I just finished proofs on DEAD IRON and sent them in. It is such a weird reading experience to see my book at the proof stage. Even if I once thought I wrote a sentence that might be pretty good, by the time proofs roll around, I am convinced every word is stale and stupid. I find myself wanting to cross out whole chapters characters universes words and rewrite the entire book sentences. But that is not allowed in proofs. Proofs are the last stage, and mostly just for catching typos. Still, pouring over the book while doubt whistles in my ears makes the process uncomfortable. I bite my nails. I grind my teeth. I might even loudly bitch meekly comment about it constantly occasionally to anyone who will listen to me my closest friends. It has been this way for Every Book I've Ever Written. During proofs, my friends and family flee graciously give me plenty of room and quiet time to get my work done. During proofs, the best I can do is Hulk smash words! assume I have very little good judgment as to the quality of the book I've written and read through three million times three million times. However, this time, something really cool happened during proofs. My editor sent me blurbs. Blurbs are the quotes from authors who have read my book and liked it enough to give it a quote that can be placed on the cover or inside the book. I have received four really wonderful and generous quotes from four really wonderful and generous authors. And during proofs, I received a quote from one of the most generous author-duos I know. I'm not sure if I can share the quote yet (will do so if I get the go-ahead) but that quote was the lifeline I held onto while trudging through the pages. I respect the heck out of these authors, and hope that the glimmer of good they saw in the book will shine through once it hits the shelves. And now I'm off to send them a bottle of wine thank-you email. It is the very least I can do.