Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Best Laid Plans day

You'd think I'd have learned by now that life is not a steady road, moving ahead smoothly at a pleasant upward incline toward happiness, security and Nirvana. After speedbumps in our road of life in the form of John being diagnosed with lymphoma, then discovering this spring that he needed a stent, and then my spectacular fall in April, resulting in a fractured pelvis I should have thought a little longer before I gave an interview and said, "This enforced home stay has had its good side. I've been able to forge ahead with my next book and can now relax for a while."

On Monday the editorial suggestions for my next Molly book arrived from Minotaur. Then yesterday the page proofs arrived from my other publisher, Penguin. Same message for each of these. No huge rush but could they have them back in a couple of weeks please.

Now there are no serious rewrites to be done for Molly but annoying small things like "can we tighten the first hundred pages a little". This requires reading, evaluating and pruning every single page. And making it less obvious about who the bad guy is. Again these are often one word or one sentence tweaks but they are quite labor intensive.

And as for page proof corrections. I am the world's worst proofreader. When I read my own stuff I read what I think I have written, not what is really there. But I always manage to find a sentence or two in which I've used the word 'think' three times and doesn't seem to have bothered anyone in the editing chain. And I'm confident that the book is also being read by professional proofreaders--again a wrong assumption, given the number of letters I get starting, "I really like your books but I have to point out several glaring typos...."

I don't know what they expect me to do--grab the books off Barnes and Noble's shelves and go through with a red pen?

So I'm now feeling the pressure again. We leave for Europe on July 18. Before then I need to spend long hours in the gym getting those legs used to carrying me for long distances again. And I have to make decisions on clothes for 6 weeks, ranging from Olympic events to the boulevards of Paris to relatives with dogs to the journey home on the QM2.

Nothing's a big deal, compared to what I was going through six weeks ago, but the book by the pool is probably not going to happen!

And today a plug for my other blog, Jungle Red Writers. I am the host this week. Tuesday I have Suan Elia MacNeal as my guest (she wrote Mr. Churchill's Secretary), tomorrow J. Sydney Jones and his atmospheric historical thrillers set in Vienna, then thoughts on the queen's jubilee and a good laugh at funny English sports that you probably have never heard of.
Do stop by to visit. Susan is giving away a copy of her books today!


  1. I would be glad to read your book to help you proofread. I used to teach typing and always checked my student's work for spelling errors and such. I have never done it professionally, but would be willing to try!

  2. No Sunday sneak peek this week? :(