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Ah. Yes. That.

My editor calls and I say, with much apologizing. “Did you get my e-mail? There’s a lot of art in this Dragonbreath—more than usual—and I might need an extension to November first.”

EDITOR: But…wait…your deadline was November 1st.

ME: It was?


ME: …oh. Well, never mind then.

EDITOR: You are the only person who asks for an extension so that they can meet their actual deadline.

(The sad truth of publishing—at least for me, and with a series this size—is that half the time you blow through the contract deadline before they’ve even signed the contract and then they set the REAL deadline and then you forget what it was because you’re working on the book before it and so there’s vague emails now and again setting new deadlines, mostly involving when the catalogs come out. This may be wildly different for people who don’t put out two books a year in a series sold three years in advance, mind you.)

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

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This leaves me wondering whether (a) your editor is absurdly happy that you are obviously going to meet the original deadline, or (b) scared that you're going to blow straight past the other deadlines because you've not actually aware of when they are.

(In practice, I would hope for (c) your editor makes sure you're both straight on when they are, with a gentle reminder or two)

Well, I am apparently known around the office as "that author who hands everything in early." To listen to people talk when I went up there, this was a profound insanity. (One of the editors cornered Kevin to ask how the hell I did it and did I sleep at all, and he had to explain that I used to be a cover artist and if I didn't meet deadline I didn't EAT.)

Honestly, I do get frustrated by how slow everyone moves sometimes, but I do try to remember that they have twenty or thirty books to work on, and I just have my two or three. *grin*

I am reminded of Douglas Adams, who was of the opposite bent: "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by."

Or, as Jamie likes to do, there is a deadline, a "real" deadline, and a "real" "final" deadline.

I always loved that one.

And, in some circles, the "drop dead" line.

**grins** This IS the author-equivalent of breaking the laws of physics, you do know that, right? Just saying. Also, I've sometimes wondered if editors wistfully remember the entymology of the word 'deadline' and wish they could enact the original punishment for passing one.

"I'm gonna need a few more weeks--"

*gun-cocking sound*

"On second thought, sleep is for the weak."

I wish I could do that with some of my authors...

I dream of being that far ahead someday. :)

I'm not so much ahead as they're behind. Then it gets bumped out and I work on something else because I get antsy.

Yay for being ahead-of / right-on schedule?!

Man, I would LOVE to have a problem like that. :)

One artist used to listen for the news that a plane had crashed, then send his editor a telegram: ORIGINAL ART WAS ON THAT PLANE STOP WILL DRAW IT AGAIN AND SEND IT STOP YOU WILL HAVE TO EXTEND DEADLINE STOP

Besides, you already know what deadlines are. You're a gardener, and plants don't negotiate.

I'm sure your editor loves you dearly.

And brags about you when she gets together with other editors.

I write deadlines down on paper. It makes me happy. Sometimes I even write them multiple places just so I can look from my postie to my calendar and make sure everyone is in agreement. Also, I never thought there was an alternative to making a deadline. I'm fairly sure that the earth will stop rotating and my heart stop beating if I miss a deadline. NO ONE TELL ME DIFFERENT because otherwise I will never work again.

Hah! I used to do that in art school all the time. I'd stay up all night finishing a project I thought was due the next day, and it would turn out to be a week early.

I just have to say it....

Ooh! Ooh!! A new Dragonbreath!!! In November!!!!

Edited at 2013-07-08 01:55 am (UTC)

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