Saturday, February 23, 2008

Good-bye Jess. Hello Maggie

I sent off the copyedits for My Lord and Spymaster on Tuesday.

This means I'm basically done with it. MLAS is about kicked out of the nest. Soon it'll be out there soaring on its own ... or fluttering on the ground making sad little chirrups waiting for a cat to come along and jump on it.

What lies ahead for MLAS ...

In New York they're taking those copyedits apart and putting them into electronic form, ready to make the galleys.

They'll send the galleys back to me. I'm not supposed to change stuff in the galleys, except typos, but I've picked out two places where I want to make bitty, bitty little changes. Ten or twelve words added in one place. One word changed in the other.

Then I send the galleys back and I'm done.

I've started blocking out the story for Maggie. I have a possible outline. Who is Maggie? What does she want? What does she need? What will she do to get it?


  1. Anonymous5:46 PM

    Oh that's fabulous news. I look forward to reading it!

    I forgot to ask before but will "Her Ladyship's Companion" be re-released at all?


  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    I shouldn't think Her Ladyship's Companion would be rereleased. It's a very simple Regency. It's honestly made and true to 1980s Regencies, but it's nothing special.

    I'm walking around thinking about Maggie. I want her to do some exciting things.

  3. Anonymous6:14 AM

    I'm sure there are many of your fans who would LOVE to read it, myself included!

    I want her to do some exciting things
    I can only imagine the rings she runs around Doyle :D


  4. I'm trying to make Maggie intelligent and forceful ... without losing the very womanly character that I think is her deepest nature.

    I've got an outline ... well ... outlined. And I've started some actual writing on Maggie. I don't have the voices yet. Sometimes you have to just write when you don't have everything you need.

    Both characters are very much in flux.

    It's surprisingly hard to write a character 'young' when you've seen what they become a decade or two later.

  5. Anonymous9:18 PM

    Hi Joanna,

    So, I just read The Spymaster's Lady in one sitting today and wow!

    Very well done. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

    Is the Maggie talked about in these comments the same Maggie as in The Spymaster's Lady?


  6. Hi Samq --

    Yes indeed. This is Doyle's story and 'the Maggie of Doyle'. How they met.

    I still haven't quite crawling inside her head ...


  7. Jo, what is the second book about?

  8. Hi Lynne --

    This second book is My Lord and Spymaster.

    Jess, former street urchin, (I always think of the echinoderm,) former pickpocket, former denizen (I love that word, don't you?) of the London underworld has got rich and respectable. She and her father are merchants nowadays, thank you, not just smugglers.

    But when her father is accused of treason, she has no choice but to backtrack into the criminal mire she shook off her boots years ago. Too bad she left so many large, nasty criminal types annoyed at her when she went honest.
    More or less honest.

    So she walks the mean streets of East London again. All she has to do -- it's a fairly large 'all' -- is find the real traitor.

    She likes Sebastian Kennett for that role. He's a rival merchant, and the man who gathered the evidence against her father.

    So ... is Sebastian an innocent man who just happens to want to hang her father, or is he guilty as sin?

    The only way to find out is to trust him ...

  9. Hi Jo,

    I cannot wait for MLAS (Jess sounds like an intriguing character), and am already anticipating with relish (and perhaps mustard and ketchup {g}) Doyle's (er, I mean Maggie's, of course I do) story. And, naturally, I'm hoping my boy Adrian will figure prominently in a future book, too. many yummy, er, stories. {g}


  10. Adrian plays a big part in MLAS. He was born in 1782, so he's about 29 in that story, and he's Head of the British Section.

    In MAGGIE (1794) he's 12.

  11. Jo,

    Hmm...Adrian at 12 or Adrian at 29? Tough choice. I'll bet he's highly entertaining at 12. I'll bet he's even more wickedly entertaining at 29. And if I ever get to meet him at 50, I'm sure I'll be completely and irrevocably smitten. {g}


  12. Anonymous6:59 PM

    I've seen the cover art for MLAS at amazon and it looks lovely, I love it.

    The snippet you posted above sounds amazing and I can't wait for July.


  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. I'm working right now on Adrian's voice at 12.

    It's tough. He has to sound like himself.

    Right now, I have it that Adrian doesn't speak French when the story starts. (I have a bunch of stage business planned about this.)

    How the devil am I going to make Adrian sound like Adrian if he's grappling with an unknown language?

    I may have to chuck all that stage business and think up a reason my 12-year-old Hawker would speak French.

  15. Hi Elizabeth.

    The MLAS cover is up? Cool. I'll go have a look.

    I saw the raw artwork before they put the letters on, but not the finished cover. Pretty artwork.

  16. Anonymous8:11 PM

    I saw it on Amazon UK

    Oh dear, I hope I didn't spoil it for you.

    I think it's very novel that you're writing about characters we've already met at different ages and stages in their life. I'm sure it will make for an enjoyable read for us fans, and I hope it's an enjoyable writing process for you :)


  17. Not spoiled at all.

    I saw the artwork a good long time ago ... but without the title words and author name. My kind editor sent me a copy.

    Actually, I saw the cover painting 'flopped' ... faced the other way round.

  18. Jo,

    Making Adrian sound like Adrian without speaking French. Hmm...that would be a poser. I'm sure you'll come up with just the right answer, though. I have complete faith in your abilities. {s}

    And {coff}, if you'd ever like to run any of your solutions by a reader, I volunteer. It's not a difficult task to spend time with Adrian, no matter what his age or language. {g}


  19. Hi Linda --

    I am definitely feeling my way with the voices of the major characters.

    Maybe I can have Adrian speak both English and French. Two voices.

    Hmmm ...
    I have to decide on this real soon.

  20. Jo,

    I can definitely envision Adrian (bright boy that he is) speaking both English and French at age twelve. Children do tend to pick up languages easily, and I'm sure your wild imagination can contrive the proper exposure for him. {g}

    Speaking of having to decide "real soon" -- internal or external deadline? I expect a published writer doesn't have as much leisure to fiddle with WIP until the answers to such posers artfully unfold themselves. Are you getting used to it yet?


  21. Hi LInda --

    I'm taking the long weekend off
    (House full of relatives. Loud multitudes of relatives.)
    not to write, but to think about the plotting of MAGGIE.

    I'm getting it down.

    When I can hear everybody's voices, I'll be much easier.