Proofs, proofs, proofs

Back in the Dark Ages, before word processing programs and emails, you sent your vast wad of paper off to the publishers and if it didn’t get lost in the post, they would send back a list of edits. And then you’d do the edits and eventually you would get a much vaster wad of paper, A3 size, called page-proofs which had in fact been printed off the physical typesetting. The first thing you would see when you looked at them was always an embarrassing mistake which you corrected immediately with a terrific sense of relief.
You would have two weeks to do all your corrections in, usually coinciding with the Easter holidays or, I think on one occasion, moving house and you had to use special very precise typesetters’ marks which I still use because… well, because I can.
Despite what the publishers told you about only correcting mistakes, you would take the opportunity to make as many corrections as you could. Mostly they let you unless it got outrageous at which point they would charge you for them.
Some time later you would get your bound proofs, which looked terribly smart because they actually looked like a book. You could still make corrections so long as they were small, and sure enough, the first thing you would see when you opened your very own book was always an embarrassing (and different) mistake you hadn’t spotted at the page-proof stage.
You’d get pulls of the cover which I have to say, I always found a terrific let-down in those far off days. Cover design has got several orders of magnitude better than it was when my first book A SHADOW OF GULLS came out.
Then you’d get your first copy of the actual bound hardback book. And it was always a thrill and a joy because there were the words you’d written, made actually official by print. You’d hug it and show it to your mum and dance around the sitting room.
Then, of course, you’d spot the hideously obvious and crashingly embarrassing mistake in the first few pages which you hadn’t spotted before and was now uncorrectable.
This happens with all books no matter how careful you are and I’m now hardened to it, but it still makes me wince.
I’m going through my nice bound proofs of A CHORUS OF INNOCENTS at the moment, going backwards and reading it aloud in the effort to find every single typo and mistake and I know I’ll miss something.
But I still love getting my bound proofs!

Hooray! Hooray! “An Air of Treason” by P F Chisholm is out now!

I could do sock-puppetting and tell you that P F Chisholm is a wonderful writer and you should all go and buy this book… If you’re American or want Kindle – buy it here. If you’re British, buy it here.

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But I won’t.

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I’ll just bashfully tell you about the sixth in my series of Elizabethan crime novels under the pen-name P F Chisholm. “An Air of Treason”, starring that dour Borderer, Sergeant Henry Dodd and the dashing courtier and man-of-action Sir Robert Carey. Published by Poisoned Pen Press, is OUT NOW in treebook and ebook.

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What’s in it? Well, Dodd’s in big trouble on the way from London to Oxford and Carey’s tracked down the Queen at last – but she’s ordered him to investigate the most dangerous cold-case of the Elizabethan era. Meanwhile someone wants to poison him.

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Once you’ve bought it and read it – please write a review on Amazon (especially if you liked it). And if you can get at least two of your friends to buy the book too, you’ll ultimately make me a very happy author.

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And then you can read the five earlier books: “A Famine of Horses”, “A Season of Knives”, “A Surfeit of Guns”, “A Plague of Angels”, “A Murder of Crows.” – you can find them here.

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And then you can read my Elizabethan noir ebook about the ambiguous lawyer James Enys in “Do We Not Bleed” – published on Kindle by Climbing Tree Books Ltd – plus a number of other books by me.

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Including a contemporary love-story set in Cornwall in the 1990s which I’d forgotten about until the Publisher insisted on putting it out there. It’s called “Love without Shadows” – it’s not historical but try it anyway. You might like it!

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There are five more historical novels in my backlist which Climbing Tree Books will be bringing out in ebook formats over the next year or so.

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And then there are the very silly stories about Jack the Dog – “I, Jack” and “Jack and Rebel the Police Dog” – all written in Doglish. For those you’ll have to pester HarperCollins, but a new ebook in the series “Jack and the Ghosts” is also available from Climbing Tree Books.

 

And then you can find my Facebook Author Page and Patricia Finney’s Renaissance Facebook Group (someone will ask you about my books to stop spammers).

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Once you’ve done all that, I might have finished the next Enys story – possibly even the next Carey. Climbing Tree Books might have even more weird and wonderful things to read by me and others.

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Enjoy!

Would anyone like a \”Sir Robert Carey trail\”?

I\’ve been in Northumberland researching my next Carey novels. The latest one \”An Air of Treason\” is coming out in the spring of 2014, published by Poisoned Pen Press and this trip is for the ones after that. Carey and Dodd are finally on their way north at the end of \”An Air of Treason\” and the next three books will take place on the Borders again.

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I checked out the (fictional) Sergeant Dodd\’s stamping ground of Gilsland where I also walked along Hadrian\’s wall for a bit. I\’ve been staying at Haltwhistle which claims to be the Centre of Britain – which is also the name of a hotel that\’s in an old pele tower (spelling is correct, though you can also spell it \”peel\” as that\’s how it\’s pronounced). These were the simple defensive towers surnames built to take refuge in when another surname came and attacked them. I had a very hearty dinner at the Black Bull pub – black pudding stack with stilton and haggis (yum!) and pork belly with black pudding. Yes, I have a thing for black pudding.

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I\’m now in Berwick-upon-Tweed which might have been where Sir Robert Carey was born and was almost certainly where he spent a lot of his childhood. I walked all round the very impressive ramparts and through the town which is mainly 18th century. The ramparts are 16th century and were built under the supervision of Carey\’s father, Lord Hunsdon. And I had a wonderful Sunday lunch at a restaurant called Audela – parsley soup with black pudding and poached egg (yum!), cheese soufflé with apple and walnut salad (yum!) and poached pear in wine with ice cream (yummity yum yum!) The cakes looked pretty good as well but I Was Strong.

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So. Would anyone like me to list places they could visit that feature in Carey\’s life story?

The Man in Red – and Nerdy Joy

I\’m a little over-excited at the moment – I\’ve just blogged about it on my publishing company page – find it here at Climbing Tree Books.
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There\’s a wonderful exhibition on called In Fine Style which I naturally went to see. They pose a bit of a mystery: who was the Man in Red, a young man wearing very expensive red clothes from Henry VIII\’s reign?
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I took one look and thought – I know who that is!
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It\’s Carey\’s Dad!
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Follow a discussion about it on Google+ on July 22nd at 2.00 pm UK time.

You left a comment saying HOOOOGE thanks for the Sir Robert Carey books…

… which you enjoyed while you were studying Scottish history (James IV to VI) at Lancaster. And somehow I lost it. I don\’t know why. I don\’t know how. And now I can\’t find it anywhere (yes, I\’ve checked spam and trash). I was just trying to reply and say thank you for your praise and tell you that you can get all the Carey books on ebook from Poisoned Pen Press and that there\’s a new one coming out soon(ish) called \”An Air of Treason.\”

You can also find my Page on Facebook.

 

Writing a book is brain-consuming!

Yes, this is all about excuses. Here we go. I know I haven\’t been posting many blogs recently. Yes, I know I should keep writing and posting if I want people to read it.

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Thing is, I\’ve been writing a book – the sixth in my series of Elizabethan crime novels about the wonderfully dashing Sir Robert Carey and his hard-as-nails sidekick Sergeant Henry Dodd. I\’ve finally found a good title – \”An Air of Treason.\” You\’ll be able to read it soon – not sure when but it\’ll come out as an ebook and a treebook, published by the wonderful crime specialists, Poisoned Pen Press.

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The stage I\’m at is the rewrite. I love rewriting – I find it relaxing and fun. You keep going through the story you\’ve written, laughing at the funny bits, getting excited at the scary bits, smoothing it out, making it clearer and adding the things that have turned up in your unconscious since you finished.

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And it\’s really time-consuming and it fills up your head as you decide which bits need to go and which bits need to expand. It\’s not quite as bad as the crazy 0th draft stage (see my how-to-write-a-novel ebook \”Writeritis – the novel-writing bug\” for more details). But it means that nothing else gets written.

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I\’m not sure what the solution is so I\’ve bought myself a scanner so I can do pictures (warning, technophobia alert). Yes, that\’s right. Spend money on technology I don\’t know how to use instead of getting on with what I really can do.

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I\’m now determined to post once a week at least. Maybe I\’ll do some about my terrifying New Year\’s resolution to get rid of some more of my books on Amazon and eBay. Yes, I know lots of people do it all the time and think it\’s fun and easy but… Somehow I can always find the most complicated way of getting it completely wrong. Just the thought of it paralyses me.

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I even promised to post sections of my next ebook \”3Steps to a Great Eating Habit\” and never got round to it because I was so busy writing it.

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I dunno. Can I have some staff, please?