Friday, 12 November 2010

Leaving New York

Well, it's been an amazing week or so! Last Thursday I flew to New York, a city I have only visited once before, in 2008, but absolutely love. I remember then having the most bizarre sense of homesickness for the city as we sat in the taxi on the way to JFK airport to fly home, so I was looking forward to going back.

I was over there to meet the HarperCollins team, who will be publishing Before I Go to Sleep in the US, but had decided to stretch my visit out so that I could do a bit of sightseeing and shopping. We chose a great hotel in the meatpacking district and from there explored SoHo and the lower east side on foot, taking in The High Line (an incredible 'urban park' which has been created by landscaping and planting grasses and other plants along a disused, raised railway line) and a few favourite cafes, restaurants and shops from last time. I loved New York again - I think partly at least because it's not that different from London yet the contrast is still pronounced enough for the city to feel fresh - and it was great to discover some new places and things (Chelsea Market, french toast with bacon and maple syrup, The Lincoln Centre, Craft) to add to my list of favourites.

On Tuesday, though, I went to the HarperCollins offices. I had an incredible day, kicked off by meeting my publisher at HC, Jonathan Burnham who was great and made me feel very welcome, and Claire Wachtel, my amazing US editor who is warm, generous, funny and wonderfully direct ('Don't turn into an asshole!' was one of the first things she said to me, following which she told me about authors she had known who had done just that). Together we looked at the US bound proof, which is lovely and, even more exciting, a mock up of the cover they intend to use. It looked absolutely incredible and I really love it (though I showed that in an even more understated way than usual as I had had no sleep, so I worry that the designer thinks I hate it but am putting a brave face on it - which is not the case!), and I will share it when I can.

From there I met some lovely people who are going to be working on the book in some capacity, mostly in sales and marketing. We discussed plans for promotion next year - it looks as though I may be seeing a bit more of New York ('Any excuse to come over here is fine by me!' I said) as well as other cities in the US. It all sounds very exciting, and from that meeting we went into a working lunch during which I discussed the book and my writing generally with the people who will be selling it in the real world. I felt nervous but really enjoyed talking about the book and answering their brilliant and very perceptive questions - the tricky thing was not giving away too much of the ending as not everyone had finished it!

Finally, the next day, I went back in to shoot a little video that we can use to explain the inspiration behind the book and talk a little bit about it. Again I was nervous (like many people I'm not that keen on being on video) but I really enjoyed it. Hopefully I'll be able to post the results here (or a link to them at least) before too long. After that it was time for one more lovely dinner with my agent (this time also with another of her authors, Katie Kitamura, whose brilliant book The Long Shot I had read on the way over and who is excellent company!) before it was time to come home. I had a brilliant trip, and I feel terribly guilty that I can spend time with amazing, interesting, enthusiastic people in a city I love and (just about) call it 'work'...

Anyway, here's what the US bound proof will look like...

Front... and back....




4 comments:

DEZMOND said...

HarperCollins always has the best books over in US!
And the US covers are quite unsual, SJ.

S J Watson said...

Thanks Dezmond - I love the US jacket - can't wait to be able to share it...!

SJW

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Congratulations on your book! I'll look for it. When is the release date?

S J Watson said...

Thanks Elizabeth!

It's due out in April in the UK, May in Australia and New Zealand and June in the US and (I think) Canada...

SJW