Wednesday, April 25, 2007


They're here!

The galleys for my upcoming novel, MS. ZEPHYR'S NOTEBOOK, arrived today.

They are about 2 1/2 weeks late, mostly because this book has required more design work than any of my previous novels.

My second book, SECRET OF LIGHT, revolved around the life of Leonardo daVinci. (Interestingly enough, I believe I was writing it just about the time that Dan Brown was putting fingers to keys on his own modest endeavour of similar topic, though substantially different execution.) Anyway, the only interior design element of that book that set it apart from a conventional manuscript was the insertion of leonardo's famous mirror-writing signature. As I recall, I had trouble finding an image clear enough to allow the designers a decent shot at reproduction, and in the end, I think I traced it. So really, it was the kc dyer rendition of the odranoel. (This is not correct either, of course, as here I have just reversed the letter order and not the letters themselves...)

By contrast, Ms Z. (whose period I disagree with but have been forced by the mores of conventional Canadian usage to accept) is an internal design nightmare. The manuscript contains post-it notes, drawings, memos, report cards, letterhead, doodles, internet messaging, email, a menu (wait a minute -- I think the menu might have been guillotined...), selections from a graphic novel, doctor's orders...well, you get the picture.

Or pictures, as the case may be.

Anyway, it's now time for me to go through the galleys and make sure all is well. I had a quick look this afternoon before I had to brave the TransCanada on a trek to Surrey for a SiWC board meeting, and I was pretty happy with what I saw. There was a big problem right at the end, where two graphic depictions had been dumped instead of placed where they belong in the ms, but that is easily solved.

Over the next couple of days I'll talk here a bit about how the whole process of reviewing the galleys works. It's almost my favourite part of the whole book publishing business, because there is so much looking forward involved. A new book is a new beginning. I'm really happy with this story, so that makes it even better.

I haven't seen the final cover design just yet. The one accompanying this post is an interim design -- almost there but not quite. I'm hoping for a coffee stain and some grafitti from a friend of mine.

We'll see what I get.


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