Friday, 7 January 2011

A delightfully scary book. . .

I have been the final edits to the bonus stories in the rejacketed Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror and Tales of Terror from the Black Ship. Uncle Montague has a story called Skating and The Black Ship has a story called The Mermaid. Before Christmas I did the same thing with a story called The Voice at the end of Tales of Terror from the Tunnel's Mouth.

I have been working with Isabel Ford from Bloomsbury on these. She sends me the proof copy of the book as a PDF marked with her notes - about missing commas or capitals or whatever - but also any final queries about meaning or sentence structure.

This stage is perhaps the most nerve wracking of all. It is the last chance to make any changes, or to spot any mistakes. I am always amazed by how many things Isabel manages to find, and embarrassed that I have looked through the same thing and found next to nothing!

It is also a tantalising stage because for the first time you see the book taking its eventual form. The pages are laid out as they will be in the printed copy. There is a proper font and page numbers, chapter heads and title page. And if you don't get a little bit excited at this point, you probably shouldn't be a writer.

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