Haunters. Since then I have been wrestling with a very odd feeling: the dawning realisation that the bloody thing’s actually finished!
Now, obviously there’s going to be some comeback from the last edit, and I’m sure I’ll be tippexing the screen right up to the end, but right now -- and for the first time in the three years and seven drafts it has taken to reach this point -- I honestly can’t think of anything else I could do with it.
When I signed the contract, my agent gave me some very sound advice. In response to my flapping about how craptastic the book was probably going to end up, she told me… well, first she told me to get a grip, but then she told me that the only way to protect myself from critics, detractors and one-star Amazonian book demolishers was to be entirely sure that I had done everything I possibly could to make the book as strong as it could be. If there was a stop, I had to pull it out. If there was an extra mile, I had to plod down it, hacking at the nettles -- yes, even in the rain. I probably looked like a frightened rabbit when she told me all this, but I took that advice to heart.
Of course, the book could still be utterly craptastic. But objectivity? Well, that’s a whole other subject.