Saturday, 18 September 2010

Now it's gone... what next?

On Wednesday I sent Before I Go to Sleep off. I created a 'clean' manuscript (which I learned was one with no 'notes to the editor' in square brackets, and certainly no 'notes to self' - just the words I wanted on the page) for the UK (nappy, pavement, bonnet) and one for the US (diaper, sidewalk, hood), and emailed them both off to their respective editors. Michael and Ali, at Text in Australia, got both (I'm not sure which one they'll work from) and Jake, at my agency, sent the UK version around the world to be translated.

So now it's done. The book is finished. In the hands of others, and their problem for a couple of weeks at least. Then there's a round of copy editing, and more besides I'm sure, but the hard work, the creative work, is over. Now, while I still might be able to change the word 'because' to the word 'however', I can no longer make the characters 10 years younger, or change the place they live, or how they live their lives. All that's fixed, now.

With the manuscript out of my hands I feel a curious absence. My thoughts turn more and more to how Before I Go to Sleep is going to be presented to the world. Soon I'm going to be presented with (more) jacket designs, already people are coming up with potential cover blurbs for me to give my opinion on. I'm being asked to provide author photographs (so far, only for use within my publishers, but it's only a matter of time before I'm being asked to provide one for a publicity shots and the dreaded author photograph for the book jacket ("Does it have to be of me?" I feel like saying. "Can't I have a picture of my pug on there?"). I've been asked about my acknowledgements, dedications, epigraphs (I've found the most perfect epigraph - three lines from a poem - and am keeping my fingers crossed that we can get the required permissions. Things are revving up.

Best of all, though, I can now finally devote serious attention to my next book. For a while, at least...


Katie Anderson said...

Hey SJ, I just stumbled across your blog from 'A Novice Novelist' and love what I see!

Congratulations on signing off on the book - though a little terrifying, I imagine it must be quite a relief to know that it's all out of your hands now.

I think you should definitely fight for the picture of the pug on the book jacket!


S J Watson said...

Thanks Katie! I wonder if the pug could pass for me....


Alexandra Crocodile said...

oooh, how exciting! and almost a bit sad, "letting go" like that:) well, you should keep busy, maybe write a short story or two while you wait for your book to come in print!

S J Watson said...

Good idea - but I have another novel to write! I have to deliver my next book in 2012, and while that seems a long way off now, I bet it'll be here sooner than I think!