I have been busy doing events and signing copies of my second novel, Swimming Lessons. There are signed books in New York, and Philadelphia, and many in bookshops in the UK. One of the themes of the novel is the things that people leave behind in books, and so in the books I’ve been signing I’ve also inserted a piece of ephemera – a receipt, an old letter, a photograph. My friend, Bridget said it would be nice to have a place where I can show some of the things that readers find. So, here is that page. Continue reading
Bupestris Beetle specimen in Hunterian Museum, London. March 2017
In a recent post about my book tour of New York for the publication of my second novel, Swimming Lessons, I mentioned a ‘secret writing thingy’, and said that all would be revealed in March. And now I’m allowed to reveal what it was… Continue reading
I’ve just come back from a book tour of New York organised by my US publisher, Tin House. I’ve been to America before, but never New York and I had an amazing time. So many lovely people, so many cool things, so many surprise and wonderful meetings.
I met my Tin House editor, Masie Cochran for Continue reading
This is the last in my series of publishing interviews. I’ve discovered so many things about how this world works including answers from a publishing director, to an art director to a literary agent, and many roles in between. And of course there are a lot more people who help get a book written, published and on the shelves that I haven’t managed to talk to: booksellers, writing course teachers, sales reps, editorial assistants, and many more. But I need to take a break because I have lots of Swimming Lessons events coming up; if there are any roles in particular you would like me to interview, just drop me a line, or comment below, and I’ll store up the suggestions for later in the year.
I’m a little nervous about today’s publishing interview; what if there are any mistakes? An unwanted comma, a typo? This interview is with my copy-editor, Caroline Pretty. Penguin and other publishers use her to check manuscripts before they go to print, and I asked her a few questions about exactly how that works.
Claire: How would you describe the role of a copy-editor?
Caroline: Once a manuscript’s been typeset, it’s expensive for publishers to correct mistakes, so the main focus of my job is a close reading of the manuscript before it gets typeset. I’m editing primarily for sense and consistency. Sense is about making sure the author has conveyed what they intend, without repetition or ambiguity (unless this is deliberate). Consistency involves checking spellings and punctuation, following a publisher’s house style or an author’s preferred style; in fiction, it also includes checking plots for any holes, making sure the action can realistically take place in the time the author has outlined, and character details such as names, ages and eye colour. There’s often a lot of fact-checking too, and I also mark up the typescript for the typesetter – coding headings and different design features. So it’s very much a technical process as well as a creative one.
Claire: What’s your copy-editing process from when you receive a book from a publisher, and do you work on paper or onscreen? Continue reading
Swimming Lessons, my second novel is published in the UK today in hardback, ebook (Fig Tree / Penguin) and audio (Audible). As you can imagine I’m a bit over-excited.
There have already been some lovely reviews, with The Sunday Times saying my stories are “thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense.
Wendy at Little Bookness Lane, a UK book blogger is giving away a copy of Swimming Lessons. The competition is available worldwide, and closes at midnight (GMT) on Friday 27th January. Click here to see how to enter.
Or if you don’t trust your luck, Swimming Lessons is available to buy in most independent bookshops, in most branches of Waterstones, and online. The audio version is available from Audible.
It’s one week until Swimming Lessons is published in the UK as a hardback and as an audio book. (Readers in Canada, the US, and Germany will have to wait a little longer).
To mark the occasion I’ve produced a drawing video of a scene from the book. I did the drawing, my daughter the filming and editing, and my son wrote and played the music. I’d love to know what you think.
Click here to see the drawing video released for Our Endless Numbered Days.
My second novel, Swimming Lessons, will be published in January 2017 in the UK, and Canada, as well as an audio book, and February 2017 in the USA. Click on the country links to pre-order.
This week I’ve been asking questions of Samantha Fanaken, Head of Sales at Penguin General. Penguin General is a publishing division of Penguin Random House, dealing with the imprints Fig Tree, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Ireland, Penguin Life, Portfolio and Viking. Read on to find out how many meetings Samantha has to cram into a day, and whether she reads all the books.
Claire: It seems to me that Head of Sales in a publishing house sits right in the middle of things: talking to editors, marketing and booksellers. Is that how you see it? Can you give a job description of your role? Continue reading
The man sits beside me, his suited belly pressed against the table, his laptop open, a mouse plugged in. The train sways and we all sway with it. The man pulls a handkerchief from his trouser pocket, sneezes into it and blows his nose vigorously. Five minutes later: handkerchief, sneeze, blow. And again. The fourth time the sneeze comes unexpectedly with only his hand to contain it. From the corner of my eye I see him run the length of his tie between his fingers. His hand hovers over his computer mouse, considering, then he holds it and clicks.
I’ve missed several weeks of Friday Fictioneers – just been too busy. It’s meant to be a short short story inspired by the photo, but this week I have written a scene of 100 words, which is much easier to do than a story, so I’m cheating really (or just easing myself back in gently). Join in here and write your own 100-word flash fiction, or read some other writers’. This week the picture is provided by C.E.Ayr, and the whole is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
My second novel, Swimming Lessons, will be published in January 2017 in the UK, and Canada, and February 2017 in the USA. Click on the country links to pre-order.