Island Life, Word Birds & Process

Two weeks, dear reader, & not so much as a single scribbled paragraph.

Editing! What larks! What long days spent in PJs looking like the hedge everyone gets dragged through…

The first time I saw the copyedits for Ghostbird I genuinely gulped. What has someone done to my nice tidy text? Copyedits look as if a spider has slit several of its wrists & bled all over the page. There’s so much red, it makes your brain hurt. And the comments! Listed like mini ‘To Do’ lists down the side of the page, each with its own identifying code. [In posh brackets.] Once you get the hang of how the formatting works, technically, it’s pretty simple. What is less straightforward is the content.

For health reasons, my beloved editor, Janet, has had to step back. After an eagle-eyed overhaul of the book with her, I’m now in the superbly capable hands of Caroline, aka the Boss! A new eye inevitably means a fresh perspective. With  this second edit, I’m being taken on – yes, let’s call it by its name – a rather fascinating journey. A full-on, nitty-gritty attention to detail one.

With Ghostbird I relied almost entirely on Janet, an anonymous copy editor & proofreader; a cover designer & so forth, to get everything right. (They did – brilliantly so.) This time, I’ve taken more responsibility. I know what to look for now, how vital cross-referencing & checking ad nauseum is. I’m learning my craft & I’m proud of that. And I did write the story! But in terms of a finished, professional product, that will once again be down to the team at Honno.

I’m at the hard copy read it through again, “Bloody hell, look at all the STUFF that still needs fixing!” stage now.


I absolutely love it. I love being published by such professional, caring, involved people whose single aim is to make my book the best it can be.

Best crack on…