This is the cover of the uncorrected proof of my new novel. It will be officially released in August but meanwhile the proof copy has been set free and has been read by booksellers and international publishers.

The cover of the final version is slightly different to this one – it’s glossy and blue with red type and more birds. And the contents will be slightly different too. I spent yesterday trawling through the typeset pages, agonising over last minute changes and gasping at the number of typos that had slipped through the earlier editing process.

Proof copies are perplexing beasts. They make me squirm because I know the final copy will be sharper and shinier and hopefully typo-free though it’s amazing what can slip through the cracks. I thought this recent version was fairly clean but yesterday I found ‘heard of a vulture’ instead of ‘head’ and a ‘p’ missing from “suppressed”. There were also a number of things that should have been caught at the copy-editing stage such as “beneath” used three times in one paragraph. By the time I’d finished checking all the proof-readers mark-up my head was aching and I’d bitten down both my thumbnails and I’d added an alteration to nearly every page. Ahhhhh!!

But then I opened up Twitter to find a heartening tweet from Leesa at The Little Book Room who had been sent a copy of the uncorrected proof.

“Just finished Kirsty Murray’s ‘Vulture’s Gate’! Excellent excellence! Can’t wait for August…”

Me too, Leesa. Me too.

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

“Every adult was once a child and the child inside them never completely disappears.”

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