Well, the email I sent to editor Gabrielle Harbowy felt really good. A few weeks ago she sent what amounts to an electronic pre-galley - I don't think it's really the "galley" in publishing terms, but rather just the manuscript with all of her editing suggestions tagged (all this electronically via email). A galley, if I understand it right, is a final copy of the manuscript before going to press. Anyway, she had some great comments, some small, some bigger. All made the ms better. Basically I printed off the pages, and as I went through and noted her comments, I also line-edited the entire novel again myself. Had been a while, and I found myself basically making one more draft. Some pages got away unscathed, others didn't, but overall nothing earth-shattering but the book's better for it. I spent the past week typing everything in. Now she has a copy of the document with my changes tagged, so she can see what I did, and can accept or reject any of them.
Now, as I wait for whatever comes next, I need to decide what to work on. I seem to have gotten some momentum after a long dry spell, and have to decide. Lauran (L.L.) Soares has our novella on his side of the net, so I can do one of a few things: 1) go back to Lost in the Woods and pick up where I left off, about halfway through the first draft, 2) go back to Plague of Locusts, which is about a third done, 3) write some short stories, or 4) start something new.
As far as the novels, I've begun to think maybe it's not such a good use of my time to write the entire novel, then redraft and redraft, then start marketing it. I mean, I've got three complete manuscripts done already (on top of Solomon - Margaret's Ark, Plague of Darkness and Doomsday Key), and most publishers when they get a book they like it's based on opening chapters and synopsis. I'm thinking I should go through both of the new ones, Lost.. and Locusts.. and work out the complete plot synopsis (it can always change when I actually write the drafts), go back and make the opening chapters perfect, then shelve them until they're sold. Basically make them proposals rather than completed novels. Then do the same for more novels, see what sticks, and focus my time on whatever does. I mean, the books I have aren't being very successully marketing - maybe because they stink, maybe because I need to reconsider how they're being marketed / shopped around. The latter is looming high on my mind lately. We'll see.
In the meantime, Solomon's Grave is rolling along towards publication, and Plague of Darkness is slated for its debut in Germany next Spring. Hitting multiple continents at one time. Kind of cool.