Well, I’ve written, rewritten and adjusted the third and last book in the Threads series. I’ve sent it off to my editor and apparently it’s looking OK. We have a month or two for line edits (checking I haven’t repeated myself too much, that I’ve spelled stuff properly and got the punctuation right – that kind of thing), and then it will go off for typesetting and reviewing and various other things I haven’t fully got my head around yet. If all goes well, it should be on the shelves in early 2011, so look out for it then, but don’t worry – I’ll remind you!
I used to assume that the publishing process was quite a quick one. After all, why shouldn’t it be? Then I discovered that it normally takes about a year to publish a book after it’s finished. At that point, I assumed it was because it took ages and ages to actually print it, but in fact, that’s the fastest part of all. It takes about a week. It’s all the other things that take time. Getting the title right (which will either be something beginning with SS&S, or FF&F – it’s trickier than it looks). Getting the cover right. Getting the blurb right. Making sure that all the booksellers know about it and order it in vast quantities! It all adds up …
So the people at Chicken House are busy helping me with all of this stuff (by which I mean doing it and telling me about it – yay!). My concern, rather, is what you’ll think. I bet not many readers expected that I would send my girls to India in book 2, but that’s where they wanted to go. Now, of course, lots of readers are expecting them to do something similar in another far-off place and the fact is … they don’t. They have a different set of problems. They have different reactions. They are still the same girls, but more grown-up and, sometimes, more confused.
Will you enjoy their new adventures? Is it good to be surprised? I hope so. I only know that I love all my characters and I’ve wanted to do what’s best for them. Personally, I’m satisfied, and proud of them all. I hope you will be too. But you have a few months before you can read the book and tell me whether you are or not. Oooh! Tenterhooks for us both – well, me, at any rate. Thank goodness I have another book to start writing soon, to take my mind off it. New story. New characters. I know how it starts, but not exactly how it ends. Wish me luck!