Let me introduce you to one of the stars of my current book. Not the owl; the guitar.
It’s a Fender Jaguar. This one’s new. Part of the reason I got it was to celebrate the fact that I’m now as sure as I can be that two guitars like it are definitely going to be in the book – together with all the other main elements that were in the book’s first working draft.
The second draft is due in mid-September. There’s plenty of work to be done, but that work is of a clarifying, refining nature – not the major surgery I was worried about. That’s a big deal for me. As my somewhat inarticulate post when I finished it implied, I was excited about the first working draft. The book had survived its darkest hour and was now starting to look like the book I want it to be. What I didn’t know was whether anyone else would want to read it.
I now have fantastic, inspiring comments and notes from the book’s first test readers: HUGE thanks here to Laura, Jack, Adrian and James. I now also have the notes and comments – and the backing and enthusiasm – of my editor, the redoubtable Ruth of Random House Children’s Books UK.
Before our meeting at the start of this month the last time Ruth and I spoke about the book was in Autumn 2011, in a pub in London’s West End. At the end of a long, arm-waving speech from me about bands, space travel, utopias, cowboys and giant squid Ruth nodded and said, ‘Sounds like you’re enjoying yourself. Show me when it’s done.’ For nearly two years afterwards those words were the only clue I had as to whether the book I wanted to write might be something Ruth wants to publish.
It is. And it’s going to have Fender Jaguars in, and everything. I am happy.
Back to work. 😀