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Mountain of Whispers is FINISHED!

Mountain of Whispers is FINISHED!

Posted on July 11, 2010 (Subscribe to Blog)

As the post title suggests, Mountain of Whispers is finished at last. First thing tomorrow morning I'll be submitting the files to Lightning Source. Once approved (normally a day or two), I'll order in a batch for my stock. Then the book will be available for millions of eager fans. :-)

Over the next couple of weeks, the book will show on Amazon and be available for over-the-counter ordering at Barnes & Noble.

As always, proofreading is an interesting experience. I find myself researching the silliest things, such as:

  • What is the population of the United States and the world?
  • Is martial law declared in, on, or over a country?
  • How many eyelids does a human eye have?
  • Is there such a word as "grimmer"?
  • Will Americans understand references to "shinning up and down" ropes?

It's a lot of fun. Proofreaders often pick up stuff I never would have considered, and incorrect sentences that I've read "correctly" many times over. For instance, this one:

  • Nothing ever good came from tunnels, he decided.

Somehow, I transposed good and ever and not once noticed my gaff despite many read-throughs. This is why, fellow writers, you MUST ask others to proofread your work! *Shudder*

Probably my favorite, though, is not so much a gaff as unfortunate wording, when I suggested that a plant had "inexplicably grown three feet overnight." I'm sure the reader would understand that I meant three feet in height rather than three actual feet complete with toes, but I felt obliged to clarify it anyway. This is almost as bad as the classic, "She emerged from the shower wrapped in a towel." As everybody knows, showers tend not to wear towels.

But when it comes to ambiguous statements, nothing beats the word-play of Anthony Buckeridge, the old author who wrote the Jennings books decades ago. I love the shop in the village with the sign over the door that reads, Homemade Cakes And Bicycles Repaired, which could be read a couple of ways. Or when Jennings receives parcels for his birthday:

       "Wacko! There's a whole pile of letters for me," Jennings cried excitedly, hopping from one foot to the other. "And three parcels. The big one's my cake and the square fat one's probably Aunt Angela."
       Darbishire peered at the parcel through dusty spectacles. "Don't be crazy; she couldn't be that shape unless she'd been cremated."

And then, coming back to the subject of eyelids, there's a bit where the boys are dreaming about becoming famous detectives:

       "It's a pity we couldn't see his boots," Jennings said. "Sherlock Holmes always knew where a chap had come from, just by sitting with half-closed eyelids and seeing what sort of mud he'd got on them."
       "But he wouldn't have any," Darbishire objected, "not unless he'd been playing rugger."
       "Of course he would! You don't go about without boots."
       "No, I mean he wouldn't have any mud on his eyelids."

Anyway, fingers crossed, all typos, gaffs, and generally misleading statements have been eradicated. The book goes to print tomorrow, and I'll let y'all know when the first copies arrive.


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