The To-Do List

So – people everywhere tell me the feedback from Orion is among the most positive reactions theyve ever heard from a publisher. That’s nice of course, but the only real positive reaction that counts is “We’d like to publish you, here’s a cheque and a sports car and a twelve-book deal, now go away somewhere lovely and don’t come back till you’ve written the next couple.”

Still, there’s time for that, I suppose.

Was discussing the To-Do List of the book with a friend by email earlier. I explained that right now, I need to add one sentence to the first chapter, give my Ritz ‘cat-in-a-box’ scene more action, give my two Galileo scenes a bit more danger, finish my Shakespeare scene, deciding whether Shakespeare gets his brain burned out before he writes Hamlet, or after, add in my Gandhi scene, re-write the ending of my Moon landing scene, punch Dante in the face again, just because, and then it should all be plain sailing to the end of the world.

There was a pause between emails. Then she came back.

Well, that’s…different, she wrote.

I know, I assured her. Dilemmas of a fantasy writer. I bet Dickens never had to deal with this sort of thing.

Another pause. Then:

You’re probably right, she said.

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