28th September 2012
Through this whole process of publishing my book, I am slowly gleaning what the different steps are all about. Until now the editing I have been doing with Abby my editor has been "content editing" in that through the last few rounds we have been focusing more on the story and how it progresses. With the last edit, we moved to "line editing," which is, as it suggests, going through the manuscript line by line to see where it can run more smoothly. I turned that line-edit in at the beginning of the week, and my editor told me the next stage would be to move the manuscript on to "Production" (a different department) for copy-editing. I had to look this one up, but a copy editor does not concern themselves with re-writing, just with clarity and flow. Once in "production," the manuscript is going to be changed into what it will look like in the hands of the reader, e.g. how many words per page, where the page/paragraphs will break. They are dealing with the visual image, not the story anymore. Abby says the copy-editing will take about a month.
When I turned in the line-edit, I also forwarded my acknowledgement page and my dedication page, which Abby says will make the production team happy to have so early. Now I'm worried I should have held back and made sure I had included everyone in my acknowledgements. What if someone helps me in the meantime? As far as dedication goes, I made it go to my father who died when I was in my twenties and who was the ground I walked on. I have other novels that would be more appropriate to put his name to, but I figure I had better do it right away with this first (to be published) novel, just in case I never get another chance.
I was having thoughts this week about a sequel to "Veil of Time," called "Druid Hill," but I won't tell anyone about that.... I have only written two pages, and it may never happen, but if it were to come easily, it would give me something play with while I wait the torturous wait of an author-in-the-wings. Despite the torture, it is still very nice to be able answer people who ask me what I do that I am a writer. I am one. Unless Simon and Schuster goes down the drain.
People seem to like to stick articles under my nose about how book publishing is on its way out. I saw an interview with JK Rowling this week where she was asked about this question. She said she thought there would always be books, because reading a book is a whole body experience: the feel, the smell, the kinetic interaction with the book. She must be right - don't we all have books on our shelves that even the sight of can bring back a whole interlude in our lives. Take that book off the shelf and carress it, smell it, see the worn pages we went back to, and in a time-warp blitz, we are back there. A collection of Emily Bronte's poems called, "A Peculiar Music," given to me by my father when I was eighteen, does that for me. I took it to Germany for six months after I left high school, and opening it now takes me right back to pretzels with inch-thick butter and Kaffee and Kuchen at three o'clock in the afternoon. It makes me feel again how it was to be fumbling around in a foreign language and how my loneliness and hers mingled during that time and gave me something to cling to. Scrolling through a Kindle edition, is never going to be the same. I haven't even tried it, but I can imagine.
I am hoping that soon I will be able to post a chapter of "Veil of Time," on my website. So go there when you can, www.clairemcdougall.com and one day before too long you might be surprised.