It's August and the children are on holiday. It's also the time for holiday reading, which leads me to the point of this post.
A few weeks ago I delivered the revisions on Murder In The Dark to my editor and followed up with the Acknowledgements and the first chapter of the next book. Murder In The Dark is scheduled to come out on October 10th, so imagine my surprise when my editor emailed saying the publishers wanted the ebook out next week. "I haven't had the proofs, yet," I said. "Right," said my editor.
Yesterday, Wednesday, the publisher herself called. "It's going live tomorrow," she said. "I haven't seen the proofs yet," I said. "Right," said the publisher. So, at 3 30 yesterday afternoon I received emailed proofs which I had to have back by first thing this morning. This means reading it very, very carefully so you pick up mis-spellings, bad punctuation and anything else that might have crept in during the typesetting process. I finished at 10 past 9 last night, cross eyed and exhausted.
And the reason for this? It's August. Prime buying time, I'm told. Beach and airplane books. So my savvy publishers want the ebook of Murder In The Dark all bright and chirpy and ready to be read in Spain, Italy, Turkey and the Caribbean. The print book, too heavy for holidays these days, apparently, will still come out in October ready for - wait for it - the Christmas market.
So that's it. If any of you want the ebook it will be out tomorrow. Good job I hadn't planned a launch party...
Various other things have happened this week. I have had a floating population of adult children, but by the end of next week I shall be on my own again for the first time since last year. I won't know what to do with myself. And before the dreaded proof conversations took place, I decided to do a bit of sorting out, which I'd promised myself when the new conservatory was finished. Accordingly, I went through the ironing basket. Well, I don't know when I last did that, but to give you an idea I found a white blouse I used to wear when I was working for the Courts before the first Libby book was published.
Spurred on, I went through the drawer containing - well, napery, I suppose you'd call it. My mother-in-law gave me all her tablecloths, antimacassars, embroidered mats and napkins when she and father-in-law went to Australia forty years ago, before I was married. She didn't want to take it all with her, naturally enough, and she thought I would appreciate it. I did, but I haven't used any of it for years and years, so I bit the bullet and put it all in a sack to go to the charity shop. I've kept a couple of tablecloths, one lovely white one and seven napkins which I washed and am now about to iron, so if ever I have a formal dinner party I shall be equipped for it.
So, cleared out of excess baggage and grown-up children, I shall settle back into being mad cat lady again. Writing books.