The Blog of a Historical Romance Author


After approximately four years…

March 31st, 2013

I have finally updated the look and feel of my blog to complement (although not match) the rest of my website.

(The “complementing, but not matching” part was a decision I made many years ago: that I wanted to clearly delineate between my website [which is wholly commercial in the sense that it's basically all about my books and writing] and my blog [which is sometimes about things that are not even remotely related to stuff that I am selling]. I haven’t revisited that decision since. When I first started the blog/website, I didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Obviously that line has been blurred and then smashed and then reconstituted and mixed in with the mashed potatoes. I’m still contemplating what it means–for instance, I haven’t even linked to my Tumblr site from this website yet, for the simple reason that my Tumblr site is almost never about my books.)

(Suffice it to say, I use different social media platforms in vastly different ways.)

(I am not sure if this is good or bad.)

(But I do think that I could make a record for the most parenthetical comments in one blog post [or failing that, for the most nested parenthetical comments in a single post <how am I doing?>].)

I am also testing to see if the blog now properly updates Facebook/Twitter. It might not. Or maybe it will push this post twice. Let’s see what happens.

Edited to add: I’ve had a handful of people talking about some odd behavior here, and after checking rabidly and extensively on a variety of browsers and being utterly unable to duplicate the errors, I think I know what is causing the problem. I believe that some people have the old stylesheet still saved in cache, and so it’s causing some weird behaviors. Try reloading this page, or if that fails, clearing the cache from your browser and loading the page.

If that still doesn’t work, please let me know in comments.

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DABWAHA

March 30th, 2013

Thank you all for voting for The Duchess War and The Governess Affair. You guys seriously rocked it out, and while Tammara Webber’s Easy won the day, you definitely didn’t lose. I’m pretty happy to have done as well as I did against Easy, which was a pretty damned amazing book. (If you haven’t read it, consider it!)

I know that I had promised you a deleted scene from The Duchess War if we advanced–but I never said you couldn’t have it if we didn’t.

And so with that caveat–and with many, many thanks for all your help–here it is.

http://www.courtneymilan.com/tdw-deletedscene.php

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DABWAHA, redux

March 29th, 2013

So, The Duchess War went up against Tessa Dare’s A Lady by Midnight. The battle was hard-fought.

How hard fought was the battle? I will let the following screenshots speak for themselves.

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Sometimes The Duchess War was up. Sometimes A Lady by Midnight was up. Often, the two books were tied.

But at the end, alas….

Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 4.53.04 PM

So there you are. We fought well, but we were bested at the last.

Luckily, The Governess Affair went up against Ruthie Knox’s Room at the Inn and managed to prevail.

This means, first of all, that I owe you all the first chapter from my first manuscript. I made one change to this manuscript–specifically, I did a find and replace on the hero’s name, because I’ve used that name on a book that I published (hey, I liked the name, and I borrowed characteristics from the hero for that other book) and I want to avoid confusion.

So here is Chapter One of Flight of Fancy. Read it and weep. Or something.

Secondly, this means that there still is an opportunity to vanquish Tessa (and many other fine writers!). But in order to do that, The Governess Affair must prevail against all comers.

I know that there were multiple people who were disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to read the lovely scene I promised detailing Minnie’s aunts giving her “the talk.” Many of them were, in fact, extremely disappointed, especially once I posted this tiny snippet (brings up a graphic: warning, not safe for work).

And so this scene is still available as a bribe. Defeat Tammara Webber’s Easy in tomorrow’s roundup, and it will be posted.

Voting will be open from midnight to noon, CST.

Remember, anything that has an IP address can vote–phones, iPads, computers at work, the library, every Starbucks.

 

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Winners, and DA BWAHA bribe post

March 26th, 2013

So, first of all, thank you all for voting both THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR and THE DUCHESS WAR into the Sweet Sixteen round of DA BWAHA. The other books out there are truly amazing, and it’s a huge honor to be chosen.

But in the next round, things are going to get real. THE DUCHESS WAR is up against Tessa Dare’s A LADY BY MIDNIGHT, and THE GOVERNESS AFFAIR is up against Ruthie Knox’s ROOM AT THE INN.

For those of you who haven’t surmised, Tessa Dare is a good friend of mine–a very good friend. So good that we room together every year at RWA Nationals. So good that she knows all my deepest, darkest secrets. (I know hers, too, but her deep, dark secrets are ridiculously adorable, and so I have no ammunition. None whatsoever.) Plus, A LADY BY MIDNIGHT is a ridiculously wonderful book.

Plus, Tessa is offering her fans bribes–she’s offering to write a scene where Colin teaches Thorne how to dance.

Well, two can play at that game. If THE DUCHESS WAR beats Tessa’s A LADY BY MIDNIGHT,  you will get a scene that I deleted from THE DUCHESS WAR–the scene where Minnie’s “maiden” *cough* aunts have “The Talk” with her just before her wedding. There was really no place for it in the book, and it got deleted before I even had what I called a first draft, but trust me, you want to read this scene.

Then there’s Ruthie Knox. I really, really like Ruthie’s books, and I really like Ruthie, too. Her books are amazing. She wrote the best scene involving hot sauce that I have ever read in any book. And ROOM AT THE INN is no slouch. It’s a reboot of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and the heroine is the girl who gave a kidney to the hero’s mother. (And there is a lot of great sex. Did I mention the sex?)

Ruthie Knox is offering up bribes, too–scenes from her first unpublished manuscript. I looked at this and said, “Hey, I have an unpublished manuscript! Maybe I can use some of this as a bribe, too.” So I whipped out my copy of my first book and started reading.

It was so bad. It was so bad I started laughing, but not the good laughing. The kind where I was cry-laughing because it hurt. That manuscript was ridiculously, painfully bad.

Do you want to read the first chapter from Flight of Fancy, my (thankfully) unpublished manuscript? No, no you do not. Nonetheless, that is what you’ll get if we beat Ruthie Knox’s ROOM AT THE INN.

And finally, as promised, I’m picking winners from my last post:

Jill Shultz and Katrina T: winners of A LADY AWAKENED.

SarahA-B and Rhonda: winners of A GENTLEMAN UNDONE.

 

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DA BWAHA Thanks & More!

March 23rd, 2013

So it’s March, and that means that it’s time for the craziest contest of all–DA BWAHA, the contest with the unpronounceable acronym, essentially a March Madness for romance novels (and others that are romance-novel-esque).

I have not one, but two books in DA BWAHA–The Duchess War in the historical category, which was voted in by popular acclaim (thanks!), and The Governess Affair in the novella category. So far things have been going well–in the first two rounds of the historical category, The Duchess War managed to prevail over Cecilia Grant’s first two amazing books, A Lady Awakened–which features some of the best bad sex to be found in a romance novel, and I say that in the most complimentary fashion you can imagine, and A Gentleman Undone, which features an extremely complicated, difficult (my favorite kind!) of heroine, one where another author might have thought of pulling her punches, but Cecilia Grant just shrugged and took her to her complicated, difficult, extreme. The result is extraordinary.

In any event, I’m really humbled to have been chosen over these books–but I think that maybe more people need to read them and discover how awesome they are. So in the spirit of giving away books, I’m going to be giving away 5 copies of each of these–two of each on this blog, and three of each on twitter.

To enter the giveaway on this blog, leave a comment with your name. If you have a preference for which book you want (maybe you read one but not  the other), say so, too. Do so by Sunday night at midnight, and I’ll pick winners Monday monrning.

For the twitter giveaway: You do have to follow me on twitter to win those, so just watch out at http://twitter.com/courtneymilan over the rest of this weekend.

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Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, and the death of geographic rights in fiction

March 19th, 2013

Today, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons.

A little background on the case:

Supap Kirtsaeng was a student who came to the U.S. from his native Thailand to study. He noticed, while he was here, that textbooks in the US were substantially more expensive than those same textbooks abroad. Being an enterprising young student, he started his own import business. He had friends and family send him textbooks from home, which he then resold for a profit here.

He thus came to the attention of John Wiley, a publisher of textbooks. They wanted him to stop, for obvious reasons: they didn’t want people in the U.S. buying low-cost books from Thailand when their alternative was to buy high-priced textbooks from the U.S. Even though Wiley was making money on both sales, they wanted to make more money.

What’s a textbook publisher to do?

If you buy a textbook, you’re allowed to resell it, and there’s actually a pretty strong aftermarket for used textbooks in this country. That’s because we have a “right of first sale” in this country. If you’re the copyright holder, you get to control the first sale of your copyrighted article–and only the first sale. There’s nothing that Wiley could do to stop legitimate sales of used books.

Instead, they had to argue that the sales weren’t legitimate. They did that by engaging in legal nitpickery. The right of first sale is enshrined in Section 109 of the Copyright Act, which says: “[T]he owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.” Read that a couple of times; it basically says, “If you legitimately sold someone a copy, they have the right to resell it.” (Note that it’s broader than that, but that reading will do for now.)

Except it doesn’t quite say, “if you legitimately sold someone a copy.” It says that the right of first sale applies to copies “lawfully made under this title,” and this case turns on exactly what is meant by those five little words.

Wiley argued–and publishers have actually made this argument for years–that “lawfully made under this title” means “lawfully made, and covered by US copyright law.” The books made in Thailand were not covered by US copyright law–they were covered by Thai copyright law–and therefore, Wiley argued, the right of first sale did not apply to those books.

The Supreme Court said: No. That is bunk.

Actually, this is what the Supreme Court said:

[The words "lawfully made in accordance with this title"] mean made “in accordance with” or “in compliance with” the Copyright Act. In that case, §109(a)’s “first sale” doctrine would apply to copyrighted works as long as their manu­facture met the requirements of American copyright law. In particular, the doctrine would apply where, as here, copies are manufactured abroad with the permission of the copyright owner.

Here’s a translation, for those who want it: You are allowed to import books from abroad, in any quantity you wish, so long as the copies manufactured abroad are manufactured with the permission of the copyright owner.

What follows from here is not legal advice, just prognostication.

I sincerely doubt this decision will have almost zero effect in the future on John Wiley, textbook maker. What Wiley will have to do now is differentiate its foreign editions in the same way that it differentiates its editions in time: Add a few charts, change a few paragraphs, alter the font, change the order of some chapters and homework problems–in other words, change things just enough so that if someone buys the Thai edition, they won’t be able to figure out their reading and homework problems assigned by the teacher without spending substantial time. This is the kind of thing that can be mostly automated, and probably will be by the end of the year. This is a problem with a preexisting solution, one already employed by textbook manufacturers, so they’re just going to deploy it.

The place where this will have the biggest effect is fiction. Because frankly, readers don’t care about page numbering with fiction, and you can’t just swap chapters 23 and 25 for different territories. The story is the story is the story.

What this means, though, is that if an author sells English language rights to print her story in India, the publisher could produce massive quantities. And there is nothing stopping the importation of those quantities into the US–or for bookstores to stock and sell those editions and price them at the North American price. (Okay, there is something stopping this; there has to be a sale in the first place, and transfers to wholesalers for technical reasons probably don’t count as sales. But I don’t think it’d be difficult to transform these into sales. It might add a little cost, but you’re already engaging in pretty hefty arbitrage. That’s the hardest part of this arrangement–making sure there’s something that counts as a “sale” and not just a transfer to a non-owner.) The bookstore makes more money; the author/publisher (presumably) make less.

Or, perhaps, the author herself could license an English-language version of her work to be produced in France. (France? Why France? Why not France? It can be anywhere, so long as the author retains the right to publish the work in that territory.) The author prints a bunch of books herself, sells them to a shell company (there has to be a sale) and then has the shell company reimport them into the United States, cutting out her publisher.

I haven’t even begun to chip away at what this would mean for digital sales. I don’t think it’s too hard to devise a two-part system to fake out international marketplaces–one that sells a digital copy (actually sells a digital copy; doesn’t just license it) to a reseller, and then resells that digital copy to the end user who wishes to purchase it. (I think you could even set it up so that they remain owner of the digital copy but license it to the end user if you’re worried about resale problems.) Voila–if you only sold North American rights to your book, someone who sets a system up properly could make it so that a sale in France can be resold in the US, and you can now effectively reclaim worldwide publishing rights to your book.

In a world where author’s interests and publisher’s interests are not aligned, I expect this to happen very, very quickly.

So authors, take note: If you only sold North American rights for your book, keep an eye on the possibilities out there. You may be able to end-run around things.

The Court ends with this lovely note to Wiley:

Wiley and the dissent claim that a nongeograph­ical interpretation will make it difficult, perhaps impos­sible, for publishers (and other copyright holders) to divide foreign and domestic markets. We concede that is so. A publisher may find it more difficult to charge different prices for the same book in different geographic markets. But we do not see how these facts help Wiley, for we can find no basic principle of copyright law that suggests that publishers are especially entitled to such rights…. The Constitution’s language nowhere suggests that its limited exclusive right should include a right to divide markets or a concomitant right to charge different purchasers different prices for the same book, say to increase or to maximize gain.

(Put another way: Snap.)

It is unsurprising that the Court didn’t realize that one effect of this ruling is that it could allow authors to reclaim the domestic market that they have sold away. It’s unsurprising because I doubt the legal department of publishers thought about this as a possible side-effect.

But for authors who have sold only domestic rights, and who wish they could utilize those domestic rights? This is a decision of extraordinary import.

Make no mistake: Fiction authors, this just changed how rights in your world will be sold. It might not change it tomorrow, and it might not change it a month from tomorrow.  But it did just change.

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How to write a bad complaint in four easy steps

February 20th, 2013

This is one of those legal-publishing posts that has almost nothing to do with my writing or romance, and everything to do with having law in my background. You have been warned.

One of the problems with law–as with medicine–is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell when your lawyer sucks. This is because people who hire lawyers often know very little about being a lawyer. So they accept what their lawyer does at face value. Even if their lawyer does, in fact, suck. Luckily, some lawyers believe in truth in advertising. They write legal briefs that suck on their face.

You, too, may be a sloppy lawyer! You, too, may want to make it easy for people to figure it out! If so, here’s how you can make sure that your clients and the entire world can tell how sloppy you are, in four easy steps.

1. Write a sloppy statement of jurisdiction.

Here’s an example of a sloppy statement of jurisdiction! This is sloppy in a lot of different ways. First, the person who wrote this brief didn’t bother to label numbered items as “personal jurisdiction” and “subject matter jurisdiction.” These two are not the same thing, and even though they both use the word jurisdiction, you should keep them separate. Is this sloppiness going to lose the case? Most of the time, no, but failing to comprehend the difference between the two can, in fact, occasionally lead to doom. For that reason, unsloppy lawyers usually take care to label these two different concepts distinctly. If you’re a sloppy lawyer, be sure to try not to treat these concepts separately.

Second, never take the time to say something like, “This court has federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.” How hard is it to mention the actual statute granting the court the power to hear your case? Not hard at all! That’s why you skipped it.

None of this is going to lose this particular game (even though it could lose others), but it’s a great way to advertise your sloppiness. If you are not dotting i’s and crossing t’s here, you’re sending a sure signal to anyone reading your brief that somewhere, you failed to cross a t where it actually mattered.

2. Include extraneous, irrelevant detail in the fact section.

Here’s an example of an extraneous fact! A good fact section reads like a story. Every fact has purpose, and the person writing it knows precisely why they’ve included that fact. Each fact is the knife-blade of a scalpel, designed to cut through legal foggery.

But you? You don’t want to write a good fact section. You want to write a bad fact section. A bad fact section reads like an overbearing uncle who is trying to explain things that he doesn’t know too well. He throws in a ton of details just to prove that he knows stuff. Anyone who has a clue rolls their eyes when he opens his mouth.

(He gets stuff wrong. Nobody listens to him.)

Want to make sure your complaint sucks? Don’t ask yourself what facts are relevant and why. Write like an overbearing uncle.

3. Don’t bother proofreading.

Leave out words, just because they’re short and irrelevant!

Write awkwardly! Heck, if you can make someone read your sentence three times just to figure out what it means, you’ve made them read it three times! WIN.

Make sure that you are redundant, repetitive, and guilty of saying the same thing twice!

4. When making a claim under one section, refer to elements from another offense!

We all know how terribly inconvenient it is to have to prove every element of an offense in order to reach a finding of liability. I mean, seriously, how boring is that? Instead, if you’re not sure you can prove every element of an offense, substitute an element from a neighboring offense. Hey, maybe nobody will notice!

For instance, if you’re claiming that someone is guilty of monopolization, simply ignore the fact that a claim of monopolization under Section 2 of the Sherman Act requires you to prove that 1. someone has a monopoly, and 2. that it was obtained through unlawfully exclusionary conduct.

Instead, borrow an element from Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which prohibits contracts, combinations, and conspiracies in restraint of trade.

Here’s a great example of how to do this:

(Pro tip: It is legal to enter into contracts! Even when those contracts end up giving you a de facto monopoly!)

See? That promise that was made at the jurisdictional stage has been met. This is a lovely example of how someone being super-sloppy, and not checking the actual elements of the offense, could very well end up with this claim being dismissed unless the complaint is amended. Because you’ve confused some of the elements of a violation of Section 2 with the elements of a violation of Section 1, you’ve failed to allege one of the necessary elements–namely, that the defendants engaged in unlawfully exclusionary conduct.

I haven’t gotten into any of the other factual inaccuracies in this example brief. Since we have no merits briefs as yet, I haven’t even really commented on their legal theory, either. But whether there is some kind of colorable monopolization claim to be made against Amazon, I’d be surprised if this set of lawyers manages to do anything except be crushed like bugs when Amazon yawns and flexes its not-inconsiderable legal muscle.

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It’s midwinter!

December 21st, 2012

Itis midwinter–the shortest day of the year.

A Kiss for Midwinter cover

AndA Kiss for Midwinter is up!

amazon | amazon.co.uk | kobo | nook
all romance ebooks | smashwords | iBooks

There are a few more vendors that I’m waiting for, who usually take a little longer, but it should be up everywhere soon.

And I am never, ever, ever again launching two books within two weeks.

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The Duchess War…now uploaded.

December 7th, 2012

So, The Duchess War is uploaded everywhere. Most vendors are still ruminating on the file, trying to figure out what they want to do with it. As soon as I have links (and as soon as I can check–I need to run out to dinner with my husband tonight because it’s our wedding anniversary, and strangely, he’s put up with my ignoring him all day–and last year I did the SAME THING with Unraveled) I will put them up here.

Thanks so much for your patience, everyone, and I hope you enjoy the book!

The definitive list thus far:

Note on print: B&N has the print version marked down substantially. I think that Amazon will match soon (I hope!) so you are forewarned.
We’re still missing Sony, Diesel, and several other smaller venues, but this launch is pretty close to complete. Sometime in February/March the audio version should go up.
Thank you all so much!

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So, Courtney, where is The Duchess War?

November 19th, 2012

Hi everyone.

The last few months have been a blur of not updating my website or this blog, as I tried to (a) get The Duchess War ready and (b) get my kitchen to the point where it had dry wall, running water, and a refrigerator. To my great relief, (b) has now been achieved. I’m still working on (a). To give you some idea when The Duchess War is coming, I just sent the book to the copy editor. I’m going to be running proofreading in parallel. As soon as I get everything back from the people who have it, I will hit “publish”–but that is unlikely to happen before Thanksgiving, unfortunately. I am hoping it will not take a great deal of time after Thanksgiving. As soon as I have a more precise ETA, I will let you all know.

So, to answer some questions.

Courtney, whose fault is it that the book is taking so long?

Mine. Completely mine. Everyone who has been working with me has been absolutely stellar about turning things around with high quality on short turnarounds and with me telling them they’d have the book on one day, and then not having it done for two weeks after that.

Why did you do that?

Because I am really bad at estimating how long it’s going to take me to write a book. The best way I can think of to explain this goes like this: I’m delusional.

No, really. I am.

When I’m writing a book (and not all authors do things like I do, luckily for them), what usually happens is I write the first draft and it looks something like this.

There’s a lot of stuff in there that goes in directions that aren’t useful, and things that are left out that should really be filled in. Some things don’t make sense, or aren’t emotionally accessible, or aren’t dorky enough for my tastes.

So I go back over the manuscript and try and figure out the parts that I’ve written that are actually good, the parts I’ve written that are okay but need work, and the parts that are utter crap. I usually end up at this point identifying what the story is. Those are the red dots in the picture to your right: the elements of the story that drive it from place to place.

That sounds weird, because how is it that I can write a story without knowing what it is? Answer: I don’t know, but I do it all the time. Every book I write, I usually have some idea what I think the story is, and then I end up jiggling it and reworking it and I end up with a beast that is slightly different.

Once I’ve figured out what the story is, I can usually do a pretty good job of going back through and smoothing out the arc of the story.

If I’m doing my job, we end up with something like the black line to the left. (For those of you who want to criticize the black line for not following proper story structure, consider this for illustrative purposes only.)

That’s the basic way I write a book. In reality, it’s more confusing than that. I write books out of order–I have some scenes I think are going to happen, so I write those, and those make it clear that there are other scenes I have to write, and those make it clear that there are other scenes I have to write… So in reality, just getting that first gray line down can sometimes be a challenge.

(Incidentally: I do not advise that anyone write the way that I do if you can possibly help it. I am profligately wasteful with my words! Sometimes I talk to other authors, and they say things like, “Oh, I just deleted 1,200 words, and it hurt…but I saved them in a file and I know I’ll use them again later!” Those people make me feel like I’m the world’s biggest word waster. Sometimes, I cut 10,000 words at a drop, and I never end up using them. They suck. I don’t see how I could use them. That’s why I cut them. I wish I didn’t write words that sucked in the first place, too.)

In any event, here’s why I’m bad at figuring out when things are going to get done. Every once in a while, I get a book that is a gift. I write a first draft, and it is like this:

I look at it; the smooth arc of the story is already in place, and I revise it, and ends up like this.

Those books are gifts. They are gifts from the writing gods. Unveiled, for instance, took me three and a half months to write, while working a fairly hefty day job. It was the easiest book I’ve ever written.

Then there are books where the first draft is like this.

The motivations are murky. The plot is byzantine. I write scene after scene which seem to be moving the book only in the direction of fiery doom. I go through the pages, scratching my head. It looks like there are some good points in what I have? Maybe these ones?

So I get out my trusty pen and try and connect those dots.

The result, alas, is still unsatisfying. So I iterate the process: look at what I have, try and figure out what’s important. This time around, different things stand out.

Finally, I’m able to come up with something that makes sense, something that is actually a story.

Needless to say, when you have this kind of a book, it takes much, much longer.

What it really feels like is this: Imagine that you’re exploring a territory, and you’re trying to estimate how long it is going to take you to get to Denver. You don’t have a map. You’ve never been through this area. You’ve never talked to anyone who has been where you are, and there is no civilization, anywhere, so you’re totally on your own. But you do have a GPS system, and you know the coordinates for where Denver is.

If you’re lucky, you’re in Kansas City, and you can walk in a straight line directly to Denver, as the crow flies. If you are mildly unlucky, you’ll be in San Francisco, and you’ll have to find mountain passes, or go way out of your way. That will take a little exploration, and if you estimate your time as the crow flies, you’re probably going to be off by a good margin.

If you are extremely unlucky, you’re in Antarctica, and you’re going to have to discover modern nautical equipment first.

My problem as a writer is that when I estimate completion times, I assume that every book is a gift book. I’m always extremely optimistic. I give time estimates as the crow flies, while blithely ignoring the fact that the crow isn’t flying. She’s trying to figure out how to build a boat out of nothing but ice and extremely angry penguins.

I do this all the time, and I never learn my lesson, and it’s very hard for me to stop because honestly, if I sat down and told myself, “Courtney, you are going to struggle with writing this book for the next eight months, and everything you put on paper in July, you will eventually delete in a fit of rage,” I would just give up. My ridiculously optimistic delusion is the only thing that keeps me going, so I stick to it doggedly. I say stupid things like, “I have written 80,000 words, and a book is 90,000 words! Therefore I am almost done!” — ignoring, of course, that 40,000 of those words are crap and will melt away. I say things like, “If I only wrote 9,000 words a day for the next week, I will have this done by Saturday!” — ignoring, of course, that I have only written 9,000 words in a day twice in my life, ever, and if I had 9,000 words a day slipping off my fingers, I would be done already.

I can say all this now, and I can laugh at myself because I’m no longer dependent on penguins to save me, so it’s all good. But I will forget that this happens as soon as I’m working on another book.

In any event, I’m sorry I’m so bad at estimating when books are going to be done. I can’t even promise not to be delusional in the future. But I will try not to share my delusions with you from here on out.

But: The Duchess War shouldn’t be much longer. At this point, Denver is in sight, so I might know what I’m talking about.

If you want to get some inkling about the convoluted evolution of this book: In the very first scene which I envisioned for this book, way back when it was a tiny little germ of an idea, the hero went to a ball with the intent of releasing 500 live mice on the dance floor.

Read the book when it comes out. Then come back and scratch your head trying to figure that one out.


Courtney Milan writes historical romance novels like the ones you see to the right. She still remembers bits and pieces from her old lives, where she was (variously) a scientist and a lawyer.

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