Kim- I love your description of your page proof work, almost like a puzzle, making sure the connecting piece is there, I hope it went well!

    Although I like fall, seeing summer end is still sad for me. Fall seems more like the beginning of a new year than January 1 does, with the kids back in school and a more regular work schedule. (Both of my parents were teachers, so this has always been “usual” for me.) I am a fan of baking and crock-pot recipes all year, but those smells of baking pumpkin make such a cozy kitchen when the weather is chilly! Here in MN, we saw summer crash to an end last week, as we had temps in the 90s early and frost by the end of the week.

    This end of summer was especially difficult for me as my youngest left for college. Well, to be honest, what made it really difficult is that I had no way to escape into a new episode of Rachel! (I read Pale Demon in the middle of the high school graduation prep, if you remember. LOL!) I am reading some other authors, but Rachel’s story has really resonated for me right now, so, it’s been challenging to find a replacement…not that I want to wish time away, but I am counting down the time to the Insider and to A Perfect Blood! 🙂

    Thanks for the glimpses into your author process and real life, Kim!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you are still enjoying the books! February feels like the end of the year for me, or perhaps late March. My entire year revolves around the main release.

      I’m pleased to know you’re taking something away from my daily ramblings. Thanks!

  3. nicholasb

    Dear Ms Harrison

    You must please stop writing these absolute wonderful books.

    How am I going back to normal reading if you should depart this world into the ever-after (hopefully as a student…).

    Fortunately, my better half has yet to read one of your novels otherwise I will have to wait to read whenever I purchase one of them.

    In ending: Your books just have that ‘something’ to them that reminds me of that big sociable kitchen I came to know as a small boy at my grandmother’s place.

    Please keep up the good work


    • -grin- Thanks, Nicholas! I’m so glad you’re liking Rachel’s story. When I started writing her, one of my goals was to give Rachel the-girl-next-door feel, and I think she still has that.

  4. Good luck with your proofing Kim! Can’t wait for Manic Monday! 😀

  5. Today I spent a much needed day with friends. But I had to wear a lil jacket into the eve hours! It got that chilly.. Brrrr.

    A kitchen weekend Kim?.. with pudding and pie!… can I come over? 😀

    I love the way baking and cooking fills the house with warmth and yummy aromas. Small comforts go a long way. Have a lovely weekend.
    Ooooh jewelry?!! Yes, please 🙂

  6. SeattleRobin

    I thought you might like to know this list of top ten fantasy novels that have gay/bi/queer characters in them was posted yesterday and Dead Witch Walking was on the list! You’re in some pretty good company with people like Tanya Huff, Elizabeth Bear, Emma Donoghue, and Nicola Griffith. I found a link to it on another site so it’s probably starting to make the rounds. 🙂

  7. We made BUPPIES! This litter is Cera’s first, and they are named for Shakespringerian characters, Puck, and Ariel and Miranda and…

  8. jkh

    Suddenly it’s autumn in Seattle, although summer only arrived in August. Actually, I never took the down comforter off my bed (!) because I like to sleep with the window open until the temps go below 50 F and/or it rains into my room. Yes, I was in hot herbal tea mode this evening, and things like custard and pumpkin pie and thick soups and bean-y dishes are beginning to appeal.

    However, chocolate never goes amiss.

  9. The Redhead

    What kind of pumpkins do you grow? I attempted sugar pumpkins, got a whole 1 out of it, before the sweltering Texas heat burned the things alive. It was supposed to be my backup pumpkin stash. Alas. I’d like to see a Thanksgiving in the Ever After. Ha! I’m worried there’s not going to be much Al in books to come. Pale Demon had me squealing with delight until the end. If there’s anyway to get those together for realsies, you madam, would be my true hero. Toodles!

    • I grow sugar pumpkins and little mini’s, but the mini’s were not so mini this year. I’m still trying to find a good patch to grow them in, too. I didn’t do too bad this season.

      Al is going to become more important as the books progress. We’ll see, but I wouldn’t hold my breath in terms of a Al/Rachel hookup. 🙂

  10. You just said some of my favorite words. Books… and jewelry *drool*

    I’m editing a short story right now, and I feel like a real author as I’m really tearing into it for the first time and carefully thinking about each word and every sentence. I’m definitely trying to put my Kim Harrison editing cap on instead of my usual write it and go with it style. I think it’s working really well and I’m happy!

    I hope your rewrite is going as well, and I’m already thinking of Halloween as I’m trying really hard to get my hand on an ARC…

    • Stephenie, that is fantastic! Once you become comfortable with ripping your own work apart, your skills at making jumping but convincing moves of plot will expand greatly. Yay!

      Halloween. OMGosh, it’s almost upon us!

  11. James R. Fox

    Hi Ms. Kim-Its Jim from Warren.Glad you can get your weekend,you deserve it.I’m planning on houscleaning,myself, IF the rain lets me,( 8 straight days its rained at least once a day,and it’s now in the 40’s at nite.All my bad joints are readng speaches)If you or Guy have a spare pain amulet, let me know please?

    • Hi Jim. Had a very relaxing weekend myself, and am ready to get back to my desk. Ahhhhh.

      I’m so sorry about the arthritis. I exercise daily to maintain my no-pain with no meds lifestyle. It’s working so far, but the older you get . . . sigh.

  12. I love tapioca..hubby hates it 😀 This cold weather has activated my cooking, baking, soup making gene!

    I was reading last night and main character went to a crime scene w/ best buddy and then proceeded to chase after a lead…what happened to best buddy? I kept thinking “well where the heck did best buddy go?” Very distracting.

    • I got so many compliments on my tapioca that I think I might make it again, the 40 minute prep aside. It makes enough to last a few days, too. Yay.

      Ooooh, sorry about the continually/logic error. I hate those.

  13. wow… looks like you sure spoil your family … tapioca from scratch… i so wish i could try that…. i’ve had the “instant” tapioca before but not the soak over night kind…. sounds like it’d be good though… me tonight i’m gonna have Tahitian vanilla gelato with cardamom sprinkled on it…

    oh and i think its the attention the the little details that sometimes make a difference between “oh thats a decent book” and ” OMG that was an AWESOME book… when’s the next one coming out”

    • Me spoil my family? (laughing hysterically) It’s more like bribery food. I feel my last child becoming more confident, independent, and healthily moving away, and I am finding things to get him to stick around a few hours. (laugh)

      It’s all good.

  14. Diva

    Yes, one can never go wrong with chocolate. Well unless you’re allergic to it, of course.

    Ooh! I love this mention of ARCS. It means we’re getting closer. The end of the year will fly by as we in the States whiz through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. February, and A Perfect Blood, will be here before we know it.

    I know you mentioned that your editor doesn’t like for you to have to make more than typo corrections in the page proofs. I think I also read somewhere that the ending we read in Pale Demon wasn’t the ending that you submitted to your editor. I take it that you made those changes prior to the page proofs stage.

    TGIF! Yes! Have a restful weekend Kim. You’ve most certainly earned it.

    • Hi Diva. Yup, I make a lot of changes in my editorial rewrite, which is where we lost Kisten and the new guy you will never see. I make a few shifts in the copy edit, and very few changes in the page proofs.

      I hope you have a great weekend, too, Diva.

  15. Randy


    I hope that your pumpkin pie turns out like a Food Network showpiece, but fear not if it should fall short. There’s always another tour of the Irish Hills to fall back on, and no shame in letting the Boy handle dessert from time to time. One coffee and one hot tea?

    • Hi Randy. It was too nice to make pie. -laugh- When the sun shines on the weekend, I’m out in it. I’m starting to think about antique stores, though, which will get me ranging far afield again. 🙂

      Dude, I can’t believe you remember that! 🙂

  16. Chocolate usually helps with everything. I can’t wait for it to cool off enough down here for some of that hot chocolate you mentioned the other day! It looks like you guys are getting fireplace weather already up your way. I am so ready for pumpkin spice recipes…always says Halooween to me. I have a great pumpkin cheese roll with Alabama pecans if you are interested.

  17. Joelle Wilson

    Well it’s my opinion that chocolate is a perfect comfort food. 🙂 That and homemade pies from items in your own garden. We’re getting a bit of frost here this weekend, at least that is what the prediction is for now. Another season down means it’s that much closer to new book releases. Have a great weekend.