Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

...And The Tide Goes Out

It was a beautiful sunny day in early September when I got the call saying Abaddon Books were commissioning a novel from me. It's now a beautiful sunny day in early March, and it's now in their hands.

Yup, that's it. I did a final spellcheck this morning and emailed the final draft of my novel Tide of
to Jon Oliver at Abaddon. 'Tis all in the lap of the Gods now... well, actually, it's in Jon's lap, but you know what I mean.

I caught the train to work that day- normally I get the bus, but the phone call had delayed me. For some reason I kept listening to Enola Gay by OMD over and over again on the journey. With a Tony-Blair-esque grin pasted to my face that probably traumatised small children for weeks afterwards. I remember the buzz of it- knowing I was going to get a novel published, but not yet embroiled in all the bloody hard work of making it happen. A couple of days later, of course, I had to buckle down and get on with it.

So, five months later, how do I feel? Odd, so far. It hasn't quite sunk in that it's over. Not completely over, of course- Jon will almost certainly what this or that tweaked or changed, there'll be proofs to read and lord knows what else- but virtually every spare hour of the past few weeks has been devoted to rewriting and redrafting.

Sometimes the writing process was the biggest buzz ever- at a couple of points I got bogged down and it was a long, arduous slog to get through it. So, not an unadulterated joy, but it was worth it.

The first draft, just so you know, was just shy of 117,000 words. The final version that went out today was 93,221. There was a lot of deadweight in that middle section.

Of course, at some point, I need to start thinking about a second novel. That'll come soon... and all the work will start again... but not today. Today I'm going to sniff the flowers, feel the sun on my face, see if my friends still remember who I am... and also, yes, I'll probably listen to Enola Gay. Over and over again.

Thanks for listening to me babble. Have a fun day!



Unknown said...

Very well done fella! Must be a load off the mind getting that away.

Only 90 something thousand? Slacker!

Mrs Pouncer said...

How thrilling for you, Simon. Of course, for someone as mindlessly loaded and unrelentingly cosmopolitan as myself, this would count as a minor triumph, but I can see that it must be a tremendous boost for you labouring types. Do keep in touch. You seem very amusant.

Simon said...


Chris- cheers mate. Well, the first draft was the easy part. The second draft, now that was the toughie. But my editor has already said he loved it, so that was great.

Mrs Pouncer- of course, I can never hope to compete with you in terms of sophistication and entertainment, but I can only try! I shall of course remain in touch- your blog is wonderful.