Friday, October 31, 2008


...I'd like to confirm that I finished The Other Lands at 7:30 am yesterday. I emailed it to my editor a few minutes later, and then got into the waiting taxi to zip off to the airport.

I'm now in Calgary. Tired. (My sleep patterns have been crazy the last few weeks.) Vaguely sick-ish feeling, but also - when I remember - pretty happy.

Of course, my editor will read the book with his critical eye. So, my happiness is tempered by a ghostly dread lingering at the corners of my vision...

Oh, and Happy Halloween!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


Does your editor read a first draft? I can't imagine sending an editor a first draft, but then I'm a tinkerer. Or I simply write awful first drafts...

Congrats on finishing. And try not to bump into too many doors in that post-novel haze.

My best,
Bryan Russell

3:36 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Yaaaaay! Congrats on finishing your latest masterpiece (wait--is that one word or two??)

At any rate, for stupid reasons involving my childhood crush Bret Hart (a wrestler--don't ask) I've always wanted to visit Calgary. How is it?

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did it, David! (Now do what you can NOT to get sick, poor thing.) I'll be so glad when you finally get to Shetland.

Ahhhh, meghan... we had the same taste in our childhoods. Brettttt Haaaaart. The best legs in the business. :)

7:32 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...


I'm not exactly a first, second, third draft writer. Usually, I edit so much as I'm writing that by the time I get to the last word I've pretty much got the book. It's fine-tuning after that.

That said, this manuscript is going to Gerry in a much more primitive state than in the past. I suspect major revisions. But still, it's not exactly a first draft. It's more like "the draft", and then, after revisions, there's the "finished book". Small distinction, but for some reason I'm inclined to mention it.


One word, although whether it will ever be attributed to this novel is yet to be seen.

Calgary is... interesting. Flying in, it looks like a regular Great Plains sort of city. Like... nothing around for miles. Nothing. And then, poof!, there's a city. I can't see any mountains, but they're around here somewhere.

That very flat and land-locked geographical setting aside, what I notice walking around is how much more European it feels than an US city in a similar setting. The shops and style of the outdoor areas and the way they blast disco music and the feel of the Drug Stores and bars, and the way people look more fashionable in some vaguely unsettling way, etc... It's kinda British and kinda French, and yet with a heaping dollop of America slathered on top as well... Anyway, that's just a first impression.


Thank you. I'll make sure to take a photo of myself sipping single malt by the peat stove, family all around. It'll be lovely.

Now... Enough talk of Bret Hart! I love you guys, but... Bret Hart?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Dirk said...

Grats on finishing the book!

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Congrats, David, I'm sure all the effort you put in will make that novel that much better! :-) Thought I'd let you know, too, that I picked up Pride of Carthage, and I'm devouring it!

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That's sort of interesting about your writing process. I've known a few "edit as I go" writers, and they were all very... slow. Sloooowwww. Is it the same for you? If so, I'm guessing you had even more fun with that dealine than I thought you did. :)

My best, as always,

12:28 PM  
Blogger Andrea Eames said...

Congratulations! I edit as I go, too, so it's nice to hear a successful writer follows the same path. :)


2:11 PM  
Blogger Laughton and Patricia Johnston said...

Great achievement David ... to be finished yet another epic on schedule. Hope the remaining time to arrival in Shetland and family will pass just as fast as it must have seemed approaching the deadline.

5:57 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi folks. I'm back from World Fantasy - just in time to vote.

Dave, wonderful that you're reading Pride of Carthage! I hope you like it. I remain proud of that book, and happy to report that it still brings in new readers.

Bryan, I'm convinced I'm actually not that slow a writer. Consider - if you will - that I hold a full-time Professor job, and teach part-time in another program, and have traveled to a lot conferences the last year and half, and I also have a wife and two kids to keep me occupied... And I did manage to deliver a 175k word novel in time for publication two years after my last.

If (when) I have more time to focus on writing I will focus on writing. Honestly, the big push on finishing this novel has me feeling good about what's possible in the near future.

Thanks, Laughton.

11:32 AM  

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