At last!

I’m impossibly weary. Last night (or was it actually this morning?), at around 1.00 am, I sent the latest draft of my new novel, ‘Vulture’s Gate’, to my editor. I wish it could have felt like a liberation but as the published work won’t be available for another ten months (September, 2009) it’s only another step toward publication. It’s a long, long road from the first premise to the final story.

The version I sent last night was the fifth draft – the third that I’ve subjected to outside editing. There’s still a serious round of copy-editing to get through before it’s ready for the press and, of course, the long difficult process of deciding on the cover. Everyone knows you can’t judge a book by it’s cover and this book, in particular, is so layered and perplexing that coming up with a decent cover is bound to be complex. It’s weird. I feel as though I’ve bled onto every page in the writing of this simple yet fraught story, in a way I have with no other. But maybe I have a short memory and perhaps every book goes through this process. It’s a bit like having babies. If every mother and every author remembered how painful it is to birth a child, or a book, there would be few people on the planet and few stories to share.

The cover image in this post is only a rough version of one of many alternative covers. I like the way it’s captured several facets of the book. There’s something dreamlike about this novel as well as something very frightening. It contains so many elements that I’ve never attempted to incorporate into a story that I have felt both bewildered and excited by the whole writing process. Every book is an adventure. If it wasn’t, there’d be no point in continuing to write but perhaps ‘Vulture’s Gate’ has been the most exhaustingly adventurous story I’ve attempted. I am so ready for a good night’s sleep.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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