Friday, 25 October 2013

New Novel Title

My novel has a new title, something that was always likely to happen as early readers invariably got mixed up and ended up calling it a variety of the following titles: We Are Together Here, Together We Are Here, Here We Are Together, We Are Here Together...


There's a lot of singing in the novel, some of the songs are hopeful, others are sad. Mormons believe that the words of hymns are like scripture. They also teach that singing a hymn is a good way of diverting bad thoughts.

There is a verse in a Mormon book of scripture known as the Doctrine and Covenants that goes pretty well with the new title.
For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads. (Doctrine and Covenants 25:12)
I've finished all the edits (I think). The manuscript arrived back from the copy editor this morning and there's a whole new list of changes to make, mostly grammatical edits, but there are occasional corrections too (for example, it's not dark at 7 a.m in September - doh!). I've got to hurry up and make the new changes as proofs need to be ready by the middle of next month. It's a scary and exciting feeling to know that people will be reading early copies soon.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Editing and Short Stories Aloud

I've spent this week editing the British version of my novel. Fortunately there weren't too many things to change, although we did decide to shorten the prologue, particularly the opening paragraph which has morphed from a dream sequence into a dream sentence! Yesterday I had a chance to talk to my editor about my book cover and I am HUGELY excited about her ideas for both the hardback and paperback.

I also received a list of language edits for the American edition of the book. I'm going to keep a lot of football (soccer!) terminology and some very British swear words, which was a pleasant surprise. I hadn't realised how many regional words and phrases I had included until they appeared on the list of words to replace: ginnel, piffy on a rock bun, yonks, chivvy, trumps...

In other news, I'm delighted to be appearing at Short Stories Aloud on Tuesday 22nd October at The Old Fire Station. Actors Julie Mayhew and Melissa Berry will be reading short stories by Charlotte Mendelson and myself.

I've never heard anyone read one of my stories aloud before so it's going to be a really interesting experience.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tea for three

I had a lovely time at the Hutchinson Proof Party. The Spiegeltent was incredible, it felt like we were inside a carousel or a small circus tent - an appropriate venue for Dea's novel which contains a travelling circus. 

It was really exciting to share a stage with Dea and Helen. I've read their novels and can't quite believe that I was allowed to sit next to them and talk about my book in front of so many people.

Here I am afterwards with Dea and Helen (and half a sandwich stuck in my right cheek). 

I had an interesting journey home. There had been a Warrington and Wigan rugby match and when I got to Manchester Piccadilly the police were segregating supporters (and anyone who happened to be inadvertently travelling with them). We were held in a long queue until after the time our train was supposed to leave. Eventually we were herded into a carriage; I've never seen so many people on a train (and I've never brushed up against so many big-bellied men). 

I ended up sitting next to a little boy with a vuvuzela, a man in front of me was bleeding and appeared to have a broken nose. We stopped at Hinckley because someone was hurt (I think they fell off the train) and the conductor needed to wait for the ambulance. Did I mention the vuvuzela? It was a memorable, if somewhat bonkers end to a lovely day. 

Here is an account of the event written by book blogger and reviewer Naomi Frisbee.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Hutchinson Proof Party at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

On Saturday I'll be joining Helen Dunmore and Dea Brovig at the Cheltenham Literature Festival for the Hutchinson Proof Party. The event will preview Helen's novel The Lie and Dea's novel The Last Boat Home (I was lucky enough to receive proof copies of both books and wrote about them here). I'll be reading a short excerpt from Here We Are Together.

The event will take place in the Spiegeltent, an antique structure, originating in Belgium in the early 20th century. I've looked at some gorgeous photographs and I'm really excited to see it properly.

For more information and a list of other events, visit the Cheltenham Festivals website.