Friday, 29 August 2008

A Copy Edit a Day

The path to publication seems to involve a lot of waiting (and waiting and waiting and...). Finally this week the copy-edit of the Third Pig Detective Agency began in earnest. As I'm still a novice at this game I was wondering exactly what it would involve but, as it turned out, it was a painless affair.
Apart from consistency checks - particularly in relation to Americanisms (no hard-boiled noir pastiche can be considered complete without them) - and a few suggested minor changes, there wasn't much to it really. A few phone calls and it was all over - a bit like a chat-line service really.
The revised doc will be back at the publishers early next week and will then be sent back to me to check and confirm the changes. Once that happens it goes to the proofs stage.
At last things are moving!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Fiction is Stranger Than Truth

World War Z by Max Brooks (son of Mel) is a compelling, horrifying account of how humanity is almost wiped out by a zombie plague. The story unfolds as a series of newspaper-style reports and interviews with the survivors. Starting with the doctor who discovers the original outbreak in China, the narrator crosses the world talking to soldiers, politicians, black-marketeers and others who played their part in the war. The result is an unusually well-written horror story, made all the more believable by the non-fiction structure of the narration.
Clearly fiction, I was more than a little surprised (but highly amused) when, browsing in one of my local bookstores, I found it prouddly displayed in the non-fiction section under History.
Then again, maybe there was a zombie outbreak and I missed it.
Did I?

Monday, 11 August 2008

Funny Ha Ha - Part 2

...because there were some I'd forgotten (mea maxima culpa).

JA Konrath - US crime writer in the Evanovich mode. Criminally underappreciated this side of the Atlantic (pun not intended)
Christopher Brookmyre - his glossary at the end of A Tale Etched in Blood and Hard Black Pencil is worth the price of admission alone...and you can read it here.
Tom Sharpe - when he was on form there was no-one better.
Ross O'Carroll-Kelly - diary of an egotistical south-Dublin, upper-class moron obsessed with girls and rugby. Hugely successful in Ireland (and uncannily accurate) it deserves exposure elsewhere.