• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor


BWANGGGGG……feeple, feeple, ploop.

Which is—lest you not recognize this masterly example of onomatopoeia—the sound made by a rubber band that’s been tightly wrapped around a newspaper and is suddenly pushed off to shoot across the room, spin slightly and fall limp. It’s also the sound of my brain, suddenly decompressing.

Which is to say—it’s DONE. AN ECHO IN THE BONE went to press a couple of weeks ago, and the first hot-off-the-press copy arrived on my doorstep a few days ago (and a jolly good thing, too, since it’s due out on the 22nd of this month). It’s absolutely beautiful (huge thanks to Virginia Norey, the book-designer) and I’m Way Thrilled with it.

All my books come together differently; this one was undoubtedly written in more different places than any of the others. I wrote part of it during a short night aboard a plane to Scotland (the stewardi were most concerned, and kindly brought me endless Diet Cokes all night; if caffeine does anything bad to you, I expect we’ll find out here shortly)—thus arriving in the Highlands next day having slept only two hours out of the preceeding 36, which gives a whole new meaning to jet lag.

I wrote another part of it on the floor of the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament, though this was more or less an accident (I was kindly invited to witness the first-ever Clan Convention (a gathering of all the clan chieftains, and heads of clan societies), and was walking along with the chieftain of clan MacKenzie, whom I’d been fortunate enough to have dinner with earlier in the week, and was inadvertently shooed into the main chamber with him, rather than up to the Visitor’s Gallery—and then was unable to get out. So I nonchalantly sat down at a delegate’s desk, took out my netbook and flipped it open, in hopes that people would assume I was a journalist reporting on the proceedings. And…well, there I was, and there the computer was, and…

The more-or-less final bits were written during a long night in the Algonquin Hotel in New York (very appropriate, given the hotel’s literary history) on our way home (we have to break trips to Europe, as my husband is very tall, and Suffers Intensely on long flights, even in business class). I emailed the last chunk of manuscript to my editor just after dawn, and just before running out the door to catch a cab to the airport.

In the cab, naturally, I realized that I’d left out a couple of short bridges—and on the flight back to Phoenix, realized that there really had to be another scene in Part Six, and…well, anyway, I tidied up all the little subsidiary chunks and addressed the (luckily, very few) editorial comments on the earlier parts, all this while reading the copy-edited and/or already-typeset versions of the earlier chunks, which had been chasing me around Scotland for the preceding two weeks.

All of which is why I haven’t written anything but answers to interview questions and replies to (some of) the backed-up email for the last couple weeks. But my brain is beginning to twitch feebly again, and bits of this ‘n that are bubbling up. Just in time—I have a short story (well, sort of. Maybe. We hope) under contract for a new anthology (edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois) titled STAR-CROSSED LOVERS. I don’t yet know what my story will be titled, but at least I do know what the story’s about: I’m going to tell the story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents.

In other words….I’m baa-aack. [g]

Tagged as:

66 Responses »

  1. Dear Dazzled–

    I'd have to look back through my directory of files to tell that, myself. I could pick out the bit that was written at the Scottish Parliament, because that file will have a specific date on it, and ditto for the two complete scenes that were added after the manuscript was "delivered," but I doubt that most of the last-minute bits and pieces could be identified, even by me–at that point, I was just working on the last section of the book as a single file, adding in bridges and transitions, and shuffling the order of scenes and chapters (as I said to my editor, "This section is tricky, because it has to detonate like a string of firecrackers." Judging from his sole comment on that section ("Surprising, thrilling, shocking, brilliant! Bravo!"), I might have managed that. [g] You'll have to judge for yourselves, though.

  2. I was in Scotland to see you at The Gathering (the primary reason I went but I'm glad I did, it was indescribably wonderful). I was a bit worried when you said during your talk there that the book wasn't finished. So glad to hear my worry was for naught.

  3. It's sooooo good to have you blogging again! It feels like its been years since a new post. Anywho… hope your dogs, kids, husband, health, and work are all well.

    Ps. I was lucky enough to be one of the people who got the free Outlander book with the ECHO excerpts. My husband almost had a heart attack when I opened the package and started screaming hysterically!

    Merci Beaucoup to your Publishing Company.

    Keighley Poulsen

  4. so glad youre back! and ever more glad that tomorrow is the 22nd!!

  5. Diana!!!!

    Am at pg 725, and have scoured furiously through the (only 95 remaining, how could you?! ABOSA was 1400+) rest, desperate for the answers. Only to find that…NO YOU DID NOT!!!! You really expect me to live the next three years of my life?! Sane?! I want to say [g], but [groan, moan, whine] is all I've got.

    Well, ok, am trying to breathe. But you must cancel all touring and go write the rest of this thread. Now. Please. pleeeeeeaaaaaaaasssssssseeeeeeee???

    "Like a string of firecrackers," indeed. More like a string of SCUDS, just waiting for my oh-so-innocent page turn. You are a twisted, torturous woman, and I love you all the more for it, as soon as I complete my ranting. In THREE more years [real g].

    Was at your dinner talk last spring in Gainesville, FL. An absolute delight. Now, back to the computer for you, and your little dog too!!

  6. Hi Diana,

    As I'm writing this, I'm downloading Voyager to listen to while I work and, I must say, it's just as exciting as reading the books. They (or you, not sure how that works) couldn't have chosen a better narrator IMO. She's fabulous!

    I'm so excited to see that Echo is FINALLY out. I've been waiting patiently for the past year and it's finally here! YAY! Now I just have to get my own copy (hmmmm…I see a trip to the bookstore in my near future).

    Thanks so much for the storytelling :)


Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.