My apologies for missing my blog entry last week. There is a story behind that, but it isn’t very interesting, so I won’t trouble you, Dear Reader.
Last week I received the advance reading copy (ARC) of my newest book, Crying Blood, from my publisher, and I’ve been proofreading until my eyes are about to fall out. I’m about three-quarters done, and I must say that the typesetter did herself proud. There are very few typos that I’ve found thus far.
When I turned the final version of the MS in to my editor, I had by that time been over the book about a thousand times and had completely lost all objectivity about the story, so I was interested in re-reading the book again after some time had elapsed. My hope was that I’d be able to see it with fresh eyes, and maybe be able to tell if it’s really any good or if I was just fooling myself. I’m glad to report that to my relief that it ain’t bad.
I’ve already moved on to the next book, and am in the midst of doing the research for it. My preliminary plan is to move my protagonist, Alafair, out of Oklahoma for this one story, and have her visit Tempe, where I currently live. This will not only shake things up a little bit, series-wise, but it’ll have the benefit of making my location-scouting infinitely easier. I will still have to deal with the one-hundred-year time difference between her and I, but at least I’ll be able to do my local history and library research in person rather than long-distance.
One thing that I’ve been looking into is the difference in food and folk medicines that Alafair will be having to deal with. For instance, she’ll probably come in contact with her first tortilla. Which will remind her of a flat corn fritter. Or maybe a pancake or a pie crust..
Have you ever noticed how just as languages have cognate words, cuisines have cognate foods? Almost every type of ethnic cooking has some sort of flatbread as a basic food item. Mexicans and Central Americans have tortillas, both corn and flour, the French have crepes, Ethiopians have injera, the Indians have naan. Cut your flatbread into strips and you have noodles, or dumplings. Stuff them and boil them and you’ll get ravioli or dim sum or pirogues. Put some stuff in them and roll them up and get a blini or a blintz. Or a pasty, a calzone, a quesadilla. Put a little baking powder or egg or yeast in your flour and water and make a biscuit. Maybe a scone or soda bread.
No matter how different things are, they’re more alike than you’d think.