As a writer, my daily ‘snail’ mail is as important a lifeline to my work as is my e-mail. My mail carrier and I are on very friendly terms, and I have near daily encounters with the UPS driver and the DHL fellow.
Although a tremendous amount of the daily work is done electronically, there are still some tasks that demand paper copies. For me, this includes galleys. Galleys or page proofs are the pages of a manuscript printed out exactly as they will appear first in the ARC (Advance Reading Copy—sent to critics and book buyers) and the eventual book. The galleys are my absolutely final chance to look at my own work and correct any mistakes. I get two galleys: one from the UK publishers and one from the US ones. There are, of course, differences in spelling and punctuation and idiom, but we try to make the galleys as close to identical as we can. This means that I read each one, very closely, looking for a dropped quotation mark or a repeated word. Sad to say, most of the errors I discover in galleys are mine. They are the little mistakes that have managed to elude me since my first submission of the tale. And my goal is always to find and correct every single one before the book reaches the reader.
Yes. I know I always miss some. But I always try.
Today’s mail brought me a lovely surprise in the form of a birthday gift! This was from Carrie Osbourne. She had found and claimed the gift hidden by artist Jackie Morris at Torquay Museum. I need to mention again that it was hidden in plain sight, on a step ladder with rungs made from the floor boards of Agatha Christie’s house. So Cool! She sent me not only a lovely card with her own art work, but a print as well.
Today’s delivery was a delight and a surprise. As many of you know, Jackie Morris has created new covers for The Farseer Trilogy, and HarperCollins UK has reissued the books in paperback with the wonderful new covers. And I am fortunate to receive today not only my copies of these, but my author copies of Blood of Dragons. Four lovely big boxes of books:
Royal Assassin and ???????. NARUTO!!!!
Some authors would consider this some sort of shipping error that there is a copy of Naruto in with my books. I simply consider it a sign that HarperCollins UK knows and loves me!!