I finally got the first installment of my cheque this week together with a signed copy of my contract (signed by the publisher and myself.) It came from my agency who had taken off their slice, 15% which is standard. I don't begrudge it either. I wouldn't have any contract without the efforts of Esmond Harmsworth, who believed. He believed in the first novel, which didn't sell, and in this book, which did. So, he can take his cut and buy another fancy doorknob with it (someone, a passing editor, told me he has this fetish, and I won't question it.) As for my slice, it will go straight to the taxman for reasons I'd rather not go into. Suffice it to say that the auditors at the IRS are not nice people. I should summon up all my Celtic powers and stick a curse on them. Oh yeah, I already have.
But as for the timeline on the arrival of my payment: I gave the go-ahead on the publishing deal on January 30th, and I signed the actual contract in early April. The cheque came in a brown envelope on 16th April. I haven't heard from my editor at Simon and Schuster, presumably because she is busy with whatever it was that got be bumped temporarily. In the meantime, I am writing scenes for the TV series.
Nothing else to report except to note that authors at readings almost always advise up-and-coming writers to read, read, read, and I would like to qualify that by saying your should read good stuff, and read it often. Each time you read a really good book, you assimilate more about what makes that book good. I just finished "Cannery Row" again. I know I will read it again. For me Steinbeck is magic. I know I will read James Galvin's "The Meadow," again and again, and Paul Harding's "Tinkers." Apart from the sheer pleasure of reading these books, there is just so much to learn in there. Stopping to read a sentence over is like savouring that dissolving spoonful of Dulce De Leche ice cream as it trickles off the back of your tongue. It's one of those experiences that let you know there is a God.