Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Secret Agent Man

Not to get all mysterious again, but once more, I'm off to see the Wizard ...

Every day, you behold the ten thousand paths; in my business, unexpected channels of work open up now and then. Somewhen, these are in shared universes; sometimes are offers to do short stories for new anthologies; sometimes out-of-the-blue originals or tie-ins or whatnot.

This is one of the reasons that being able to write quickly and cleanly isn't a bad thing for which to be known. Somebody has a project and they are in a hurry, and they remember: Hey, what about Perry? He's fast. Give him call.

Fast and good will now and again beat slow and great.

I might not be interested in the assignment. Or I could be, but am against a deadline and can't take the job. (One of the advantages of doing work on spec and not on a contract is that deadlines are self-imposed -- I might want to get the draft on my old couple spy book done by November, but since there's not an editor tapping her foot and looking at her watch on that one, I can put it on the back burner and do something else if I get the notion.)

Or it might be I'm at liberty and I like the project, but the time alloted is not enough. I've had people offer books that they absolutely-positively had to have on their desk in three months, which is hand-burner, but doable -- save there would be a two- or three-week turnaround on outline approval before I could even get into the starting blocks. If I am going to cook my fingers to do a novel in nine or ten weeks? The money or the subject or both will have to be extraordinary.

Now and then, however, the planets hit syzygy, everything lines up, and something not even in the realm of consideration on Monday pops up on Tuesday.

Some projects I can talk about. Some I can hint at, but am constrained from going into depth regarding until they are made public by the franchise owners. Some involve NDA's (non-disclosure agreements) which dictate exactly what I can or cannot say. And some are handshake deals where a closed mouth is not specified, but understood.

All of which is to say that I got such a project laid before me yesterday and I am going to pick it up. And that the nature of it is such I can't talk about it.

So why even bring it up? Well, it's one of those that needs speed, and a fair amount of my attention for the immediate future, so probably my postings here won't be as numerous or frequent as I normally do. I'll still need to warm up before I roll, but with a tight deadline, the work-day gets carved differently.

I'll let you know when I can what's what.

Stand by ...


Brad said...

You realize that the more paying jobs you take, the further you behind you get on putting out the next Matador novel, right? Right? Get with the program Steve!!

Irene said...