Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Eye of the Whale Arch
2009 by Climb-Utah.com



Jessica of Dune Progress Report

I received Draft 5 of JESSICA back from Brian in the middle of December. The novel is really taking shape, and after we've both been over it several times, we can now see some of the sculpting and reshaping we need to do. Knowing that our house was soon to be inundated with relatives and other guests for the holidays, I packed up the laptop and a suitcase and headed off for a week of quiet concentration time in one of my favorite haunts -- Moab, Utah. I intended to go on a few hikes in the red rocks and canyonlands country, but spend most of the time locked in my room at the lodge with i-pod playing some of my favorite rock music, and the JESSICA files up on my laptop.

On the 6-hour drive from my home to Moab, the weather turned foul and snowed heavily, so that most of my hiking plans had to be scrapped -- which gave me all the more time to work on the book. For the JESSICA rewrite there were several new scenes that needed to be added, and since I had brought along my digital recorder, I did go out for one afternoon to Arches National Park. I did a 5-mile hike along a very rough 4WD road, made opaque by fresh snow, to see the distant and obscure Eye of the Whale Arch, one of the few points on the park map that I had not yet seen. Though Arches is a circus in late spring and summer, it was an absolute ghost town now, and the utter snow-blanketed *silence* is unlike any other.

I was the only guest at the lodge -- this is definitely off-season! -- and I had plenty of quiet time, enough to recharge my "solitude batteries" before the holiday madness. I did have internet access, though, and I received an unexpected e-mail from Stephen Youll, sending me the file of the finished painting for JESSICA OF DUNE. Perfect serendipity -- Steve has never let us down, and this is (again) one of his best. I'll post it here as soon as Tor Books has approved it.

When my "vacation" was up and I headed back home, I had managed to do all of the major work for the rewrite. Over the next couple of weeks, I did another edit from start-to-finish, and just today I gave the Draft 6 (or 7?) manuscript to the gang of test readers, who will go over it in the next couple of weeks. We are on track for the scheduled publication date of August 2009.

On another topic, I'm clearing out some of my copies of hard-to-find and out-of-print books as well as some collectibles such as advance reading copies, foreign editions, etc. Some Dune titles and a lot of my other novels. If you're interested in completing your collection, please take a look at anderzoneshop.com. (we've also got a few copies left of my 2009 mountain calendar).

-- KJA


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