We now have a full update on conniewillis.net, including the schedule for the Blackout Book Tour, some new pictures (including the one here taken by Kyle Cassidy at WorldCon in Montreal this year, and more.
Random House now has an excerpt from Blackout available online here.
And we also have the following message from Connie:
A MESSAGE FROM CONNIE WILLIS - Jan 2010
I'm finally done with my two-volume time travel to the Blitz novel, BLACKOUT-ALL CLEAR! Oh, frabjous day! Calloo, callay!
BLACKOUT comes out February second, and ALL CLEAR will be out in the autumn. And I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!
Okay, okay, I know I said I was done with the Blitz novel in the fall of 2008. And last spring. And this November. And it's still not done. I still have the copyedited manuscript and the galleys to do for the second volume, ALL CLEAR, and there are days when I think I'll never be done, that like Zeno's frog, I will just keep halving the distance to completion without ever getting there.
However, I am sort of done, and the first volume, BLACKOUT, is coming out in February. Honest. I've seen the cover, the reviewers' copies have been sent out, and assorted booksignings have been set up. (See schedule above.) And, as my daughter so aptly put it, "If you're hit by a bus now, you don't have to worry about some hack finishing your novel."
And I must be done because I A) am sleeping much better; B) am several inches taller, due to that giant albatross no longer hanging around my neck; and C) my family says I have been much nicer lately. I have also been beginning to think about other projects. Every time I've had a glimmer of a story idea over the last few years, I've had to firmly squelch it because I had no time to work on anything else, but now I can actually write other stuff, and the ideas have begun bubbling up. There's a story I've been wanting to write about a robot who wants to be a Rockette, and one about Satchel Paige, who was the greatest baseball pitcher who ever lived, but who never got to play in the Majors till he was past his prime. And I can't wait to get started on my Roswell--Area 51--alien-abduction--romantic comedy novel, tentatively titled The Road to Roswell.
But first I need to dig out from the mess I made while writing the novel, answer six years' worth of e-mails, send out my Christmas letter (I know it's already January!), catch up on six years' worth of laundry, and find out what Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have been up to. (Surely they've gotten over their initial dislike of President Obama by now.)
I also plan to catch up on my reading. I just finished The Chimes, one of Charles Dickens' Christmas novels, and it was terrific. It was also clearly the prototype of It's a Wonderful Life, right down to the suicide attempt, which I did not know. Right now I'm reading Screwball (about the great movie comedies of the thirties) and can't wait to start UFOs and the Murder of Marilyn Monroe, which I got for Christmas, and which promises to tell me just how she was "murdered by U.S. government officials because she knew too much about the Roswell UFO coverup!" Which I also did not know.
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to seeing you--I hope--at one of my book tour stops and signings or at a convention soon.A belated Merry Christmas-Hanukkah-Solstice-Kwanzaa-Holiday Season, a Deliriously Happy New Year, and Good Reading!
Connie Willis, Jan 2010