So it's been over six months since the last update. Well, the best laid plans and all that. I'm sure that anyone who cared gave up checking on this page months ago. But on the off chance that anyone is still reading, here's the current status of Victoria Regina Tarot:
The manuscript was completed and turned in to Llewellyn last September. We were a few days over the deadline, but Barbara was very understanding (or at least seemed to be). Perhaps she's used to dealing with first-time authors who have trouble meeting deadlines.
It was by far the highest volume of writing I've ever done. What tripped us up (me at least) was the amount of "tidying up" that needed to be done at the end. That last week, after the deadline had passed and every day made us a day later, was the worst. Every day I would go home from work thinking of the work left to be done and estimating it would take about five hours: small enough to finish that night. And at the end of each night, I'd make a new list, which would seem to include about five hours more work.
Everything took longer than expected. The footnotes, the bibliography, everything. Even sticking the cards into individual envelopes (as requested by Llewellyn) took hours. Note to self: Allow more time at the end of a writing project. Lots more time.
But enough complaining. The deck and book are done and safely in Llewellyn's hands. I've heard that they had their Vision Meeting a couple of weeks ago. This is the meeting where they formally accept the project, assign staff to it, and discuss strategy.
Apparently we have an editor now, and a project manager. I hear that they'll each be contacting us soon: to get started on editing the book, and to give us a formal production schedule, respectively. I'm looking forward with anticipation (and some trepidation) to the editing process. Though I've been working in graphic/web design for years, I've never shared my personal work with a professional editor before. It's a bit scary, but I keep reminding myself that the editor's job is to make our work better. In any case, I've heard that Llewellyn has some ideas for additions to the book & I'm looking forward to hearing what those are.
Last but not least, the fact that V/R has been formally accepted means that we should receive the second half of the advance sometime soon. Woo-hoo!
In other news, a couple of days ago I put together a package for Llewellyn, with a few loose ends that needed to be tidied up:
* charts of the 3 layouts: a five card spread and two new spreads, one of which was developed by the immensely talented Valerie Sim-Behi
* a family tree for Queen Victoria: the court cards are based on profiles of historical figures, mainly VR's family. It took me months to get a handle on the family relationships, so it would be cruel not to provide a visual aid!
* miscellaneous clip art including gorgeous illustrations of four female archers in full Victorian costume, called "Amazons of the Bow," who I'd like to use to introduce each suit
* a mockup of the packaging: book cover, deck box, and outer sleeve
This isn't the real package; just my fantasy of what it might look like. The real package won't exist for another year or so. From left to right: deck box, book cover, outer sleeve.
The packaging mockup was a lot of fun for me. Llewellyn's art department isn't obligated to take any of my suggestions, and I know that they'll do a great job with it regardless. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to show them what I had in mind. I modeled the package on the Nigel Jackson Tarot. For those of you who, like me, have long disliked the "big box with tray" used by many Tarot publishers, the Nigel Jackson Tarot's "mini-kit" size is simply glorious. The book is the same size as the deck, and the outer box is simply a sleeve for the two. No more tree-killing giant box! The deck has its own little box! The whole thing fits into the average purse! I really love this packaging.
In still yet other news, I've started looking into printing greeting cards and postcards, to sell on this site. My printer is getting a new digital machine which he wants to try out with V/R. It would allow me to print smaller quanitities, which would definitely be a good thing. I'm hoping to have them printed by the middle of February.
I'll probably do four different greeting cards, and six different postcards. I'm having a hard time choosing the images -- the cards I love best, like the Seven of Cups, the Star, or the Princess of Wands, aren't necessarily general favorites. If you have a favorite you'd like to see on a greeting card, please let me know.
Well, I guess that's the update for now. If anyone is still with me after all this time, thank you. You clearly have more patience than I do.