Things are moving fast

So, things are moving quite quickly now towards the publication of my novel Song of the Sea God which you can pre-order on Amazon here. I had the proofs of my book through from the publisher Skylight Press – it looks great and I spent a long evening reading through it one last time plus correcting issues picked up by the proof-reading the publisher had done.

Had you asked me before they read it what they would find I’d have said I’d read it and rewritten it that many times it would be fairly clean. And so it was – but there were a couple of howlers in there – and they duly found them!

One was that a character changed his name for an entirely new one about half way through. And the other was that at one point in the book a pair of characters had a discussion about something which had not yet happened – and didn’t happen for another 30 pages.

How did mistakes like that get in there you might ask? Well the simple answer is rewrites. I will actually have written those errors into the text fairly late in the day – while changing and, for the most part, improving sections of text. Luckily, they can just as easily be rewritten again! You can be assured that when the book appears the characters will keep the same names throughout.

Another development is that, on Friday October 5, I read from Song of the Sea God at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. I was delighted to do it – even though it turned out to be a bit of a weird setting. My reading took place in one of the festival book tents, basically a big book shop, at a time when there weren’t that many people around. There were people coming in and out, browsing the shelves, and me sat in the middle on a stage, with no microphone, reading from my book. I felt a bit like I did in my late teens when I used to busk with my guitar in the streets of northern cities. Luckily at that time I learned how to keep on keeping on, even if the interest in what I was doing was fairly muted.

My lit fest gig was an experience to say the least – and I’m glad I did it. It was the first chance I had to read from Sea God to the public, and at a prestigious event – even though my little corner of it was far from prestigious. It was nice of the organisers to find room among all their big stars for an unknown first time author like me.

8 thoughts on “Things are moving fast”

  1. As a Bridport Prize winner, I would have thought they’d consider you alongside the high literati. Rushdie, Faulks, Hill. That accolade deserves a microphone in the very least! Glad it went well, though.

    1. I just had to do talking loud instead – they save the microphones for the big names – and the introductions, I had to introduce myself – ladies and gentlemen – here’s me!

  2. They probably though it was better to have you inside the tent pissing out, than outside, pissing in!
    Seriously though boss – what an achievement! Some of us will never get as far as the tent-flap.
    Well done, you deserve it.

    1. Thanks mate – I did enjoy it even though it was odd to say the least – you have to make the best of these things I guess. It would be great if that turned out to be the strangest reading I ever do – but somehow I doubt it will be!

  3. Good for you Chris! Congrats on your first reading! As far as the mistakes that were found in your book, be glad that you chose to do the right thing and get a professional editor, unlike thousands who just publish their book without it. You can’t edit yourself and aren’t you glad the mistakes get caught before hand?!

    1. Thanks Lisa – I’m lucky enough to have a publisher Skylight Press, rather than be self-published, and so editing is part of the job they do as they work to get the book out. You are dead right though that anyone who acts as their own editor has a fool for a client.

  4. Humans aren’t flawless! In my 2nd release no one (not my beta readers, me, or editor) caught “her back hair”. It should’ve read “her BLACK hair”! Ouch. Thank goodness in this digital era it can quickly be fixed.

    Congrats on your debut release. One wise person advised me to savor the feeling because it will never be duplicated. Your first is always your first!

    1. I do like that – her back hair – that’s sod’s law right there isn’t it? Not just a misprint but one which causes lots of innapropriate laughter. I remember a story of mine which won a prize – I must have read it a thousand times, then I read it at a festival and someone laughed in the wrong place – I had an unintentional double entendre in there and it took a member of the audience with a suitably dirty sense of humour to spot it.

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