Next week's the week! I'm finally off to New York to meet the Bloomsbury USA team, followed by Kansas City for the ABA Winter Institute. I haven't been to the States since I stayed with my friends in Massachusetts in 2010, and I was only in New York for a day last time I went, so I'm really looking forward to hitting the Big Apple. I'm also a bit nervous, because I have to talk about The Bone Season and make it sound exciting enough to get booksellers interested in my little debut novel. (Not so little, actually. Ended up being quite a fat book.) Fortunately I now have my proofs to show them. Uncorrected proofs are pretty much the final product, with the correct font, chapter titles and layout, but they might contain typos and generally need a bit of tweaking. In my case, I used my proof to read the book carefully and smooth out the punctuation a little – I'm prone to short sentences on the screen, as they appeal to my tidy side, but I'm making them longer in the finished product. There were also some continuity issues in the final chapter that needed addressing: I rewrote the last chapter so many times, a couple of mistakes from older drafts had wriggled in.
I discovered yesterday that if there are too many amendments made to the proofs, authors have to pay to help cover the cost of typesetting. Fortunately I didn't have any massive changes to make.
All this talk of proofs brings me to the very first Bone Season competition! You could win an uncorrected proof of The Bone Season, typos and all. Just follow The Bone Season on Twitter and RT the competition tweet. I've even signed it for you.
I'll be posting again when I return from the States on Monday 25 February. While I'm away, I've got a question for you: what would you ask if a literary agent, if you could? My lovely agent David Godwin has agreed to do a Q&A, similar to the one I did with David Mann after the cover release. (There are an abundance of Davids in the publishing industry.) His clients include Aravind Adiga, Simon Armitage, Pippa Middleton, Ben Rice and Arundhati Roy. Send me your questions and I'll forward them to him.