Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Proofs, an offer and Cath Staincliffe at Oxfam

It's nearly a month now since my first proofs for Too Many Magpies arrived, and it's only now that they are finished (I hope!). How hard it is to spot those errors! Each time I went through the script with my corrections, sent them off and then got them back again from Jen for approval, I spotted some more. Three times they were looked at, and not just by me, but by others, and I finally thought they were done. And then last week I was looking out a tiny section to read as a taster at my Oxfam Bookfest reading, and I discovered, in the piece I picked out, the 'd' missing off the word 'noticed' (of all words!). I knew then I would have to go through the latest proofs with a fine-tooth comb again, though I hadn't yet done so when I was sitting the following evening in Cath Staincliffe's Oxfam Bookfest reading. She used the word 'reined' twice in quick succession, and suddenly the image of the word as it appeared in my own script rose up before me, wrongly spelt, with a 'g'! And yet each of the three times I had looked at it in the actual script the error had not struck me, and neither had it anyone else!

It's a miracle books ever get published without errors, and in fact not many do. I went through the proofs of Balancing over and over, and John did too, but there's still at least one error, which I only found when I was reading the story in which it appears aloud to an audience.

So here's an offer: the first five people who find the typo in Balancing will get a free signed copy of Too Many Magpies from me as soon as it's published. (Email me via my profile.)

Cath's reading was great: she talked about the importance of place in her crime novels, and answered questions about her research methods and much more, and read the stunning beginning of her Sal Kilkenny novel, Missing. And she too sold loads of books! I've got pics but I'm in Wales again and the signal strength isn't great enough to upload them at the moment.

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