Lies, Damned Lies, and History. Note to self: write books with shorter titles!

Lies, Damned Lies, and History.

Note to self: write books with shorter titles!

Well, here we are again. Another book done and dusted. I can’t fiddle any longer. I’ve been through the manuscript and scattered commas everywhere and I’ve been back through and9781910939000 taken them all out again. I’ve fiddled, changed words, re-written, frowned and fretted, and now the moment has come to overcome separation anxiety and actually send the thing off to my publishers, the world-leading Accent Press. Yes, that Accent Press – they of the platinum helicopters, caviar breakfasts and private dungeon. Or the Author Recreational Room with Stimulation and Encouragement as they like us to refer to it. And it is true, a couple of weeks with your head in their ARRSE, and the words just fly from your keyboard.

I’ve fiddled, changed words, re-written, frowned and fretted, and now the moment has come to overcome separation anxiety and actually send the thing off to my publishers…

Anyway, completion of the manuscript means I have to send the damned thing off, so it’s time to take the half-dozen lightly oiled young men from the cupboard – I can’t believe I forgot to send them back last time – dust them down, book the band, notify the Queen, shut down Parliament for the day – will anyone notice? – and wave goodbye to my baby.

There will be the usual tearful scenes. I gather my ragged clothes around me and follow the manuscript as it is borne aloft by the aforesaid young men. Today, the minefield has been switched off and we are allowed to cross the hallowed acres of the Accent Press Car Park. Senior staff, wearing their ordinary day clothes of gold lame and casually sprinkled diamonds, emerge from the multi-storeyed Accent Press HQ – think Dark Tower with added battlements and shrieking – and climb into their Ferraris and Lamborghinis for the endurance testing two hundred yard trip to accept the manuscript.

To a hushed silence, the manuscript is formally handed over. At a given signal, pennies are graciously tossed and somewhere, as part of the Encouragement Scheme, a lucky Accent author will be permitted a quick glimpse of the sun.

I grovel in the Accent-approved manner, the young men glisten magnificently, angels sing,
unseen hands fling open the front door, the unicorn rears, the band plays loudly enough to drown the sounds of Accent authors receiving yet more Stimulation and Encouragement, and then it’s gone. The massive doors close with a boom and we all have two point five seconds to vacate the sacred carpark before they let loose the Kraken.

And I open a file, name it Book 8, and stare at the screen …

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Today really has been – Just One Damned Thing After Another! @AccentPress

Hazel Cushion and Jodi TaylorHere I am in Sunny Wales – together with my publisher – the very lovely Hazel, who certainly knows the way to an author’s heart with good food, drink and excellent company. So far so good.

I’ve even met my editor – the delightful Bob – who soothed my nerves and assured me and editor’s job is not actually to change the plot, discard the end, alter the sex of the main protagonist, set the book in Hungary and write it in Swahili! A bit of a relief since I was expecting the worst.

Anyway, the day has progressed well, the staff are wonderful and made me so welcome. I’ve always been assured authors are bottom of the heap in the literary world and I was half expecting to find they’d locked the doors and were crawling about on the floor pretending they were out.