Arriving back in Cape Town many Kilogrammes lighter- due to travelling through SE Asia during summer and living on water, water, water and the tiniest bit of rice I was confronted with two things.
1. Boxes of unsold books still sitting in my bedroom, and
2. My editor and friend (soon to be erased from my Xmas shopping list)- telling me that – what I thought was the completed draft of my follow on book- wasn’t up to scratch and a large portion of it needed to be amended.
Once again my dream of lazing on the beach in sunny Cape Town was dampened as if drenched in a mid winter deluge.
I’d set a goal of releasing the book in March of 2009, giving me 6 months to re-write, edit, illustrate, finalise, print, publicise, launch and distribute my sure to be best selling book, while trying to sell the boxes loaded with books that were occupying my bedroom floor.
As it was nearing the end of the year I prioritised my mission and went straight into re-writing and put off the sales of the books at schools until the following year. This book- was going to be for an older age group (10 upwards) and was more text driven with black and white only illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. I was unable to contact the illustrator who had illustrated The Magic that’s Ours so I trolled the internet for agencies that represented illustrators (funny that). Through a local agency-One League– I was able to find Carmen Ziervogel whose style of work, I felt, fitted in with the message in the book.
I forwarded Carmen a copy of the manuscript, she liked what she read, the terms were agreed upon and she started to draw.
Janyce Weintrob-my friend and editor- was finally happy with what I’d re-written (but still no gifts for her) and the final manuscript was agreed upon-AGAIN. iT had been quite step up as The Magic that’s Ours had beeen 4000 words and The Power that’s Ours turned out be 11000 words. Now I could call myslef a writer-no matter the response to the content…:)
I mentioned previously the importance of joining associations and forums, and it was through being part of IBBY that I met up with a publishing editor-Isabel Essery- who had recently gone down the freelance road. Even though Janyce is a brilliant editor, she wasn’t a publishing editor and it was my need for peace of mind that I gave Isabel the manuscript to do the final, final edit. The amazing thing was that there weren’t to be many changes, but the ones that there were, were related to style of the writing to the age group I was writing to, as opposed to grammatical errors etc. Isabel’s experience and expertise enabled the manuscript to be just that more polished.
Xmas came and went and still no gift for Janyce. I suppose mentioning that she is Jewish would make me seem that bit nicer!