29th June 2012
So the auction hammer has come down, the bidders have made their play and are leaving the room. There I am sitting alone on the front row, wondering if I got a good price for my auction item, my novel Dunadd, sold to the highest bidder. "Veil Of Time," is the title, said the hammer. And I can live with it. I suggested it a while ago in a long list of titles. I can accept it because the book is about time. It's about turning the notion of linear time on its head. We're done with that old paradigm - it isn't even good science anymore. What we live in is a kind of continuous field of energy blips. Maggie, my heroine is a blip in one time; Fergus was a blip in another time. They came and went out of the quantum soup, and who's to say that one came before the other. I think they exist at the same time. I think everything that ever was or will be is happening in this pardoxical thing called Now. It's not about lines, but more about layers, not pictures but holographs. I think people get that. Science is always a few steps behind the collective consciousness, trying to preserve the old paradigm while the new one is luring us on.
This is the zone in which Harry Potter exists - everyone is so over the Newtonian paradigm with its isolated objects being nudged along by reasonable causes. Every child knows that there are really no limits, and that's why they're reading Harry Potter like bedoins at a pool in an oasis.
Anyway, so "Veil Of Time," is a pretty good summary of that. I only resist it because it also conjurs images of the covers of Romance novels. I have been honing my craft on this writing path a long time, and I want the sum total of what I have mastered to be more than the limp pages in between the covers of a Romance novel.
I talked to my agent this week, and he says that the main thing is to push for a really good cover, which will mitigate to some extent the ambiguity of the title. My editor sent us a few examples of the cover art from some of their more recent publications, and I thought they were quite good. I liked the cover of "The Time Traveller's Wife." Audrey Niffenegger had a better title, and because she was working with a small publisher, she might have had more say in the cover art, too. That remains to be seen.
I was asking my agent what is to happen with the first novel of mine, "Duntrune," (oh, what they will do with that title!), and he said we will know by next spring how well "Veil Of Time," is going to do. He says that by then the book sellers (who helped to choose the title, for God's sake) will have made their orders, and we will get a sense from the type of reviews the book has gleaned . If all looks good, he will start moving on Novel No. 1. Oh, the business of this, the commodity that everything becomes in a free market economy. Well, it wasn't much different in Dicken's day. He knew about selling his work. Would that I have his success.