So, yesterday was a big day for me.
I have lost count over the past couple of years how many times I have written on this blog that the book is “finished”. There have been so many drafts and rewrites that it makes my head spin.
The difference then, of course, was that I was the only one who had an opinion on the matter.
Yesterday, though, I was speaking with my editor and publisher, Amy Einhorn, and together we agreed the final three tiny text changes to the manuscript. She is now happy with it. So the rewriting process that began last summer when she purchased the book is finally complete. It has been a long, hard haul, but the book is immeasurably better as a result. Recently on twitter I posted a link to a Guardian piece about the lost art of editing books. Amy is one of a diminishing breed of editors who really still actually edit their books. She, poor woman, has read mine at least five times now, and has guided me through a vast (six month) rewrite. All writers should be so lucky to work with someone as astute as her.
And as Amy said to me yesterday: “Now the fun bit.”
My next job is to compile a list of authors I admire and like whom we might ask to read the manuscript in the hope that they like it and provide us with a killer quote that we can stick on the jacket. It sounds like a simple enough job but it’s harder than you would think. And it feels very odd to have a list with names like Richard Russo and John Irving on it. (I have been told to dream, so that’s what I’m doing!)
We’ve also been talking about possible covers. Amy’s books always have gorgeous covers, and I can’t wait to see what the Penguin art department comes up with. My next homework assignment is to wander through my local bookshop and decide which covers I like the look of, so I can give them some kind of direction as to what I would like to see. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it…