Yes, yes, I know, I've been neglecting the plog. Just lazily pasting in quotes from reviews. (Only the good bits, mind. I'm not daft.)
I do have an excuse. There was this small matter of another book to finish. One that was due in to my publisher on the same day that A Gentle Axe was published. I managed to do it, more or less. Though excessive plogging throughout the time I was supposed to be writing it slowed me down considerably and meant a mad sprint for the finish. Oops.
Thankfully, I did manage to get it written in time, though the spamfilter at Faber snagged it, so my editor didn't get to see it until a couple of days after the agreed due date. That seemed to be fine. The sky didn't fall in. Nobody came to cut a pound of flesh from my side.
Mr Ed (not his real name) got back to me pretty quick. Here is a man who reads three manuscripts over a single weekend. Anyhow, "It seems to be in very good shape," was his verdict. Still he did have some comments. Then some more. Then a few more. Oh, and a few more. That's what's been keeping me busy over the last few weeks. Well, actually, what's really been keeping me busy is the very important job of staring sullenly and fearfully at this big wad of paper wondering just how bad it is. Oh, that and chewing my nails down to the quick.
I finally steeled myself to look at the damage last week. Friday, to be exact. There was nothing major, as he had promised. Just a lot of minor stuff. More than usual for me, which I think was partly due to the fact that I didn't have time to do as many read-throughs as I normally like to. I did reach the point where I needed an editor's input for the big stuff, to check whether the story was working. And, I have to say, he is an exceedingly good editor, so why not use him, I thought?
So what else has been keeping me from the plog? A daughter with a broken arm. This amazing book. The day job. Googling my title(s). And a strange debilitating tension that seems to lock my shoulders into rigidity whenever I contemplate opening up blogger. Can't explain it.
Book stuff to report
I've signed 500 hardbacks of A Gentle Axe at Goldsboro Books. It's the only place you can buy the hardback, which is indeed a beauteous object. It even has the pic and bio of me lacking from the trade paperback. And a lovely quote from Alan Furst on the back.
News came in of a sighting of a spectacular window display of Axes at the Waterstones on Piccadilly. By the time I got there, they'd moved me from the window to the 'curve' - an area inside devoted to books they are promoting. I may return with a camera to capture the evidence.
I also seem to be published in Canada. There was a review in the The Globe and Mail, which I'm assured is Canada's main national paper. It wasn't too bad. My Porfiry "retains both the intelligence and doggedness of the original" apparently. But I'll let you read the whole thing if you like.