Archive for January 20th, 2020

At long last it’s finally here!  I first mentioned my plan to write The Essential Maggie McNeill in my New Years’ Eve column for 2013, before many of the essays which are included in the final version were even written.  At that time I imagined I’d have it done by summer of 2014, but of course I decided to do a book tour during that time instead, then one thing led to another.  By the end of ’14 I had a title but nothing else; after March of ’15 the project sort of fizzled and by the time I mentioned it again over a year later I was already working on The Forms of Things Unknown.  Then it was two years after that (ie, about 18 months ago) before I finally started working on it in earnest, and I mention in the foreword that I wrote it on July 9th, 2018…at which time I told y’all that it’d probably be available in August.  Unfortunately, I’m not nearly as good with graphics as I am with words, so though the text was quite ready by August, I could not manage to create a cover that worked (though you may recognize the photo in this mention of the project).  Because I’m very competent at most things, I’ve never really learned how to deal with tasks that are difficult, and I’m not proud to say that my usual strategy for coping with such things is to put them off and hope something changes.  A year ago I hit upon the idea of letting someone else do the cover, but didn’t know who; Chester Brown has been busy with a big project of his own, and I don’t want to keep imposing on him anyhow (though I will when it comes time to publish my next fiction collection, Lost Angels).  Finally in November I decided to get Shannon Reeves, the young Canadian artist who did the artwork for The War on Whores; Paul Johnson put me in touch with her and she was able to design and create a lovely cover in a very short time!  Now here’s the good news:  we’ve already got a plan for the cover of volume II, and it’s already formatted and waiting for editing.  So barring some kind of disaster, that one should be ready in April, and Shannon’s already agreed to do covers for two collections of my answers to reader questions which I hope to get out in summer and autumn.  Yeah, I know, I don’t have a great track record on these, but once I get into a groove I’m usually fine.  In the meantime, y’all can inspire me by buying volume I at Amazon; the Kindle edition is here if you prefer that, and autographed copies will also be available on my store by the end of this week!

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