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Archive for February, 2011

Editing Hell

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

This is the worst time for writing a new work. It’s going to be a good one, too. A small area of Exeter, and how a murder affects the four nearest neighbours. No great, sweeping politics, just victims and how they react. I’ve just got ready for sitting down and cracking on with this book – but hold on! Who’s calling?

The fatal interruption.

First it’s the demand from the slave driver at Simon & Schuster, Ally Glynn, that I ought to be working a little harder. I haven’t updated my web pages for a while. Uh oh. That means in Ally-speak that I ought to be writing a newsletter again. I only just finished the last one, didn’t I? (Checks). Oh. Last one was wishing people Merry Christmas. Perhaps it is a little late, then. Which is why I’m now perusing some rough notes with a view to writing out my latest. Yes, it’ll be up soon, folks.

Second, I have to go to London for meetings and an A/V interview about the next book. No, you’re not allowed to see it yet, it’ll not be up for a while, but come May, when King’s Gold is published, it’ll be up there ready for you to think “What did he do to his beard?” Television interviews can be so painful, but I was walked through it by the effortlessly professional director, Malinda. She made it much easier.

Oh good. Ally was there too. She suggested I may like to do another podcast for S&S. Well, yes, but not today, thanks. I do have to update my author’s notes section on their website, though. And I can dictate my podcast here at home, edit it, and send it on to Ally without spending hundreds of pounds travelling up by train, so that’s all to the good.

But hold on! I’m a writer. I have this book to write, remember? So can I sit down now, please, and write it?

Nope. Now I have the weight of an editor, freshly bronzed from her holiday, resting on my shoulders. Before I’m allowed to enjoy myself writing a new book, first I have to proof read the last one. It’s here, all 520 pages of it, a three-inch high column of dead trees, ready and waiting to be absorbed, corrected, and despatched.

Writers used to sit down and write industriously. Now, we only do it when all the other things have already been finished!

Right. Where were those newsletter notes. On the back of the proofreader’s notes . . .