Wednesday, 14 February 2018
Where is my book?
I know what you're thinking. (Well, I don't know what all of you are thinking. Some of you are probably thinking that you fancy a sandwich.) But as regards the book, many of you are thinking: I've paid for it, the target has been reached, I got the email saying that the book had been handed in, so WHERE IS MY BOOK?
So just to reassure you, the process is underway, it just takes longer than you might expect. I'm currently doing rewrites prompted by notes from my editor the lovely Scott, as well as from a couple of readers who have been kind enough to look at the first version and give me feedback. There's nothing huge to do - were I to be hit by an anvil dropped from a passing plane, I'd be quite happy for the book to come out as it is, though I'd probably have other things on my mind, such as an anvil - but I want it to be as good as I can get it to be, so that takes a little while of nipping, tucking and polishing. A bit more about that in a moment. Then after that there's the production process itself: typesetting, proof-reading, cover design (always an exciting / terrifying stage - people do very much judge a book by its cover, but one of the reasons I was keen to work with Unbound is that their books are always beautiful, so I am optimistic), sending advance copies out for reviewers to rave about / criminally misundertand / ignore. Then there is the fact that Unbound have a whole slate of books, and they don't just toss them out the moment they are ready, but on a schedule, depending on when they think the book is likeliest to have the most impact. All publishers do this, to distinguish your Perfect Christmas Gift from your Fun Beach Read from your We're Putting This Out In August Because Nothing Else Comes Out Then And We're Hoping To Get It Noticed (cf Gods Behaving Badly.) In short... yeah basically I don't know when it's coming out. But it IS coming.
Back to those edits. I'm facing a dilemma right now because I'm considering renaming one of the major characters in the book to fit in with a new idea I've had about her. Because I'm riffing on Shakespeare, some (though not all) of the names are related to aspects of his life or work, and this choice would give a great new angle on how we understand her (or at least would be a fun in-joke for eagle-eyed readers.) And of course it shouldn't really matter. She's just someone I made up; probably fewer than ten people even know her by the name she currently has. It's not going to change anyone's enjoyment of the book, and it will even enhance it for some. And yet, it's painful for me, because I believe in this character, I've lived with her for a long time, and her name is her name. It's a bit as if my boyfriend rolled over in bed tomorrow morning and asked me to start calling him Zlatan. It just feels wrong. Well anyway; I'm not telling you whether I do it or not. By the time the book reaches you, her name will be her name and it will be the only name you ever know.
But, I hear you asking, WHEN WILL THAT BE???
As soon as I know, I will tell you.