Monday, 17 March 2008

Countdown to Caligula

We've been working together for something like eight months now, but I finally met my editor Simon at the weekend. My wife Alison and I travelled down to London on the sleeper overnight on Thursday and then got the tube out to Ealing, where the Transworld offices are. Simon and Stina, my publicist, took us out for lunch to a great Italian place. He was just about exactly as I imagined him; young, very sharp and extremely professional. The whole lunch was very businesslike, exploring ideas for publicising the book, things I could do to help and talking about the launch, which will be in Scotland. Stina has lots of ideas for getting coverage, based on the author profile I sent her. I got a real feel for how much Transworld have invested me and in my writing and I'm determined to do everything possible to make it work.
Before lunch we had a chat in Simon's office. Behind him on a shelf was a stack of proof copies of Caligula, which gave me a sneak preview of what they'll look like in the bookshop.
Maybe it was a bit premature, but I gave him synopsis' for another four books I'm planning to write. He's made it pretty plain nothing will happen until we see how Caligula goes, but I've got a lot of writing time to make up, so as soon as he's happy with book two I'll start writing the final Rufus book, which I already have a form of. The one that really excites me is book four, another historic novel, which I already have plotted in my head and will be a real challenge to write, with a more complex structure than I've previously attempted.
London was great. We stayed at the Radisson in Portman Square and ate in a couple of really good restaurants nearby, the best of which was a place called Textures, which is a bit special, with prices to match. On Saturday we took the ultimate tourist trip on an open top bus, and I dragged Alison to the Imperial War Museum (which paid her back for the Christmas shopping). We went to the London Eye and took a boat trip down to the Tower, then joined the bus again.
Back to Brothers in Arms (version 101) on the train today. I think I'm dun cuttin' and pastin' and will soon be able to start writing again which will come as an enormous relief. Rewriting is fine, but taking something I've written to pieces is something I'll never learn to enjoy.

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