Kaja leaves for Australia today, along with Carol Monahan, our business manager. No, they are not going to do some business dealing with some savvy Australian enterprise (although their schedule is still open). They off on a sort of Girls Only Writing Expedition. They plan to jaunt about, eating kangaroos and petting adorable sandwiches while allowing themselves to write, unfettered by mundane considerations. Speaking as one such consideration, I suspect alcohol will be involved.
The experiments and I will follow in a bit, after their travel cages are constructed, and we will all sit about on a beach and try to avoid box jellies, sharks, salties, sea snakes, blue–ringed octopodes, kraken or whatever else is lurking under the surface of the water while laying out the final details of the next Girl Genius story line. I suspect alcohol will be involved, which will allow us to dismiss any nagging concerns about the caretakers burning the studio down or letting hermit crabs eat the cats. We really enjoyed our last trip down under, and realized simultaneously that vacationing there was tremendously appealing.
Before we leave, of course, we have a number of things to get done; bank the reactor, soak the plants, lay in sufficient canned cat meat for the crabs, and send out the solicitation for the 13th Girl Genius collection (Agatha Heterodyne & the Sleeping City). For those not enmeshed in the minutia of the publishing biz, when you have a book that is carried in comic book stores or Barnes & Noble, you don’t sell the book directly to each store. If you tried that, you’d have to deal with thousands of accounts, and since no one shop sells that many of our books (sob), we’re not a big priority when it comes time to get paid. Thus, we go through a book distributor. They list the book in their catalog, collect orders and then tell us to ship several thousand copies to two or three places, as opposed to sending two or three books to a several thousand places. However they like to list books before they get printed, so we need to get a listing in several months before we know the book is actually gets printed. This forces us to be organized much earlier than we’d normally be, which is never a bad thing. Rest assured that when the time comes, we will be taking pre-orders and doing another Kickstarter, since people seemed to like the last one so much. We liked it as well, as it forced us to come up with a batch of new merchandise, some of which we’d been threatening to do for years.
While we were in a traveling frame of mind, we also made our hotel arrangements for the London World Science Fiction Convention (http://www.loncon3.org/). We intend to be in Great Britain for several weeks, of course, and have yet to work out the rest of our itinerary, but we knew we wanted to be within shouting distance of the convention hall, so we thought it best to get that part of it out of the way.