Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I have a strange relationship with my books

It really is a love/hate thing. When it's going well and I'm writing without even really thinking about it, I love my books. I am immensely proud of them.
When I see them in print for the first time, all with their shiny covers I feel almost as proud as I did the first time I saw my babies.
But there are times in the process when they drive me mad.
I'm just finishing yet another edit of Jumping in Puddles, due for release at the end of September.
Let me explain, very briefly, how it works - or indeed how this book has worked. First I sent the first 44,000 words down to Poolbeg when I felt very stuck and the lovely Paula Campbell suggested a few changes - which I took on board because she knows her stuff and in fairness the book was pretty ropey at that early first draft stage.
So I finished the MS and sent it down again and Paula suggested some more (minor) changes which once again I took on board and worked into the now third draft of the piece.
Then it went to the editor, Gaye Shortland, who basically scores it all with red pen and sends it back suggesting a few more changes etc. Now this is all standard. This happens to every writer. But there is a part of me that always feels like a crappy schoolgirl when it happens to me. I don't do red pen particularly well. I feel as if I'm being graded - but I push my feelings aside and work through it again and then return it to the editor.
At this stage I feel as if I have the read book 5000 times and feel a little bored of the fecker.
So then I get emails, with minor queries (What are parish savings? Where is the phone in Liam's house... small continuity issues etc) and I work through it again and then do a final read through.
And it goes to the typesetter.
And then, oh joy, I get to read it all again in a few weeks looking for more mistakes.

Now I do love the book. And I do think it is good. But at this stage it feels like a clingy child attached to my legs shouting at me for attention when all I want to do is watch Corrie in peace.

Now come the end of September when my book is presented to me, all clean in a shiny cover and well behaved, I will remember all those things I love about it and will be like any proud mammy.
But for now - just five minutes peace, please.


Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

I love your title, Jumping in Puddles, conjours up all sorts of images in my mind ... good ones.

Good luck, with your launch. Can't wait to hear more. :)

Fionnuala Kearney said...

Oh I know THAT feeling. It'll be fab. It always was. xx

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