I considered posting a photo of the cat with a bottle of scotch, on top of the fully proofread manuscript, but really … there are limits, right? And the cat prefers campari.
But I can report that this morning, shockingly on time, I finished the proofreading. It is due tomorrow. I am way too diligent.
As I have said before, the thing about ‘finishing’ a book is that there are so many legitimate stages to that. But this one really is done since, after I drop it off at Penguin, it will be collated by the Production Editor (the typos I caught merged with those found by the two other proofreaders) and, well, made into a book. Once again, an odd feeling, staring at it now, but also a very good one.
As I also mentioned (avoiding last kicking cat jokes) that I have added to their workload by making some small (honestly!) word trims all through. Why more work for them? Think about it. If I cut three words in a paragraph, and that paragraph ends with two words on a line, my trims shift the page break. Sometimes a page ends with a fleuron/dingbat. That forces Production to do arcane things that only those with the secret handshake fully understand. (It apparently does not involve sharpening machetes in anticipation of the author’s next visit. Apparently.)
In the meantime, the ARCs ought to be ready this week or next, though with limited exceptions they will not go out till the New Year. The exceptions are that monthly magazines need as much lead time as possible, since some are already at work on their April (or even May) issues. But publicity departments tend not to inflict galley mailings on the Christmas season. The ARCs, as may be obvious, precede this proofreading and my (small, Sandra!) last-stage fine-tuning … this is a reason that reviewers are always asked, on the cover of a galley/ARC, not to quote from it without checking against the final text.
Did I mention this? After the really wonderful evening we had for Under Heaven, the worldwide launch of River of Stars has just been locked in: it will again be at the Toronto Reference Library, in their big Atrium space, on the evening of April 4th. It looks like it will be a short reading, as last time, then an on-stage conversation with a Mystery Interlocutor.
Hmm, this may be risky on my part but … if you want to play, throw out names of people you think would be fun on stage with me that night. Yes, you are allowed to suggest Isabelle Adjani, but I think she’s booked.