Last night I emailed the final draft of PANDEMIC to my publisher at Random House. The fiction-makin’ phase of this book is officially over.
After this, the next thing that comes back are the line edits; an editor does a line-by-line grammar and continuity check. I go through these marks and approve or decline them (mostly approve), then send the manuscript back. After that, I get the “page galleys,” or 8.5×11 printouts that look exactly like what the hardcover page will look like. That’s the last chance to fix things, then it’s off to the printer.
PANDEMIC is due out January 21, 2014. This is the final book in the INFECTED trilogy. A pre-order link is at right (of course there is, my job is to sell books, and that’s an affiliate link so I can squeeze a few more cents out of each book, btw).
Junkies, I am pooped!
This was passing a major literary kidney stone. Trying a globe-spanning plot into the events of INFECTED and CONTAGIOUS took a ton of work. As usual, trying to use real biology for a tale like this was a major challenge that quickly spiraled well beyond my knowledge. Special thanks to Jeremy Ellis, Joe Albietz and Tom Merritt for help with all of that.
But don’t order yet, there’s also the military consultants! The usual vets who double as Sigler Secret Agents: Chris Grall (ground forces), J.P. Harvey (aircraft) and Joe Root (submarines) put in a ton of time and helped more than I can express. This time we also had two new military consultants, Ted Arthur (Navy SEAL) and our own Scott Pond (surface ships). As always, I thank these fine gents for their service and sharing their time and knowledge with me.
And don’t forget Big John Vizcarra and ARealGirl herself, my biz partner A Kovacs. John put in a major effort to make PANDEMIC fit into the Siglerverse continuity. ARealGirl read the entire manuscript three times, I think, seeing it at many different phases.
P.C. Haring, author extrordinaire, was our Chicago consultant. His read helped make the story’s use of the Windy City as accurate as it could be.
Another new member of the editing team was Joel Palmer, who shared with us his expertise on FEMA and how the United States reacts to disaster. Did I mention there was a disaster in PANDEMIC? There is. Surprise!
And finally (I hope I’m not missing anyone), I thank Chris Otto, a guy I’ve known since high school. Chris spent his early adult years as a commercial diver. He gave me invaluable knowledge on how underwater demolition crews work and handle their day-to-day biz.
Wow, look at that: nine people who took the time to read this book cover to cover (several more than once), and give me detailed notes on how to make the book better.
Oh, wait, it’s ten. Of course, my editor at Crown, Tha Shiv, read the entire thing four times. He’s a trooper, that one.
This was a hard book to do. Not as hard as NOCTURNAL, but the science evaded me. Trying to find “real” biology that would work with this heavily layered thriller plot was one of the trickiest jobs of my career. I can’t thank Dr. Ellis and Dr. Albietz enough for tolerating the endless emails that usually started with “Now I’ve got it, would this work?” I’m pretty sure these guys came to dread looking at their in-box to see if I was pestering them yet again.
So, if you enjoy PANDEMIC, you should be appreciative of the people listed above. I am humbled by the amount of work that people put in to help make this book as good as it can me. In other words, it’s good to be the FDØ.
And if you don’t like PANDEMIC? That’s on me. I’ve had more support for this book than any other I’ve written. From ARealGirl’s management of my time and management of my “I suck as an author” funks to Tha Shiv’s efforts to make this book commercial and not a science lecture to all of the consultants and readers, if this novel sucks it’s no one’s fault but mine.
Eight months to go until y’all get to finish the epic trilogy of doom.