During the week of this blog, it will be March 22nd, three months to the day until The Deserter's Daughter is published, so I thought I'd share what has been happening since I signed with Allison & Busby and officially became a debut novelist.
It turns out that the most obvious feature of debut novelist status is getting novel number 2 written. My contract with A&B includes the rather scary deadline of July 1st. Six months to write a book! I've never written one in under a year before, let alone in six months, but there's nothing like a deadline to concentrate the mind. Between the day job and the writing, I'm working seven days a week. It's hard work but I'm managing. I have asked at the day job if I can drop a day a week, but so far it hasn't happened.
Quite early on in the debut novelist process - much sooner than I was expecting, actually - there was the excitement of seeing the Amazon page on which The Deserter's Daughter is available for pre-order, though my pleasure was tempered somewhat by the fact that Amazon listed the book by title only and my name as author was missing. But that disappointment was nothing compared to what happened next.
When the author's name appeared on the page... it wasn't my name.
That mistake was there for nearly a fortnight, during which time I asked for the mistake to be rectified, as did A&B and various wonderful writer friends, including Catherine Boardman of Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays and fellow debut novelist Maddie Please, who will be appearing on my blog in April; also Kirsten Hesketh, who will be here next week, Karen Coles, author of the edge-of-the-seat Mesmeris trilogy, Jane Ayres and Christina Banach, author of the wonderful YA novel Minty. I should also thank Chris Manby for her excellent suggestion as to what I should do with the Other Name.
Earlier this week, I had my author photo taken. Some people manage to look marvellous on a casual snap, but since this picture will go on the book jacket (yikes!), I decided to go to a professional photographer. As the photos were being taken, two stood out as the likeliest candidates and when I was sent the link to download the set, one was just right for the purpose. If you're in North Wales and you want to have your picture taken, I recommend North Shore Studios. Geoff and Jane are highly professional but at the same time friendly and relaxed. They also displayed extraordinary patience with an author who started off wanting one sort of picture and then changed her mind and went for a completely different look.
Also this week, the copy edits for The Deserter's Daughter arrived. Apparently, the copy editors commented to my editor at Allison & Busby on how rare it was to work on an MS that turned up so few queries. Excuse me one moment while I try to look modest. It was clear from the queries they did flag up, however, that they had investigated every detail in my book. For example, The Deserter's Daughter is set in a real place, Chorlton in Manchester, and includes some real roads and landmarks, as well as one or two I made up. The copy editors checked my spelling of all the real places and also queried my fictional places in case they were mistakes. My heroine's family lives in (fictional) Wilton Lane - was this an error? Did I really mean Wilton Road?
|And just to round off the week in a happy way, the lovely pansies that saga writer Carol Rivers sent me when I signed with Allison & Busby have produced a second flush of blooms. Perfect!|
Have a great week, everyone. Think of me on Wednesday - three months to go!