By Kate Bulpitt
Purple People is a jolly dystopia, telling the story of an outlandish scheme to curtail crime and anti-social behaviour - by dyeing offenders purple - and the news-loving lass who investigates it
Saturday, 22 February 2020
The Purple People are shimmying towards the printing presses!
Hola, supporters of Purple People,
How are you? I hope this finds you all well and dandy. Here there's much excitement to report.
You'll have received smoke signals from Unbound recently, with a couple of updates regarding Purple People's progress. Tremendously, the book has been shimmying along the publishing conveyer belt, and is nearly, nearly about to hop on to the printing presses. The official publication date is June 11th, and I can't wait.
We finished the main big edit (the 'structural' one, where the story and pacing are given any necessary tweaks, or overhauls) in November, and I think the book is in great shape. The editing process was so productive, and I'm feeling really proud of it (this is a ludicrous thing to say, but I think if I hadn't written it, I would love it - which I guess is how it should be!). I know it's been quite a wait for you (eeeek, I'm so sorry), but I can honestly say that I think the extra time has resulted in it being exactly as it needed to be. After my to-ing and fro-ing with the shape of the dystopian-ness, it all fell into place in a way that felt just right - and has also, I think, made it more timely (or as my friend James recently said, "weirdly appropriate for these times"). It's gone from being a world that's mostly like ours - bar the pesky Purpling - to one that was more retro, to now, one that's futuristic, but going backward... and with many things in our actual wonky world at the moment, it certainly feels as though that's the case.
Next, having finished a detailed copy edit with wise and lovely editor Mary - whose more unusual tasks included advising whether all instances of the word Purple needed to be capitalised - the book skipped forth to typesetting. Here it is looking all proper - fetching, eh?
It's currently in the proofreading stage, and while some eagle-eyed sorts are scanning through it (I've already sent my own notes in), I've been cracking on with some other pertinent bits and pieces. Mostly these have involved two things. Firstly, I ordered some hard copies of the uncorrected proof - and what an incredible treat it was when those arrived! (incidentally, thank you to all of you who enthusiastically responded to the pictures on Facebook and Twitter... that was overwhelmingly ace).
I've been sending copies to a handful of my most favourite writers and comedians, hoping they might like the look of it, and perhaps give a quote for the cover (more to follow on those). With a philosophy a bit like never rolling up to a party empty handed, I've sent small treats out with some of the parcels, including these very cute eggcups, custom made by the brilliant Yorkshire-based ceramicist, Katch Skinner, whose delightful work can be found in the National Portrait Gallery and Liberty. Of course, these lilac lasses look rather lovelier and more well behaved than the rum plum folk in the book - hopefully all the better for eliciting some cheery responses!
Oh, and here's a photo of parcel production in progress...
I'm also now rustling up the acknowledgements, which as a writer, is a dream thing to do - getting to thank everyone who's been part of the book coming to life. I always say this, I know, but your supporting the book has been joyous, generous and life-affirming - thank you. The book will soon be in your hands - yippee! - and I really hope you're going to enjoy it.
I should add that if you have any friends who might enjoy Purple People, please let them know that going into their local bookshop and ordering a copy would be brilliant, and hugely appreciated. Advance interest in any book encourages bookshops to consider stocking it, and of course I'd love Purple People to be stocked in as many shops as possible!
More newsflashes to follow, as we get closer to publication. And if you think of it, please keep all crossable things crossed for some enthused quotes - merci!
Over and out, for now...