the business end
I've reached the business end of the process for the second book, The Penitentiary. This is the point where publishing starts to feel real. Up until this point, the journey of writing a work of fiction remains my own. Beyond this point, I have to accept the guidance of others to produce a book that readers will want to explore.
My last two weeks were spent working my way through the last run of editorial comments (substantive draft number 7). Even at this stage, there are small plot gaps that need to be filled, words that need to be changed, sentence structures that need to be amended, and grammar that must be tidied up. Changing the language away from British English to American English was a wee bit challenging but a necessary evil given the main market for the book is (unfortunately) not my own country. I will, of course, apply all that I have learned to my editing of the third book so that I do not have to struggle with the an avalanche of feedback when I reach this stage next time around.
The book cover photos are done. I have to thank Morgana Creely for her amazing photographs. Her ability to translate story concepts into concrete visions is sublime. Creating stories in pictures, the woman is a genius. Here's a link to her website: http://www.ptollemy.deviantart.com/#
The book series title, the Panopticon series, recently emerged from a conversation with a friend. It was one of those 'I just know this is the one' moments. Aside from the wonderful sound of the word, the uniquely designed prison that is a Panopticon perfectly symbolises a key theme in the stories that will make up the fantasy series.
The book back cover blurb has been written - it is the first thing a reader will look at when they pick up the book in the store. Reproduced below, I am very happy with the product:
How far is too far? Elena wakes up after her accident with no memory of who she once was. All she knows is that that she feels connected to a child, Gabriel, who is bound to her through a remarkable gift. On the other side of the world, Mikael wakes up alone, his mind lost as well. Yet another wayward spirit, Tennyson, has woken up every morning for over a decade feeling alien in his own body. They all feel like they do not belong, their skins a prison. The soul who put them there to rot watches their punishing isolation hidden behind a veil. This part of The Panopticon series, The Penitentiary, explores the length to which some will go to punish crimes of obsession. Forthcoming releases in the series include The Fall and The Crusades.
I now have the formatted manuscript and will be spending my next weekend checking it for any errors that might have emerged from translating unformatted text to a print layout. It means the "proof" copy (what the book will actually look like to a reader) is only a stone's throw away. It feels very real right now.