Edits, Travel, and the Injury at the End

Apr 09, 2018

I finished the edits on the next Anita Blake novel, Serpentine at the beginning of March. Jonathon, my husband, and I were already on a romantic vacation, but he helped me take time out to finish the edits that I hadn’t managed before we had to leave for our getaway. At the end I went old school: writing the changes long hand on sticky notes and handed them to Jonathon for him to type into the manuscript edits. I hadn’t written that much long hand in years, but it felt right. I’d already written the book, the edits were small things, or a scene here and there that needed changed for plot or character development. I took out one side plot that had started off as a red herring, but turned out to lead nowhere, so it had to go. I even had to cut a great new character that I hope we get to see later in another book. Larry Kirkland was a character that was actually in one of the rough drafts of the first Anita Blake novel, Guilty Pleasures, but he wouldn’t actually get on stage until book three, The Circus of the Damned. One of my favorite things about writing a series is that characters and plot lines that have to be edited out of one book can still see life later on. Interestingly, Anita, Micah, and Nathaniel try to have a romantic trip in the book, but both her work and Micah’s interfere with it. I wrote that months before Jonathon and I would be on our own trip and my work would cost us the first few days of relaxation, as if my muse knew it was coming. Of course, Anita’s work was a missing person and murder, and Micah’s work was a type of lycanthropy that we’d never seen before. My edits seem so tame in comparison.

I proceeded to take the longest purposeful break from writing that I’ve ever taken. Jonathon and I finished our trip without more work interfering. Then I got to spend our daughter’s spring break with her. My sister and her wife were able to fly into the country and visit with us. I spent all my “vacation” traveling. I’d finally get on the first plane towards home, but in the all out run to make it, I fell.

I was running full out, I was even thinking, “Wow, I can really run now. I’m so glad I can move like this, yay gym!” And then I wiped out. I did a good job of it, because kind strangers came to stand over me, making that face you make when someone hurts themselves in front of you. Thanks to the kind man who offered me a hand up, because I could not have gotten up without help. I wasn’t even sure that I’d be able to stand at all, until I tried. I was finally able to limp to my plane like Igor from the Frankenstein movies, but I was just happy to make my plane. I enjoyed my travels, but I was so ready to go home. I made my plane discovering that I was bleeding from the skin I’d lost, but I was able to walk better as I moved more. I still hurt, but I got to my seat. The flight attendant got me bandages, alcohol wipes, and eventually ice bags to put on my knee. Thanks for the care and attention Delta. Thanks also to my seat mate, Charles, who was a gentleman in the best sense of the word, putting my bag overhead for me when he saw I was hurt and helping the flight attendant pass me things to do some first aid. He also kept my mind off how much I was hurting by having an intelligent and calm discussion about our different paths of faith.

The skin is growing back from the scrapes, but I’ve either scraped my meniscus, or got a micro tear in it, which means no gym or martial arts for awhile. The page proofs of Serpentine have come back for one last chance to read over and catch any small things. It hurts to even sit at my desk for too long without propping my leg up. Sigh.

I’m looking forward to finishing the page proofs and getting back to the gym and dojo, and onto writing the next story.

24 thoughts on “Edits, Travel, and the Injury at the End”

  1. Sorry to hear of your injury. Looking forward to the new book. Do you know when you’ll be writing the next Merry Gentry book? Hopefully it’s the next one – you eluded to. Thanks for your imagination and work, love your books.

  2. Sorry to hear about your fall. Meniscus tears are a bitch to get over. Had my own fall recently .. blood sugars wiped out and i fell hitting my husbands reloading desk on my right side, skull, shoulder, hip, bad knee. one big bruise later and a walker. 😛 Get better soon. Looking forward to the next book. Hugs from Colorado.

  3. How many rounds of edits does this make? 7, 8, or 9?? Your Facebook post from 2 weeks ago (mid-March) stated the publisher had just returned Serpentine to you for more edits with 1 more round to go.

  4. I am so happy to hear that you were able to have a wonderful relaxing “vacation” even though work preempted it for a couple days.
    I am sorry about your injuries though. I understand how frustrating it can be to have an injury take you away from something you love to do. I do hope you have a swift road to recovery.
    I am so looking forward to reading Serpentine so very much… I’ve actually pre-ordered it through audible!
    I hope the last little edits go well and quickly and that your pain eases soon. And i am sure Serpentine will be PHENOMENAL!!

  5. I’m excited to hear about you. From your holidays and back home, here (I’m from Mexico City) we finished the holiday period and everything is chaotic this morning, so seeing your message was a very pleasant surprise. I’m sorry about your fall and I hope you recover soon and return to the Dojo, the Gym does not work for me, but you seem to enjoy it a lot.

    On the other hand: Thank you, thank you, thank you! for another book by Anita. Last year when I read that you needed rest and there would be no more Jean Claude, Micah, Nathaniel, Nick and all the other characters and adventures I dedicated myself to re-read some of my favorites and it was impressive to realize how you have been linking with each other, both the characters as the evolution of their relationships, as the parallel stories and the transformation of Anita through everything. For me there are few authors capable of making their protagonist feel like a real person able to grow, make mistakes, mature, laugh and love. I look forward to the publication.

  6. Life is so busy anymore that physical pain has to come along with it. You’re tough but, when you don’t want to be, there are other parts to support us. I’m glad the edits are finished both for your success and for us readers that are getting that much closer to the new book, thank you!

  7. Aw man, I know how it feels slipping and falling. Especially if you lose skin, but keep your head up, at least no broken bones. lol. My kiddo broke her pelvic bone when she was 6 and had just about to go to her first competition when she was hurt. In the end, no running, jumping, working out for nearly a year to make sure it healed. She was soooo bummed out.

    But I’m glad you’re writing again. Sucks about having to cut a character out. Anymore teasers? Pregnancy scares? please and thanks you….well more like, GET ANITA PREGNANT. lol, I would love to see a little Anita hehehe. And Nathaniel being all daddy like. hehehe.
    I can’t wait for the book to come out, already pre-ordered it. lol.

    By any chance, did you ever answer my question on Facebook. I realize that the person who answers may not be you.

    Well as I was browsing the internet……I stumbled on google maps of St. Louis just so I can get images.

    When I came across a Edward “Ted” and Pat Jones-Confluence Park.

    I have to ask, was this the inspiration of Edward’s name and Alias?

    I wish I could talk to you directly sometimes, lmao, but still oh well.

    By the way, how come you have a male voice with your audio books when the perspective is a female. And is it okay that I record myself reading the book and putting it on youtube? lol. I just want a female perspective and reaction. Please let me know thanks

  8. Please,please,please if you haven’t already done so see a doctor and have a MRI of your knee. From experience I know what it’s like to injure a knee and then soldier on. 30 years ago I fractured my femur in the knee joint 2 days before Christmas I “soldiered” on and worked (nurse), chased small children and cross country skied on it. End result I ended up having to have a knee replacement. Jump ahead 30 years and I injured both knees (torn ACL, torn meniscus, torn synovial membrane) I had my other knee replaced and had to have a resection on the previous replacement to repair the membrane. Better to have arthroscopic surgery than wait till damage is bad enough that replacement is the only option.

  9. I’m glad you made it back on your feet after the tumble. Thank you for writing not one but two captivating series. I can’t wait to read Anita’s next chapter and hope to see Merrys soon. Heal quickly and blessed be

  10. I can’t wait to read the new book. I’m so glad that you were able to enjoy parts of your vacation, and hope that you heal and feel better soon.

  11. What happened to Richard is HD going to make an appearence I thought him and Anita and Jean-Claude had a power base

  12. I fell this past fall going into the post office. Mail flew in the air, I caught myself with my hands but fell hard on my knee! All I could think about was did I scratch my new purse!!! Lucky for the purse, it was fine. Yes, there where witnesses. Worst pain ever at the time. Got home and saw I scraped my knee. I know what you are going through. Feel better! Looking forward to reading the new story!!!

  13. Swift recovery. Glad you were able to enjoy your vacation and family time before you got hurt. Definitely looking forward to reading the next master piece. I have started at the beginning so I can be in the right “Anita” mind frame to properly enjoy the next adventure.

  14. Aww, I’m so sorry you got hurt 😵. I have had several falls, but none were serious. Working out has obviously kept your bone nice and solid. You did great!

  15. Well Laurell I’m so sorry you hurt your knee in a mad dash to get home, I for one know how painful knee injuries can be not to mention biting the dust in front of other people, hell I rolled my ankle walking down my drive way at midnight an bashed up both my knees with no one around an still I laid sprawled on the pavement for ten minutes just to gather my pride to get up. So I commend you in your bravery to face an air port full of strangers. I mostly wanted to say that I’m so happy to finally have a new book to look forward to reading. I read a lot of books at least one a day on my kindle unlimited but I only have five authors that I buy an keep their books for ever an your the top one. So thank you for doing what you do so well.

  16. Simply, you (and Jonathon) and your characters rock! I’ve been a fan since I first met Anita in your first Executioner book. Thank you!

  17. Just because you CAN run, doesn’t mean you SHOULD!!!
    Glad you are doing better, just takes time to heal. Looking forward to the next chapter in Anita’s life.

  18. Suck it up buttercup and keep moving and healing.Sending you Positive vibes for healing.

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