Spring is definitely (if a little tentatively) in the air.
Time to emerge from finishing a book, followed by embarking on the edits for ‘The White Camellia’, which will be published by Honno Press this September.
I love editing. Well, that is after feeling impelled to clean the bath, de-flea the dog, and other glamorous pastimes to avoid getting down to it at all. Followed by the ‘I can’tdo this’, ‘who do I think I’m kidding’, and ‘maybe the day job isn’t so bad after all’. Then I grit my teeth, ignore the washing, and get down to it, and we’re away, on the rollercoaster ride of coaxing and tweaking this book into the book I’ve always wanted it to be.
This is my third experience of working with my wonderful editor, Janet Thomas. This time it has been both different and the same. Different because there are not nearly as many edits as for ‘Eden’s Garden’ and ‘We That are Left’. I’ve learnt the lessons and developed my inner editor, which feels like the moment you take off those stabilisers and soar off on two wheels.
Now, I’m not saying that I don’t need an editor. However experienced I get, I will never, ever say that. This time is just the same as before – an editor is the link between the writer and the reader, and all those bits that, as the writer, you just can’t see, because the story is alive in your head. There I was, worrying and fiddling over all kinds of aspects – and totally missed the one that wasn’t there, because I thought it was. It was in my head, but my readers don’t read inside my head. And, as ever, the moment it was pointed out, I knew exactly whatmy editor meant, and that she was right.
I’m not saying that I always obey: I often go off on a tangent and find a new solution that neither of us have thought of, and that makes for a much better story. I’m glad to say the buzz of editing is still there, big-time. I have loved every minute of it.
So I shall now crawl out from the emotion ride of my writing life (so far), blinking into the light of day, and my miraculous transformation from an Edwardian Cornwall to twenty-first century Snowdonia, into a house that is a tip, a garden best not mentioned, and a dog tapping her dainty little paws, demanding normal walkies service to be resumed instantly, or else.
And somewhere out there, is a cover for ‘The White Camellia’ all ready and waiting – and it’s gorgeous. And top secret, for now.
I can’t wait for the next part of the journey!