Proof of Life
Sunday, February 01, 2009, 3:14 PM
So, I received the proof of THE TWELVE yesterday and it looks great. As far as I know, this is the version that will be printed as bound proofs, or ARCs. It's starting to feel like a proper book now, complete with copyright, epigraph, dedication and acknowledgement pages.
It struck me as I was reading through the proof how much better this novel is than the one I sent to my agent less than a year ago. That version had already benefited from detailed critiques and been redrafted several times, but this version is still way ahead. There are a couple of significant differences in the meat of the story that came from the revisions I did under Nat Sobel's guidance, and there are a host of smaller, more subtle enhancements that were made during that time and in subsequent edits. These all add up to be more than the sum of their parts, and the result is a more streamlined, smoother read.
In realising that, I also realised how much I've enjoyed the editorial process. My editors at Harvill Secker, Geoff Mulligan and Briony Everroad, have been a huge factor in that. I've been very lucky in the way things have turned out. I have the advantage of a more select imprint in that Harvill Secker doesn't put out a large volume of books compared to some others, so I've had the personal attention that many authors complain they don't receive from their editors, but at the same time I have the mega publisher clout of Random House when it comes to selling it. Working with Briony on the line edit process was enlightening, and she and Geoff have been shepherding me through the various steps with great understanding and tolerance of my inexperience. Really, I couldn't have asked for a smoother road to publication.
Next up, hopefully, will be the bound proofs, as in actual proper honest-to-God books.