Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Editing in Process...Kameron Hurley

The Body ProjectSometimes, everything -- well, almost everything -- just seems to work out, or so I like to believe hope. For example: I worked for Night Shade Books for nine years (which I blogged about here, including a list of the 125 books I worked on during that time period), and then dealt with the demise -- and resale -- of the company. By the summer of 2013, with no new incoming projects from Night Shade, my workload had decreased dramatically, a huge concern for me as a full-time freelancer. But then Bradley P. Beaulieu, a former Night Shade author with whom I had never worked before, contacted me about a book project. He wanted me to line edit and copy edit his collection, Lest Our Passage Be Forgotten & Other Stories -- financed through a Kickstarter campaign -- which he planned to self-publish. My blog post on Brad's collection is here. Brad later referred me to Barbara Webb, who contracted with me to copy edit her novel City of Burning Shadows (here) -- a novel worthy of your "watchlist" -- which Barbara also plans to self-publish. Those were two of my one-on-one author projects in 2013 that came about from my work with Night Shade Books.

Enter 2014: Most recently, I had the opportunity to work with another former Night Shade author, Kameron Hurley. Her new novelette is "The Body Project": a story in her Bel Dame Apocrypha series, which includes the novels God's War (a 2012 Nebula Award nominee for best novel), Infidel, and Rapture. I was fortunate to have worked with Kameron on this trilogy during my stint at Night Shade.

So I was thrilled when I received Kameron's email regarding this new project: we freelancers are always thrilled when a new income opportunity presents itself, but -- and more importantly -- I was especially thrilled because I would have an opportunity, albeit briefly, to work with Kameron once again (a true pro) and to visit once more, as it were, the world of Nyx, Rhys, Anneke, and the bel dames.

Kameron informed me that the story takes place during the seven-year gap between chapters 4 and 5 of God's War; the novelette is meant to be a sort of introduction for those who haven't yet read the trilogy. And for those of us who have read the books, the story provides further insight in to what drives the protagonist, Nyxnissa so Dasheem.

Here are the two opening paragraphs to "The Body Project":
The man's rugged visage—hanging from the upper window of the tenement building—was captivating. The rest of him was less so, as it was a mangled wreck of shattered limbs and shredded torso strewn all over the street at Nyx's feet.

Nyx toed at the burst flesh of his admittedly once-fine form, now split and oozing a sour blend of offal that brought to mind the pungent stink of rotten bodies at the front. That memory, paired with the profile of the man's head, sparked a sudden familiarity. She had a powerful feeling that she knew him.

This brief excerpt is typical of the gritty, hard-edged writing of the entire trilogy. For me, upon first reading God's War, it was like a breath of fresh air had come in across from the desert.... Different, but not unlike when I read William Gibson's Neuromancer, shortly after the book was first published.

"The Body Project" has been posted online for your reading pleasure courtesy of publisher Del Rey UK, to help promote the UK publication of the Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy. In addition, the novelette has been published as an ebook on both the Amazon US and Amazon UK sites. If you're going to buy the ebook, don't hesitate: the current promotional price of 99¢ will increase on February 1.

After I had completed the copy edits -- and Kameron had had sufficient time to review them -- she sent out the following two Twitter posts, on January 10 and 14, respectively...

...Which obviously provide me the opportunity to toot (tweet?) my own horn.

And don't forget: the ebook is only 99¢ (£0.77 in the UK) until February 1.

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