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In response to the relentless demands of millions of adoring readers, I've decided that it's time to break my media silence about the status of the book.
After an eight-month effort that has been simultaneously grueling and exhilarating, the book is nearly finished. I completed the manuscript at the end of June and have been racing through the revisions since then. In a few weeks, it will be all over but the rhapsodic reviews. The book is still on schedule to come out in mid-October.
For those who are curious about the process, I have been working closely with my editor, Bob Pigeon of Da Capo Press, on the major revisions. Bob acquired the book last November, and he has been an enthusiastic supporter and an outstanding guide ever since. In this last stage, the primary responsibility switches over to another kind of editor, known as a project or production editor. My project editor, Christine Marra, is responsible for the detailed line edits and preparing the book for print. We'll finish up the line edits in about a week, and then she and her staff will do the layout. I'll approve the proofs in early August, and then the book goes to the printer.
As you may have gathered from the title of the post, the book's title has changed. The salespeople were concerned that the word "Christmas" in the title would lead confused book store managers to return the books after December 25th. The new title--a joint effort by Bob and his team, the sales and marketing groups, and me--is Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies about the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual. The new cover art is not yet completed. I'll post it to the book's Facebook fan page when it's done. (Facebook does not appear to allow you to change the name of a fan page. This sucks.)
It's time for me to plunge back into the final stage. Thanks to everyone for your support and warm wishes. I'll follow up again with the book is finished.