It’s that time in my writing year when the manuscript comes back to me with bloopers and queries marked up by the copy editor. Copy editors are essential people in the publishing business. They catch howlers and misspellings, they patiently insert missing commas. But sometimes they go a bit further and make stylistic suggestions and when they do that they cross my personal version of the yellow incident tape the police use to cordon off no-go areas. You can’t write a novel by committee. No-one tells me how my characters speak.
When I’ve spent eight months writing in First Person the voice of my narrator is as real and familiar to me as, say, my children’s voices. If someone else puts words in my character’s mouth they are very likely to get it wrong. Call me pernickety but even a single word dropped in by a usurper can scream ‘No! Never!’ because I’m Mother, and as we all know, Mother knows best.
So now the copy-edited text goes for typesetting, the designer has started work on the jacket, and we crawl a little closer to an October publication date.
In the meanwhile yes, I’m still unemployed, hopeful but by no means certain of getting another contract, but thank you anyway for asking.