Welcome to Rutland Plumbing News, Issue 3. Glad to report that the new shower is up and running. However, for every reaction... the old shower started leaking into the kitchen. One day I will have a house with two fully functional showers. Don't hold your breath.
Other news, and the reason this blog is a month late. I've finished The Dreaming Void. Monday 15th Jan at 3.30pm for those who enjoy such detail. December and the New Year were hectic, with the kids catching every cold and cough known to medical science, and then finding a few new ones of their own and lovingly passing them on to mummy and daddy. We also had three lots of guests staying with us between Christmas and New Year, which was nice but meant I couldn't get anything written for about ten days. However, all finished now, and I'm reasonably happy with it. Why am I not more enthusiastic? Simple really, it's impossible to judge your own work. My agent, the only person who gets to read anything during the writing process, tells me how wonderful every page is, but that's his job. So I never really know for sure until I start getting feedback from genuine readers, i.e. you, by which time it's way to late. I do, however, remain hopeful.
As to what happens next, I spend the rest of the week revising the whole thing (subject to stuff like today's drama of the car having a flat tyre and the jack collapsing while I was changing it) before printing out and taking it in to Macmillan next Monday. Then it goes off for editing, and returns with red lines and NO scribbled all over it - thanks Colin. A good editor is absolutely vital for any book and I have one of the best in Colin Murray. Writers get too close to their own work to be objective, so you need someone you trust to point out the amazing accumulation of little errors, and even the big credibility gaps that otherwise get glossed over in my mind.
And then there's the cover. I'm just about to e-mail Jim Burns and taunt him that I've finished, so where's the painting please? I've seen the mock up, and loved it. Readers of the Commonwealth saga should remember the Tulip Mansion where Gore and Justine live, well Jim's making that centre stage, and I just wish my imagination was one tenth the power of his. Talk about bigging things up.
Items coming up, and please see the site news section for updates. I'm going to be doing the alt fiction day in Derby UK, April 28th. This is quite a large event with about 15 writers attending - recommended. Also possible is the Leicestershire Writers day - more details when I get them. And the Les Imaginales Festival in France has been in touch, so I'm hopeful for that in May.
Finally me and my ego would like to thank everyone who is kind enough to leave a message on the guest board. I do get round to reading them all eventually. Much appreciated.
Peter F. Hamilton
16 Jan 2007