Readers of the Lost ARC

Tuesday, February 24, 2009, 10:20 PM

My apologies for using a pun worthy of Declan Burke for my title, but I'm a little over-excited because I received the advance reader copies (or ARCs, or Uncorrected Proofs, or whatever you wish to call them) of The Twelve today from the wonderful Briony Everroad at Harvill Secker. I got ten, and they're already all spoken for. I'll be lucky if I get to keep one for myself. See, aren't they lovely?

For the sharp-eyed amongst you, the white cover is not a departure from the original design - it is simply to mark these out as advance copies, rather like white label demos from music's vinyl days (yes, I'm that old).

I've been flicking through my single copy all day, and something strikes me as very odd: This doesn't feel like my book any more. I recognise words and passages, remember what was going through my head when I wrote that particular line of dialogue and so on. It is all comfortably familiar, yet somehow different, like a friend who moved away and has come back changed.

Almost two years of growing and nurturing this strange thing, gutting it and putting it back together again, then months of incremental changes - they're almost over. There have been minor tweaks since the version I now have in my hands (like the word 'Acknowledgements' really needing an 'A' on the front, or several continuity blunders I spotted on the last read-through, e.g., magical disappearing and reappearing coats), but the next version I see will be it - done, finished, final, forever cast in stone.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. To steal a line from the wonderful movie Swingers, "Baby's all growed up."

In Other News...

Here's the revised Soho Press cover for The Ghosts of Belfast, as The Twelve will be known in the USA (the grey type will be silver in reality, by the way). I like it a lot more than the previous version. In fact, I like it a lot.

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Blogger Ello - Ellen Oh said...

All spoken for already? Rats!

But how very exciting for you!!

1:18 AM  
Blogger Sandra Cormier said...

It's your kid, now wearing a suit. You know the child is in there, somewhere beneath a starched shirt and pinstriped wool.

3:38 AM  
Blogger ssas said...

Oh yeah!

4:30 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

It is tricky keeping track of coats ... even worse when important things have been left in the pockets.

The box of ARCs looks gorgeous! And I love the US cover ... quite haunting.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Awesome on all counts. And hell, Chandler once forgot about a whole dead guy, so a couple reappearing coats ain't so bad.

8:08 PM  
Blogger seana graham said...

Congratulations, and savor the giddiness.

I am glad that the U.S. version will go with "The Ghosts of Belfast". No problems with "The Twelve", really, but I just think that the first is going to work better over here.

I'm sure looking forward to reading it whenever it makes its way across the Atlantic, whatever the title!

5:10 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I just found the pdf excerpt on and was looking forward to reading it - and it's asking for a password. :(

I don't know if that's intended (the site implies that the excerpt is for everyone) or a mistake but I thought I'd let you know.

9:31 PM  
Blogger Stuart Neville said...

Thanks Sylvia,

Yes, they're password protected for publishers and so on to see.

You can see an excerpt at both and if you want read it.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

*taps her foot impatiently* I want more!

10:57 AM  
Blogger Josephine Damian said...

I like the "friend who moves away analogy" - so true.

I thought the first TGOB cover was more "literary looking" (nothing wrong with that) which is perhaps why they changed it.

Guess you're NY bound soon? Does that mean we'll see you on the Today show?

When are you going to join us all on It's the place to be, you know.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Sage Ravenwood said...

I'm not sure how I stumbled across your site. I know I read a review somewhere about "The Ghost of Belfast". Now I'm impatient for my next trip to the bookstore. It's definitely on my list. From the sounds of it "The Twelve" is on it's way to being just as good. I'll definitely be back. Your an author worth watching. (Hugs)Indigo

5:41 PM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That pun is better than some of Declan's outrages, I'd say,
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

2:55 AM  

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