My next book has gained not one but TWO covers: one for the US & Canada
and one for the rest of the English-speaking world. They’re super different.
This means either that one publisher is making a big mistake or that each
understands the tastes of its own market best and those tastes are quite
different. Or else that art is subjective. It’s one of those.
Click a cover for a larger version.
I am happy with these covers. I especially like the boldness of the American
version. Although maybe I’m biased because my name is freaking huge. It’s
hard to dislike that.
I would like to name and thank the cover designers, but I don’t know who they
are. I’m going to find out and update this post. I assume it’s someone.
Lexicon is due for publication in June 2013.
My fifth novel will be out in mid-2013. If you’re wondering
how I manage this breakneck pace, with Machine Man
gracing the shelves only last year, it’s because I
haven’t been updating my web site or going on Twitter or
Facebook. It’s amazing how much time that leaves. Also, I broke
my usual pattern of following good novels with
unpublishable ones. It’s a bold new strategy but I’m optimistic
that it might just work out.
The new book is Lexicon. If you’re the kind of
person who doesn’t want to know anything more, because you
have already decided to read it and want your experience to be
untainted by any hint of a spoiler, then (a) thank
you, (b) I am right there with you, and (c) you may skip
ahead to the next paragraph. For everyone else, it is about
a secret persuasion society that builds and deploys words as
weapons. The people who wield these words are known as poets;
the story centers around a young woman who is recruited
into their ranks, and the man she falls in love with. Which
you are not allowed to do, as a poet. I could explain why,
but I’m not going to. Just trust me.
I began writing this book about five years ago, although it has changed so radically
from my early sketches that I may just go back and write a second,
completely different book from the same original idea. Usually, I
start a novel with a particular situation in mind, but this time
I had a concept, and unfortunately a concept is not a story. A concept is
somewhere for a story to live. So I ended up writing a lot of words,
looking for the story inside this concept. I always take a
kind of sick pride in the number of words that don’t
make it into my final drafts; the notes, doodles, experiments,
deleted scenes, et cetera. I usually have at least as many of
these as published words. This time, I have far more: 197,788.
Actually, that is a little appalling. I hadn’t totaled that
up before. But I’m still proud, because those words led to good ones.
Lexicon will be published by The Penguin Press in
mid-2013 in the US and Canada. Details to come on other countries.