Today, the proof copy of my latest book arrived and brought with it a familiar sense of warmth, elation and a little trepidation.
Holding the finished product in my hand, albeit in proof version, always gives me a frisson of excitement. Previously, it had been a series of notes, a page on a computer screen, a pile of paper to read through. All those hours of interviewing people, researching, visiting scenes, racing back to record my notes and later mould them into a story are over. This is the first time I’ve seen the finished product, albeit in proof, bound together with beautiful cover art and blurb, and I’m really thrilled with it!
This will also be the last time I read it through before publication, the last time I can make any changes. The temptation to go back and change a word, rewrite a sentence, to mull over a scene is always huge. If it wasn’t for editors and deadlines, I would probably never finish a book. The story is written and has been subject to hours of editing, rewriting and tidying. This final read represents me putting it to bed, to admitting that it is finally ready to fly the nest and that’s always difficult.
Some of you may have noticed that I stepped back from social media in January. For me, finishing a book represents the end of a journey. I know, it’s a cliché. I’m in awe of authors who can write the last sentence of a book one day, and an opening chapter of a new one the next. Although I have lots of notes for new ideas, I haven’t written anything substantial since we finished editing The Lies Within at the beginning of January. I always feel quite worn out after I’ve completed a novel. I’ve been working with these characters for a year, got to know them intimately, lived in their world. It takes a while for me to let that wash through, for the dust to settle, before I can move on to something different.
There’s also the sense of trepidation of having a new book to share with the world. I realise I’m not alone here. Some of the most famous authors, with a stream of books behind them, have spoken of their angst when they release a new title. Will readers like it as much as the last? Will it fulfil their expectations? An editor once told me that every book we write should be better and richer, a development on the last. No pressure there then! These thoughts have been most prominent with The Lies Within because I’ve tried to do something different. It’s still a mystery, with lots of twists and turns and the guessing game over whodunnit. DI Jackman is back, this time on location in Leicestershire with a new team (although his old colleague, Annie Davies, does make several appearances!). But, there’s also a huge psychological element and a handful of court room scenes thrown in for good measure. Doing something different is always tricky. Hopefully readers will find it a fresh and interesting slant on the contemporary police procedural. Time will tell.
If you are a book blogger or reviewer and would like a proof copy of The Lies Within, please contact Lucy Chamberlain, Publicity Director at Legend Press, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading my update. I’m off to start my final read through and bade my farewells to this book before putting my notes together for the next project. Have a lovely week, and happy reading!