Publishing a novel

I’ve been away from the blog for two weeks or so, correcting proofs of my latest book in the Dangerous Journeys  Series. When the manuscript is finished and sent to the publisher, in my case electronically, time passes, and then it is returned, or at least the files are, downloaded to some vast internet cloud, and then to me. Line by line, error by error, recorded first on legal pads and then into Excel, and finally it is ready to return to the publisher. The process repeats itself, she corrects, then I correct again, and finally we both agree that we can find no more errors, omissions or outright howlers. After that, I wait, and wait and wait, while mysterious manipulations go on to convert the files to e-book format and prepare for the paper press as well.

In the meantime, I write and then of course, rewrite, a press release, find multiple free services that could disperse the press release across the internet, and read books about marketing and the importance of an author platform. So  I sign up for twitter, post more books at Goodreads, expand my Linkedin network and ask friends and relatives to post my press release when the book is ready. And then I wait some more. A problem with the files at the printer, I’m told, is delaying the appearance of NO MOTIVE FOR MURDER.

I  return to writing, now a rewrite of a book that has been hanging around in a virtual drawer. It was fun to write and now even in rewrite, mostly because of the settings, besides Toronto, my protagonist travels to Rome and Venice, Bari and Dubrovnik.

I’m still waiting.


The revision of a novel can take years, as it did for my first one, or fewer years, as it has for the one under review now. Somehow, I’ve managed to have one published, one being revised, and one sitting in my computer, percolating.
Revision is mainly rewriting, in my hands anyway. The worst is deleting a big chunk of prose, as I did this morning, because I felt it was telling, not showing. I replaced it with a much shorter piece of dialogue. If I keep cutting, i’m going to end up with a novella!

This proroguing of Parliament has irritated me more than almost anything Harper has done, and he has done a lot that I objected to. I think he has shown a contempt for the people that is astounding. And I’m not the only one. True blue conservatives, of the non-Reform Party variety, are also taken aback by this abuse of power. There was no real need, after all, except that he didn’t want to answer the questions in the House. Or maybe he and his minions just wanted a long winter vacation. The rest of us are at work, and want to see the M.P.s at it as well. Besides that, we want him to answer the questions, about Afghanistan and the budget, and whatever else comes up, and answer them in the House, where the people we elected to ask him questions, can do so.
Oh, and don’t tell me he needs the time to consult about the budget. I don’t believe for one minute that anything the people say affects him one whit. Again, that’s what we pay the opposition M.P.s for.