It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…

So. September is here, bringing with it autumn and a whole bunch of stuff I need to get done by the end of the year. Time for a big old status update.

Edits on Empire State are due back to Angry Robot by October 5th at the latest. In addition, I need to compile all the extra material including the usual stuff (acknowledgements, etc) and the special bonus features.

The final manuscript for Seven Wonders, my whizz-bang superhero novel scheduled for publication in late 2012, is due for delivery to Angry Robot by October 1st, although I’ve got some extra time up my sleeve as getting Empire State done is the top priority.

Once these are out of the way, I need to get my agent’s edits on The Novel Formerly Known As Ludmila, My Love done and the final manuscript tidied up by the end of the year. The title, as you may have guessed, is up for change for a couple of very sensible reasons: firstly, the original is a little too abstract for what is essentially a space opera horror. Secondly, punctuation of any kind – commas, even hyphens – play merry havoc with databases and catalogues, and the last thing I want is for the book not to show up anywhere! Writers, take note!

The above mean that work on Night Pictures, my current WIP about missing people, TV hackers, and parallel universes at the bottom of swimming pools, will now go on hold until at least January. Night Pictures is about halfway there, and this hiatus actually comes at a good time as I need to make some adjustments to the outline for the second half of the book and redefine a couple of forthcoming plot threads.

After the first draft of Night Pictures is done, I’m embarking on a rewrite of my first manuscript, Dark Heart. This is a (much-needed) complete top-to-bottom rewrite. Before I get started I’m going to work on some tone ideas for it and will probably do a new outline to feed this in. The end result should be a quite different book – and one that is quite a bit more interesting!

My small-town post-apocalyptic horror pitch The Suicide Tree is somewhere out in the publishing world but I’m not expecting to hear anything at the moment – this is something to be revisited next year at any rate. Also something on the backburner is my weird Western horror collaboration The Gospel – this is a really cool project and a really neat story, but with other deadline-dependent projects this year it’s unfortunately dropped to the bottom of the priority list.

I’ve added about four new index cards to my Magic Corkboard of Ideas, but I need to take a look at the board and take a couple of older idea cards off, as they’ve either been combined with or subsumed into other novel ideas. I suspect a dedicated planning and note-taking day is in order shortly.

And that, I think, is about it for now, not including the various bits and pieces of ongoing Empire State promotional work, which are beginning to ramp up as the US publication date approaches.