Tag Archives: Sea Rose Red

Things that can happen in a year.

It was around this time last year that my agent, the wonderful Suzie Townsend, sold my first book to Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Back then it was still called Sea Rose Red, and the ending was an entirely different beast. After some intense revisions with my editor, it’s a far better and stronger book, with a new title: When the Sea is Rising Red.

It’s so weird to think back a year ago and how little I knew about publishing then (I know marginally more now) and what it would be like working with an editor (surprising, frustrating, exciting, and ultimately amazing). It’s even weirder to think that by this time next year my book will be a real thing, with a cover, and pages, and inked-in words.

Basically I just want to say happy birthday, little book. You’ve come a long way.

killing minor characters

Minor characters. It’s so hard for me to leave them minor. I want to know what drives them, why they do things, what broke them, and what good is left in them if they’re bad, what evil they can be pushed to if they’re good. They fascinate me.

This is problematic. (But also good).

Problematic because I write scenes that serve no purpose, only my own curiosity. They jar, they slow down pacing. Plus, I have to get all hard-core and mean before I agree with me that I need to cut the buggers.

Good because without my love of the Why of Minor Characters, I would frex, never have written Sea Rose Red. Felicita and Jannik began as two characters in Hob an Lam and one day I asked myself why the hell they were together, and what were they on about when they mentioned meeting behind umbrellas.

So I wrote a little meeting scene. And a year or so later I pulled out that little scene, and wrote a book around it.

Today I was busy drafting and organising wtf I’m going to do with Nulled & Void, where I have 5000 pov characters (9, actually, but dear god that’s just too much to ask of a reader). I didn’t want to cut any of them because I want the reader to care about them as much as I do.

Only, that’s not fair. That’s about me, and not about the reader.

So at least 3 of those povs met their death today. More might still fall. And that’s a good thing, because somewhere on my mess of a harddrive is going to be a folder full of stories waiting to seed.

New Hobverse book? Maybe.

So the delightful Ms. Townsend has been hinting that she’d quite like to see a new Felicita and Jannik book from me. And always I’m just kinda eh I can’t think of anything.

Apparently I just need to give my brain time to play, because I woke up this morning with a conversation in my head, and the start of a new book.

Will it go anywhere? No idea. But I don’t see why that should stop me from starting, if ya know what I mean.

And anyway, I intend to have fun with this one. Usual disclaimers about first draft kakness etc.

The house on Ivy is not at all what I expected. Modern and white-faced and drab. I glance across the carriage at Jannik, who remains expressionless.  “This is House Guyin?”
He shifts, puts one hand against the leather of the seat, preparing to stand. “Apparently so.”
The stupid dress I’m wearing makes it damned near impossible to exit the carriage with any dignity, although I do a passable imitation, I suppose. Jannik takes my hand and helps me down from the little step, and the emerald taffety of the horrendous dress crunches.
“I feel,” I say, “like an enormous idiot.”
“Only you look rather like an enormous hand-bell.”

I want to draw them – eeh they are being so cute I don’t even.


I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front.

I have 20 pages left on this round of revisions, so there’s why. Generally I find writing and revising all kinds of terrifying. There are just so many potential ways for me to fuck up, and I hate fucking up.

So instead of actually committing words to screen, no matter how shit they might be, I sit and gibber at a blank page and IMAGINE how shit they’re going to be.

This is all kinds of productive, I know.


I’ve been taking baby-steps, breaking the edits down into chunks, and just…working on one line at a time. it’s the only way I can deal with this sort of thing.

Now things are looking a bit more doable, and although it feels to me like all I’ve been doing is making up skipping-rope rhymes, I’m almost certain that I’ve done more than that. The book’s a slightly different shape now. *cocks head* yup. definitely has a changed look to it. I think it’s the hairpins.


play your guitar like a martyr

Drafting a pitch/query thing for Sea Rose Red.

I can assure you that this is less fun than it sounds.

oh no wait…


(everyone please note how long my alcohol-free month lasted…)