It is with a degree of trepidation (I always feel like this when I get to this stage in the creation of a new book) that I have given the manuscript to several fellow authors for their critique (a process known as ‘beta-reading’). Although I have edited and refined the manuscript several times, I am only too aware that it is easy to become too close to one’s own work, and this is where some new, constructively critical pairs of eyes are invaluable.
Obviously, I’m hoping for a response such as ‘It’s great – don’t change a thing’ but I know that the authors who are going to read it for me won’t say that just to please me. If they think it could be improved by certain changes, they’ll say so – and after I’ve had an initial grumble to myself, I’ll take their comments on board and consider what I need to change. Nevertheless, in the hope that I won’t be making really big changes, and in the interests of saving time, I’ve decided to have the manuscript proofread in parallel with the beta-reading. My proofreader will be going through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb checking for typos, punctuation errors, clunky grammar, and confusing syntax. Actually, my own grasp of these things is pretty good anyway and some who know me have asked why I even need a proofreader. Well, for a start, I’m not arrogant enough to think I have all the answers, but there is also another reason: I know from bitter experience that when reading your own work there is some bizarre typo-blindness thing which kicks in – your eye just skims over the page, seeing what you intended to write, and think that you actually did write. In short, it’s near-impossible to spot your own mistakes.
Anyway, ‘Horizontal Living’ now moves a step closer to launch – hopefully within the next couple of months now. If you want to know a little of what the latest book is going to be about, check my publisher’s website http://mainsailbooks.co.uk/ for a synopsis.
For those of you who have already read my previous books, you’ll recognise the main protagonist, Roy Groves, but you’ll find the genre and writing style somewhat different. This one’s a sort of ‘comedy thriller’ – I do hope you like it.