Busy, busy, busy

Apologies for the lack of blog posts – my original intention was to copy, here, all the posts I put up on my Facebook Author page (Alis Hawkins Author) but, for one reason and another that just hasn’t been happening. I need to do better, so this is my mid-year resolution – update blog regularly.

I’ve just had a very busy month editing and proof reading. If you follow my Facebook page will know, I had a decision to make about whether/how to update Testament for the new version which Sapere Books are bringing out – to modernise or not to modernise. After due consideration I had decided to go with the majority opinion (which I also favoured) and not modernise, and when I started in on the typescript, this turned out to be a good call. To me, the text didn’t read as dated at all and the lack of references to Facebook or Twitter didn’t seem odd. As I’m approximately the same age as my likely reading demographic that seemed fine, so I left it.
But, having said that, I did end up doing quite a lot of work on the text. My style has developed over the last ten years and I found the whole thing rather over-written so, without changing the story or taking anything of substance out, I did some judicious pruning. I think it now reads a lot more fluently and, if it goes into audio book (well, you’ve got to dream, haven’t you?) that will be particularly important.

The other thing I’m doing for the new edition of Testament is creating a map of my fictitious city, Salster. It’s not going to be vastly detailed and is only really designed to show where the main colleges are and where the runners in the Fairings go. But I know it’ll make people who like to be able to visualise where things are very happy. I did create a map when I was writing the book, so that I didn’t have people doing things which weren’t geographically possible but, in our house move 5 years ago, I managed to lose it, so I’ve had to create a new one as I’ve been reading through the book. Now I have to attempt to draw it in a fashion which is suitable for inclusion in an actual book, rather than just a sketch to stop me making mistakes. And, as my draughtstmanship skills are close to zero, is going to be difficult. But hey ho, the things you find yourself doing when you become a novelist!

The other thing I’ve been doing is reading through the proofs of the new edition of None So Blind. This is the really focus-heavy job of spotting typos, stray line breaks, lack of/too many inverted commas, duplicated words etc etc. However, you’re also allowed to change the odd thing if you’re still not happy with the manuscript. I didn’t amend much but, even now, after probably 10 edits over two versions, I still spotted the odd word-repetition or clumsy phrase which would have sounded really bad in an audio version (see comment above…)

Now I need to get on with writing the sequel to the Black and the White, follow up on various Crime Cymru projects and start writing stuff for a blog tour in October ahead of the November 15th publication date for the new None So Blind.

There’s never a dull moment!

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