This morning marks the milestone that at least one of us has been clamoring for: I think I just finished the first pass on my illustrations for Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. I’m hedging my bets there because, a.) sometimes I change my mind, a day or so later; and, b.) the last one – the illustration for Chapter 1 – has been kicking me up and down the street and I can’t be sure that it won’t continue to abuse me.
For those reasons, that’s not the illustration for Chapter 1 that we see up above. What we do see – and what the reckless among us may click on, to see embiggified – is what I call “Pseudoendpapers A (Front)”.
In the unlikely event of a hardcover edition this would make one half of a pair of endpaper spreads; in the rather more likely trade paperback edition the pseudoendpapers would become simple two-page spreads at the beginning and end of the book.
The pseudoendpapers are (still) crying out for taglines. The text you see at the top here will probably not make the cut because it’s a kind of spoiler. It has the right tone of melodrama tempered by farce. It’s just not quite what I need.
So the taglines are one thing I still need to do. The other things add up to revisions to six of the chapter illustrations. The revisions range from mistakes (“Oops! I forgot to put the shazbrogenator in there, when it’s clearly described in the text”) to enhancements (“That’s not crowded enough for a crowd scene”) to potential explosions (“What the heck was I thinking there, anyway?”). I’ll probably be working through those issues for the next few weeks.
So I’m a couple of weeks behind schedule. I guess that’s not too bad, percentage-wise, when the schedule covers about six months. Back in my days of art direction I’d always pad a schedule by about 20%; but I can’t fool myself that way because I am myself: too canny to be taken in by that sort of subterfuge.
The only bit that’s running seriously behind is the next book. I expected to be pounding the keyboard by now, but I’m still thinking some things through and dreaming of index cards. As one does.