Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The book is finished by Keren David

And so it’s done. The copy editor has done her work, the book has been sent backwards and forwards one more time. Done. Finished. Gone.
It’s always an odd feeling. All that work and (as yet) nothing to show for it. The people and places conjured up in my mind, shared with just a few readers. A sense of uncertainty. Have I done justice to the story that was there -  shrouded in fog – in my mind, when I started? That was five years ago.
This book started in a frenzy of excitement and industry. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Seven chapters flowed out of me in a week. Then I stopped and wrote an outline. Looking at it now, so much of the story has changed. How, why and when is a mystery to me. Over the five years of writing this book, I’ve written four others. The rhythm of writing has been interrupted again and again. I’ve lost the plot so many times.
At some point, on someone’s advice (my agent?) I introduced a second narrator. Some beta readers over the years liked Narrator 1 and didn’t like Narrator 2. Others felt just the opposite. I carved and chopped and rewrote, rewrote, rewrote.  A central character had a voice, and then he didn’t anymore. Snow fell in the book, and then it didn’t. Fires -  two of them – sparked, exploded, consumed, very late in the day.
The book found a publisher. My editor gave me her ideas. I agreed with some, disagreed with others. Rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. Then came the line edit. More changes. More chapters added and taken away. The stories twisted and turned around each other. The characters -  five years on – still had secrets to give up.
The copy edit was done. I’d sent it back to her and then I lay awake at night. Why did Emmy react like that when….what did Tom do….what would Sadie have said? And the next day I pulled it back from the editor, and made some changes - a few lines, here and there -  that added yet another twist to the story.
The book is finished. Soon there will be proofs. Soon it will be read. And then publication in April 2018.
It’s a relief that it’s done. It is, really.

But Emmy, Tom, Megan, Sam, Bee and Sadie – I’m going to miss you so much. 


Penny Dolan said...

You've really captured that "sweet relief yet slightly mourning" mix of emotions in this post, Keren. Congratulations on this happy moment.

Sean Cummings said...

Well done, Keren!