“Don’t think it’s all a bed of roses,” said my mother, handing me the potato peeler and nudging me towards the sink.
Since my sister had left home, I’d taken to helping out with cooking and cleaning. I didn’t mind, but I was embarrassed that my mother would think I was hankering after a future as a housewife. It seemed to me that a bed of roses summed up my mother’s life exactly: perfumed petals imprisoned within a tangle of thorns. I wanted to ramble beyond the pot of soil in which she’d planted me. I wanted to bloom.
I suppose much of life is like a bed of roses; if we’re lucky, if we’re nurtured, we’ll blossom so vibrantly we’ll hardly notice the thorns. In the slice of life that is the publication journey, however, the thorns are so dense it can be hard to believe those tiny buds will ever break through to the light. Even with a thick pair of gloves to hack back the thicket, we’ll get scratched in the process of bringing our darlings into the world.
So enough with stretching metaphors; let me give you a quick update on what’s been happening since the cover reveal seven weeks ago. The text has been proofread and formatted, and advance copies sent out to early reviewers and potential endorsers (the results of which I’m hoping to be able to make public soon). Mr A has read it for the first time and found it “not a chore to read” (high praise from him and, to be fair, it’s not his genre, but I don’t think we’ll be using his feedback as part of the promotional guff, even though he reported feeling rather emotional at the end). I’ve read it for the nth time and generated a lengthy list of minor changes (mostly word substitutions) that will improve the flow. (Interestingly, although it’s a serious book on a serious subject, it’s not without humour, and I’ve found it funnier each time I come back to it.) I think we’re on track for the e-book version to be available for preorder early next month.
Any other suggestions as to where I ought to be at this stage are most welcome. Thanks, as always, for your feedback and support.