Monday, June 11, 2012

The Shade Of The Moon Number Three Is Now In The Hands Of Editor Number One

Actually, it's not in anybody's hands, since thanks to the miracles of modern technology, I simply zapped it across the airwaves into the editor's computer. For that matter, she's not Editor One, since I had a different editor for Life As We Knew It and The Dead And The Gone. So the entire title is a lie, or at least a prevarication (which, I think, means lie, but with multiple syllables).

I just checked over at and yes, it's a fancy way of saying lying. I thought it was very funny that when I checked, it offered me, in one of its many ads, a free Christian dating service. I don't even date expensive Christians.

Back to literature, or what passes for it in my computer. Well, literature with complaining. I love the word processing gizmos, but they have their limitations. Remember Jon's friend Tyler? I gave him a last name in the first draft, but decided for reasons that totally escape me that he should have a different last name. So I went to that fabulous Replace button, and replaced the first last name with Ames. Only then, for reasons that also totally escape me,I decided that his last name shouldn't be Ames.So I went to that fabulous Replace button, and substituted Hughes for Ames. Tyler Hughes. Fine name.

But then that nasty little Mistake! Mistake! button started going crazy, so I looked to see what the problem was. Well, the problem was when people had names, they now had nHughes, and when they played games, they played gHughes.

Then there was the minor character Brian. He was definitely not a Brian, so I went back to my beloved Popular Baby Names  and discovered that the 396th most popular boy's name in 1970 was Virgil. Having taken four years of Latin in high school, I have a great fondness for Virgil, so Brian got replaced with Virgil.

Sadly though, that meant that Alex's sister Briana, mentioned once in the book, became Virgila. The Mistake!Mistake! button went crazy over that as well.

I thought the manuscript was perfect when I zipped it off, but in my search for a celebratory 2 pages to scan over here, I found that Jon took a book of Plato out of the library, but ended up reading Aristotle instead. Oh well. If manuscripts were perfect, editors would get very bored.

What we all should remember, as we think about the editor, is there's no contract for The Shade Of The Moon Attempt Number Tres. So the editor might not get bored, thanks to my catchy mistakes, but might not like the book either and turn it down, and all you'll ever get to read of it is the four pages I put on my blog earlier and the two I'm about to put on.

It's very tricky, by the way, getting two pages that don't give away too much of the plot. It's a book with a lot of plot, and every time I looked for two pages to put here, there was always too much information to reveal so casually.

The two pages I finally chose are about Miranda and Alex. So if you don't want to know what's happening with them, don't read the pages. Consider yourself warned.

Oh, I know what I'll do. I have an excellent picture of Scooter I've been looking for an excuse to plop here. If you want to stay completely unspoiled about Alex and Miranda, then admire the picture of Scooter and move on.

I'll say goodbye here just in case. Now that I no longer have the manuscript to write or rewrite, the focus of my life is on naps!


Anonymous said...

I still think that they should have Juliana as a girl's name -- Julie + Brianna.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Renee Carter Hall said...

Loved the find-and-replace follies. XD

This might be a naive question, but if they were to turn the book down, would there be any possibility of self-publishing it (say, as an ebook) or some other way to get it directly to readers? Or is the traditional route pretty much the only way to go (whether for legal or personal reasons)?

Anonymous said...

The 'Find and replace' box has a little button labeled 'More'. If you press on it, you have access to two very nice options: 'Match case' and 'Find whole words only'. You might stlll have to run it one by one without the latter to make sure you catch the possessives – e.g. Brian's.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering that myself.

Anonymous Santa Fe

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Anonymous Santa Fe and Renee Carter Hall-

If it's a girl, they're favoring Liana. Same basic principle.

I'm chosing not worry about what might happen if the publisher turns the book down. Writers do have options they didn't used to have, but there are consequences to using those options.

So until I hear yes or no, I'm not going to work through the consequence list.

Instead I'll nap!

jnifr said...

I just found out today that there was even a tentative fourth from a former student and was immediately excited. Now, to see that there is a submitted portion makes me completely giddy! The editors would have to be half insane (if not completely) to not enjoy it and KNOW that it MUST be published for all of us hungry readers out here.

The description of your adventure with the replace "feature" had me laughing out loud. Sometimes those little things included to make life/ work easier, can totally ruin our day.

We love and appreciate your imagination and world changing storytelling. So glad you keep "doing what you do." :)

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello and thank you jnifr-

On occasion, editors are half insane, but for the most part they have a good sense of what will work for them and what won't.

I certainly hope this version will work for them, but in the meamtime, I have delayed spring cleaning to keep me busy!

Anonymous said...

Given Asteriod LZ71 zooming past, and the surprisingly dramatic take on it by there is no way the book won't be published.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Good morning Anonymous-

You gotta love those friendly neighborly asteroids!

Timolière said...

does that mean... we might see a fourth book coming!?????

I CAN'T WAIT!!! (just left a message on the entry you said there'll only be a trilogy!)

Tim from Taiwan

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Timoliere-

We might see a fourth book, but the key word is "might." I'm waiting to hear from my editor, and there's never a guarantee a publishing house will accept the manuscript.

In the meantime, I continue to dust!

Anonymous said...

I just got done reading the Life as we Knew it trilogy and I'm crazy about it. Of course I worry about what if some thing like this did happen like always but I still can't put it down. I hope they do let you publish the forth cause I need to know if the world at least goes kinda back to normal.I know it will never be the same but at least sun light would be nice.

thelostgirl said...

AHH! I want a fourth book! Tell your publisher I said please please please please please please pleaseeeeeee :D

jacquekh said...

Hello! I just finished the last 2 books in this trilogy, today! I read both in one day! Then went searching for info on a possible 4th book, and found this site. My question is; will there be larger pages posted for chapter one? I have an iPhone, as well as an ipad2, but the script is so small that when I can enlarge it, it becomes extremely distorted. I can only make out a few words, and that's with reading glasses! Lol. I really would love to read the pages your sharing with all of us. So if there is another way to post these pages, I'm sure there are more readers besides me that would be indebted to you.
I have to admit, when I read the first book, I actually had to put it down and do something else! It really shook me up to see how really unprepared my family would be, if something ( not necessarily the moon ! ) could throw us into an unforeseen predicament. Then I finished the book, then went on to finish the last 2. Love your writing style! Can't wait till book4 comes out~
Thank you for your comments on posts made to you, you are hilarious! Jacque

Anonymous said...

i love these books and im hoping the fourth installment is very soon, hoping it gets published!