October 11, 2009

Novel Launch (ii) The Day Itself

I always enjoy visiting Word on the Street, but it's a very different feeling to be personally involved. I was able to show an actual book to old friends like Stuart Ross at their tables. I was able to inscribe a few copies to actual buyers--not enough to give me writer's cramp by the end of the day, but eight copies, a little under half of which were bought by people who didn't know me personally.

I'll be busy the next two weeks reading books I picked up at the fair, not only a few I bought but four other titles from Crossing Chaos that the publisher passed on to me. Today I'm looking at Yang Chu''s Poems by Duane Locke--read and enjoyed a number of them Sunday. He's in his nineties apparently, publishing snce the forties and this is his nineteenth book Definitely have to Google him.

I reread mine yesterday in the free moments of my courier rounds--the standbys, the subway rides between calls. I was pleased to see five proofreads each by my publisher, another reader and myself had actually eliminated almost all the typos. There was a rather embarrassing one in the 'teaser' I wrote for the back cover (which they didn't send me to proofread)--the dreaded misplaced apostrophe: 'song styling's of owls'. (Yes, I admit it, there's a poet/singer in my novel who is an owl; performs under the stage name Minerva.) The worst of it is I can't think how anybody but me ould have been responsible for that one. (Though looking it up just now I find no trace of an apostrophe in the original:

It's so lovely being all of you this evening

Smoke, intelligent fog, fun house mirrors, death house aesthetics, a city lit from within and a city of living houses. Riddles and enigmas. What was that language, where is its key? City webworks for instant travel by elevator or magic bus. People who are you and me only fictional. Elf clubs burrowed snug in the friendly earth and nightclubs whose floor show is literally murder. St James Infirmary as you've never heard it in your life before. Song stylings of owls. Storytellers way too invowen with the stories they tell. Red and blue water on tap. Dream or real? you or me?
happening to us or do we make it happen? Plain language that almost makes sense. Bloodsuckers alive and undead. A once-majestic hall of mirrors that now exists somewhere between memory and legend. "Alive and und--ead, alive and unde--ead. . . " Vomiting parties, economic indices, themebook competitions. Action and suspense, stories that begin. Till human voices wake us.
Have you noticed how cities are like dreams? Anything imaginable can happen in them. Cut the deck and snap! the cards. Step right up.

So who knows where the insidious misplaced apostrophe came from? Probably the same place as the misspelling of my name: "Martin Heavidsides" on the spine. These are the things that'll make that print run instantly recognizable to collectors in years to come.)

Undermind in Crossing Chaos Catalogue