Words, words, words

I spoke with Sandra in Production this morning and we set up our scheduled meeting to go over anything the proofreaders queried (as opposed to just correcting, as in a typo). But on the phone she told me that one of them had noted a particular word cropping up a fair bit, and wondered if I’d want to have a look.

The glories of the PDF age. I was able to search for it, note the pages, and this splendid proofer was entirely right. We can fall into vocabulary rhythms and over two years + of writing and revising might not catch ourselves repeating. But someone reading the book steadily and fast and with a necessarily obsessive word by word focus might spot these.

So spent an hour this morning addressing that. And no, before anyone asks, I won’t say what the word was (it was not ‘tangible’!) because you’d all become hyper-aware of it. I’m being good to you. But I’m also really grateful to the proofreader for the alert.

This next hour or so are actually a nervous time for me, irrationally. The book will be picked up any minute and couriered to the publisher across town. It is way too easy for an author to have ‘Homeland’ style nightmares of car accidents, or brazen daylight robberies by rival publishers or desperate readers (just.don’t.say.it.). Sandra has promised to call me as soon as it is in her hands.

Here’s a memory. First novel I ever wrote, never published, was drafted on the south coast of Crete, handwritten. Partway through the winter I woke up one morning with the sudden thought that if my room was ransacked and robbed, or there was a fire or anything, I had zero backup. I couldn’t work that day. Took the bus to the north side of the island to a town called Rethymnon and found a mom and pop shop with a single photocopy machine. I got a lot of change and made two copies, eventually gave one to a friend to keep in his room in my village, and mailed the other home immediately. But on the bus over the mountains north and walking through Rethymnon, that envelope with the manuscript stayed tightly clutched in both hands.

So I have a long tradition of worrying about the fate of the only finished copy of any book.

Alec, one of the coordinators of brightweavings.com asked and I can confirm that the launch on April 4 will absolutely be open and free of charge. Sometimes events have a fee, at author festivals, or when a bookstore has to rent a space because they expect more people than the store can hold, but this one won’t.

Oh. There will be good UK news very soon. They are doing a press release. I’ll wait for that. And a new, unexpected foreign rights offer. Still being finalized as to terms, so I’ll tease with that only, for now. But I love new, small markets. It says something really affirming about books and human nature if people in so many different cultures want to read something we write.

3 thoughts on “Words, words, words

  1. Well, I hope the text makes it across town all right, Mr. Kay. I feel that I can sympathize, as I tend to worry about things more than is healthy. When I started my current job, I kept asking my coworker questions about what if certain scenarios happened – what if this, what if that. I kept worrying about everything. She turned to me one day, exasperated, and said to me, “Look, Matt, what if a piece of the MOON comes down and falls from the sky? What then?”

    Also, you’ve been giving such tantalizing details about the book launch in Toronto. Can you tell us if you’ll be going on tour for the book release? I’d be thrilled if you traveled down here to Houston. If there are no details, is there a mailing list or something similar I can sign up for to receive announcements of that sort?

  2. Matthew
    Book tours are really diminishing as a mode of promotion. I’ll probably do a proper post on this at some point. So Houston is hugely unlikely, absent a specific conference/festival/convention invitation. My itinerary will always be posted on Brighweavings.com whenever details firm up for any gigs.

  3. Matthew
    Book tours are really diminishing as a mode of promotion. I’ll probably do a proper post on this at some point. So Houston is hugely unlikely, absent a specific conference/festival/convention invitation. My itinerary will always be posted on Brighweavings.com whenever details firm up for any gigs.

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