There is a lady in Esperance who, every time she sees me, asks me if I’m writing my next book. When I say yes, she’s always surprised, but even more so when I say I have a deadline.
‘Oh, you have to write to a deadline?’
‘Yes, yes I do,’ I nod.
‘Really? I thought you’d just write and when it was ready you would send it in.’
‘No, I can’t do that, I’m afraid.’
You see, publishers are businesses. They need to have books signed up long in advance. Their publishing list needs editing, selling, marketing and many other things that start long before the book actually physically is on the shelf in a bookstore.
The booksellers and the bookshops need to know too. So yes, I and every other author work to a deadline. Sometimes this can stifle the creativity and make me want to bang my head against a brick wall. Other times it spurs me on. A little pressure never hurt anyone!
My editing deadline for Purple Roads is Thursday. I still have about ten chapters to go. Normally this would be easy – three or four hours at the most, but as I’ve said in my last few posts, I’ve been pretty busy and don’t seem to have found any more time in the day. (If anyone has can you tell me where to purchase it please?).
Edits can be really confronting. As you can see in this photo, there are lots of squiggly lines, words crossed out, words put in and suggestions made in the margins. When I saw my first edit on Red Dust, I just about had a heart attack! Editors use symbols and it was like learning to read another language.
So as I try and get out of harvest for a day, to finish these edits, I’m looking forward to Thursday with a mixture of anticipation and horror! Horror, knowing that I have to do in a few short days and anticipation realising the journey of Purple Roads is just about complete.