Let me get this started WAY UP TOP here with the headline. THE SHADOW CABINET, the third book in the Shades of London series, is now coming out on MARCH 5, 2015. That’s in the United States. Dates in other countries will follow, and I’ll post them as soon as I get them.
Now, this book was supposed to come out in September, and now it’s March. WHY????
If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to tell you a little about the year 2013, as I experienced it. And a bit about publishing, and about being a human person.
Starting in 2010, I developed a few problems with pain and excessive tiredness. I just thought I was having an odd ache or two, and just sleepy, or possibly lazy. By mid-2012, though, it had gotten bad. I was often woozy on my feet, and the pain was, at times, kind of extraordinary. It capped off at LeakyCon 2012. Once I had done my job and it was over, I felt all my energy leave me in a big WOOOOOSH. I tried to get up for the final breakfast and ended up having to go back to bed immediately. I went to the doctor that week and just casually laid this out, and he was like, “OKAY, WHAT? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY THIS BEFORE?” And he did an ultrasound and found that I had a large mass in my abdomen. (It wasn’t cancer. It was LADYSTUFFS. But I’m not going to BORE you with the details.)*
This is approximately things went, as I look at my calendar:
November 2012: Surgery scheduled, but Hurricane Sandy hits instead. Surgery canceled. Out of house for a week with no heat, water, or power. Live with Libba Bray. Get two root canals. Oscar decides it is time to move to US as clearly I will be swept out to sea unless something is done.
December 2012: Get surgery. Think will be up on feet within a few days, but not really how things work. Took more like three or four weeks.
January 2013: Get infection, which knocks me down for two more weeks.
February: Fly to England to help Oscar pack, then go immediately on tour for release of Madness Underneath.
March: Oscar moves over. Go immediately on tour with Cassie Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.
April: Went to Houston and LA for more touring/conferences. New apartment opens with more space for two people, away from famous neighbor in 8A. So, we move, even though, at this point, as you can imagine, I’m a bit worn. Also, still dealing with some post-surgical stuff that starts to abate by this point. Told by my physician to stop moving boxes or my insides will fall out. Continue to move boxes.
May: Unpack and settle into new apartment. A lot of LeakyCon planning. So much LeakyCon planning. (I run the Lit Track along with Robin Wasserman, and the planning phase goes on all year, but really heats up the month before the conference and is basically an everyday thing by that point.)
June: Go to England with Oscar to see family, do appearance. Spend a week writing with Cassie, Holly, Sarah, Jen Lynn in Cornwall and finish up Bane Chronicles stories. Then…LEAKYCON (a non-stop week in Portland).
July: GET PUPPY. Other stuff, but once you have a puppy it’s ALL JUST POOP AND WEIRD SLEEPING.
August: Oh my god we have a puppy. WHAT HAVE WE DONE. The August schedule is all word counts and puppy training.
September: Much the same as August. These are the months of 2013 that were the most relaxing and also when I began to realize that I was running on fumes.
October: UK tour (which I get sick during and lose my voice), week of appearances in Vancouver (with a bit of a voice). Zelda (the puppy) begins to develop what will be ongoing medical issues.
November: Now writing book in every second of every day. Find out about World Book Day! Have to write novella, now. Stop everything.
December: Write novella. Write book. Write, write, write.
I was writing — both on the new novel and also all the kinds of things writers write as part of the promotion for their novels — throughout all of the above, and doing all the other parts of my job. (The actual writing of books is only part of the “author” job now, something I will be talking about in a FUTURE POST. Finding time to write amidst all the admin that needs doing can be weirdly hard.) But those events were the highlights (and what’s written on my calendar).
By December, the problems that lead to the surgery in the first place began to reappear. The condition I have is an ongoing one, that’s not unlike garden weeding. You cut it out and it comes back, and then you cut it out and it comes back, etc. This came back a bit quickly. When I could no longer pretend it wasn’t happening, I went to the doctor. This confirmed it was back, and I was scheduled for a series of tests, the last of which was on Tuesday. I found out a few weeks ago that another surgery is inevitable. The question was and is when that surgery will happen. And I’m totally going to be okay. It’s annoying, but there are SO MANY WORSE THINGS TO HAVE.
I informed my editor at Penguin that—ha ha ha! —-this was happening again. This wrinkle meant I might be about two weeks late on getting the book in, but by this point, two weeks was a bridge too far. Books are seasonal, and there was no time left. So, the book was preemptively moved to allow me to take care of myself, to tour when it comes out, and do everything properly. It was really good of them, and I am deeply appreciative.
Now, why did I tell you all of that? Why did I list what sounds like A SERIES OF COMPLAINTS? It’s not. Much of the above was FANTASTIC! Almost everything about it was lucky. I love writing and I love touring and I have a medical issue that is completely manageable and the resources to get care. I have a wonderful Oscar and a wonderful Zelda. Someday I’ll finish moving into the apartment (that never quite got done—when we go Zelda all progress on that front basically froze). I’M NOT COMPLAINING. I’M EXPLAINING. I SWEAR.
I feel deeply responsible to everyone who reads my books. You are the reason I am here. I LIKE YOU. And I left the end of Madness Underneath on SUCH A CLIFFHANGER that you are owed a decent explanation as to why you have to wait for THE ANSWER.
For my part, I thought I was chugging along just fine. In retrospect, I know I wasn’t. In the end, my body just threw down a roadblock that I couldn’t ignore. I don’t mind this at all. And like I said, it’s not that bad. But it pays to listen, sometimes, and remember that the first job is to be human.
Otherwise, how would we write?
All that being said, THE BOOK IS COMING and I have some VERY good news to share very soon. And I thank you for sticking with me.
THE BOOK IS ALMOST READY FOR YOU.
IT HAS ALL THE ANSWERS YOU REQUIRE.
PLEASE READ IT.
READ THE FIRST TWO (THE NAME OF THE STAR AND THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH) MAYBE IF YOU HAVE NOT IT WOULD BE NICE WHY NOT TRY THEM WHY NOT??????????
Take care of YOURSELVES.
* Possibly too late on this one.