As you can see, the first and last covers don't quite match the others, because Bordraw is redoing the previous covers, starting with Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle. Along with this updated cover, I am happy to announce that I have also digitally remastered the AQATTC ebook. Updated with not just several years worth of corrected typos and my improved ability to wrangle epub files, it also features chapter illustrations by Sam Gabriel, whom you all know as the fellow who's devoted an insane amount of time to the Alexandra Quick Audiobook project.
You can get the new AQATTC ebook, the AQATWA ebook, and all the previous ones (as well the old PDF files, featuring my awesome Poser illustrations) at the download link that has always been visible in the sidebar.
Bordraw is working on updated covers for books two through four, and Sam is producing illustrations for the next few books as well. So as I gather all the necessary materials, I will be releasing remastered ebooks for Alexandra Quick and the Lands Below, Alexandra Quick and the Deathly Regiment, and Alexandra Quick and the Stars Above as well.
Note that I do still correct typos (in all my books) when people send them to me. I don't go back and reedit the chapters posted to FanFiction.net and AO3, because that would just be too much work, but I periodically upload the latest revision of the ebooks. (If you are super-geeky, you can tell what version of the epub you have by looking at the "modification date" in the metadata.) For those who care, I used to create epubs using Calibre, which is actually an ebook reader and organizer with some basic editing functionality, but I have graduated to Sigil, which is awesome and powerful and about as user-friendly as Linux circa 1999.
Actually, my process is:
1. Create digital master copy, complete with stylesheets, page layouts, and illustrations, in Word. (I finally had to give up my beloved OpenOffice and bite the Micro$oft bullet because creating print-ready files in OpenOffice is about as user-friendly as Linux circa 1992.)
2. Save master copy as filtered HTML.
3. Open the HTML file in a code editor, spend a couple hours cleaning it up, creating a proper css stylesheet, and removing all the Microsoft cruft.
4. Open that in Sigil, and spend another couple of hours creating a tidy, nicely-formatted ebook which still does not consistently render the same in every reader because the epub format is still Linux circa ~2005.
But anyway, if I become unemployed due to the impending Coronavirus depression, recession, or global apocalypse, depending on which economist you listen to, maybe I can start a new side gig formatting ebooks for Amazon authors, because everyone will still be buying ebooks while sifting through dumpsters, right?
Just kidding. Hope you're all okay out there.
The Alexandra Quick and the Thorn Circle print book
I have just about finished the digital master for AQATTC. vielerseits did some awesome proofreading of the first draft and caught a ton of things that will make the first print copy look awesome.
The cover artist is taking longer than I expected, and that is really the only thing I am waiting for before I put together the POD file and order my first print print. A select few of you (you know who you are) will be getting copies. Yes, I've decided I'll probably make the POD file available to everyone else eventually.
And if you noticed that frontpiece illustration of Charmbridge Academy, that was done by an artist who I commissioned to do similar frontpieces for all seven books. Yes, I have the frontmatter illustration for AQATWW and book seven already. I may show them off (at least the ones for books two through five) soon.
cactusfantastico also painted an awesome picture of Alexandra facing Typhon:
Begone by cactusfantastico on DeviantArt
And on the r/AlexandraQuick subreddit, u/shncha posted this beautiful portrait of Constance:
Whatever are you thinking, Constance, showing your ankles like that, with your hair unbound? Hmm....
What you really care about: AQATWW
So, have I been taking advantage of the Coronavirus situation to sit in my home and write for 8 hours a day?
No. I've actually been spending a lot of time on other projects. But - I have also been writing! Maybe not quite as much as I would like, but it's proceeding.
As I said in my last Author's Notes, I am actually trying to do more outlining than I did in previous books, and having already hit some stumpers, a lot of my "writing time" is "thinking time," and unfortunately that's when I'm most prone to getting distracted by hopping onto a game site or reddit for
I currently have 39 chapters outlined for AQATWW, 14 for book seven, 15 chapters written for AQATWW, and 2 chapters for book seven. (I finally did a Rowling and wrote the Epilogue that has been in my head for years. Then I ended up writing a second Epilogue.) The word count stands at about 87,000 words, but that's a very inaccurate count, as it includes outlines, notes, and such.
To everyone who has been emailing me and PMing me asking "When will book six be done?" and "Please don't take another five years!" - hey, I'm doing my best. I want to say that at my current pace, I'm not writing much slower than I was when I finished a book a year.... but shit happens, like pandemics and other things, and if AQATWA taught me anything, it's not to make promises. Right now, I am optimistic about my progress. Thank you for your patience.