May 15th, 2006


Edited ms., meet NYC.

And it's done. Again, it is done. Yesterday, we dealt with all the many line edits from the January/February read-through of Daughter of Hounds that had not been dealt with. I reformatted a number of pages (see my mention of Carrollian formatting back on May 10th). I asked Spooky if it came across as "pretentious" (Oh, but how I loathe that word. It is all pretend!) or gratuitously artsy-fartsy, or anything else of the sort, and she said no, that it worked much better. So, I kept the new formatting, full in the knowledge that at least two or three reviewers will judge it as both "pretentious" and gratuitously artsy-fartsy. They'll say I'm ripping off House of Leaves, because they'll be too poorly read to know that I'm "ripping off" Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Whatever. Unless my editor balks, if stays. I spell-checked the whole ms., which is always fun, fun, fun. I double-checked the formatting on every single page of the ms. And then, at 6:49 p.m., I pronounced it finished. For now. And I am nothing if not grateful. In a couple of hours, I'll be sending it away to NYC, and I can forget about DoH until the dread CEM arrives and I get to write "stet" a thousand times. "Final" page count: 639. "Final" word count: 133, 345.

Now, more about my having excised the appendices, because there have been protests and questions, and I promised that I'd explain. The appendices were to have been comprised of two parts, A and B. A was to have been a short story titled "The Daughter of the Four of Pentacles," which was written for a Cemetery Dance anthology, Thrillers II (it's mentioned in the preface of To Charles Fort, With Love). When we read back over it on Saturday, I realized that I'd actually worked a great deal of the story into various bits of DoH, and that it really would feel quite redundant coming at the end of the novel. Thrillers II has yet to appear in print (though I wrote the story in 2004), but when it does, I'll announce it here. The story will also eventually appear in Sirenia Digest. Now, as for Appendix B, it was to have been a short story titled "The Dead and the Moonstruck." And I decided that while this story would still add a lot of info. about the ghul and the changelings not included in DoH, it's already an easy story to find. It was written for Candlewick Press' YA anthology, Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales and then reprinted in To Charles Fort, With Love. The Candlewick press book is superb, and also includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Joan Aiken, Garth Nix, Gregory Maguire, and others, and I urge you to pick it up. It's available in hardback and trade paperback. I think there's even a British edition. Indeed, reading "The Dead and the Moonstruck" would be a good way to get ready for Daughter of Hounds (though the latter is admittedly darker). So. There you go. I have explained myself.

I hope that makes sense. I'm not feeling especially articulate.

I must admit that I was much more than a little annoyed and dispirited yesterday at discovering Keith Donohue's first novel, The Stolen Child, via Amazon. From the reviews and synopses, it has certain disturbing parallels to Daughter of Hounds, and I fear that DoH will now be received differently because of the Donohue book. That reviewers will say things like, "This is all well and good, but it was done ever so much better in The Stolen Child." Or, worse-case scenario, "Clearly, Kiernan has been reading Keith Donohue." Which, of course, I have not and shall not. And then there's the fact that The Stolen Child has been released with all the press, fanfare, and promotion of a Big Book, of a book that a publisher means to be a bestseller and so has backed with the Publicity Machine. High visibility, as they say. Altogether, a depressing turn of events. I certainly can't blame Donohue. These things happen. At least no one can fairly accuse me of borrowing from him, as my work on DoH is well and publicly documented all the way back to 2004. And there's Low Red Moon and "The Dead and the Moonstruck" to show that I'd developed these ideas as far back as 2002. Actually, there's "So Runs the World Away," which gets us all the way back to August 2000.

Now that the proofreading and editing is done, Spooky will be getting back to her dolls. She's been talking about doing a Madam Terpsichore doll, to sell, but I don't know if that will be the next one she does.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Beginning of The End of the Last Age of Me Before This New Age of Me. Yeah, it needs a shorter handle, doesn't it? At the time, it didn't seem like the start of a cataclysm, which is usually the way of such things. But here I am, a whole year later, changed and surviving in this New Age of Me. Will statistically improbable events never cease?

The platypus is calling, though it gets damned little of me today. Ornithorhynchus anatinus, thy name is damn'd Determination!