First, I received two draft concepts for my cover. One of these I admired very much, but didn't want for my book. I found it too confronting and too upsetting. The other I absolutely loved. I thought it was unusual and beautiful and really expressed what I am trying to say with my words. It has a dream-like quality and I know my mother would have liked it. That feels important seeing the book's about her. Nicola, my editor, said she loves that concept too, and that's the one the designer will develop for the book. I am impatient to see the final result though I am feeling more confident than I did.
Seeing the art work made a surprisingly big difference. It's made the book feel more real to me. Until then I'd felt in limbo. I signed the contract way back last December and it's been a long six months. I delivered the final draft at the end of April and then had to wait until Nicola read it. That was awful. It still wasn't too late for the publisher to walk away if they didn't like it. But Nicola did. She loved it!
Then I had to wait some more while Nicola edited it. That was nerve wracking. She kept sending me lovely, reassuring emails about how 'clean' the manuscript was and what a pleasure to edit, but I didn't really believe her. All my insecurity demons came out to play and they whispered in my ear that in editing school editors are taught to say nice things to their authors so they'll accept slashing and burning of their precious words more easily.
And then the first edit dropped into my email inbox. Nicola had meant what she'd said. There wasn't anything too drastic. All that angst was for nothing.
Surprisingly, I'm enjoying the editing process. It's reconnected me with the writing, and I like Nicola's work. I think she has a good eye and a good ear and although she's scrupulous - she hasn't let me get away with anything - she's also very gentle. I feel very privileged to have her edit my manuscript.
The third event was having some photographs taken by Daniel Mahon for publicity purposes. My new profile picture is one of his. And so is the little pic on this post. I actually enjoyed the session though I had dreaded it. I think he's a great photographer who knows how to get the best out of his subjects.
I'm finishing up the first round of editing this week, then it's over to Nicola, and more waiting until the manuscript comes back for me to have another go. Then when that's done there'll be further rounds of waiting until the book finally hits the shelves in November and I wait to see how it's received.
I'd like to say I'm developing patience but I don't think that's true. I'm just getting more used to waiting.