Phil: Like most aspiring authors, the moment I read on the BBC that Catlin Moran was recording an audiobook from her book “How to be a Woman” and described how she actually read the book through for the first time and was “absolutely amazed” at what she found, I inadvertently shouted at the computer screen. How could she now know ?
Is this “her book” in the sense that she warbled some generalities to a ghost writer who then went off to do all the real work ? Argghhhhhhh !
Taking a deep breath and wiping the volley of tea from my screen I pondered if there was an element of this at our current stage of writing. Not a load of being published just ‘cos you are famous and it’s easier to sell than talented newcomers bit, but reading your manuscript and being surprised at what you find.
I’ve been noodling around with the idea of a hook for the start of Kate vs the Dirtboffins for a while but other work has meant a bit of a break from the subject. This has one benefit, I’m re-reading passages with a fresh eye.
The good news is it’s still brilliant. I’m still very proud of what I find. Since it’s a 2 person project, a fun game is to try to work out which bits I wrote and which bits are Nolan. Not always easy and there are some I’m simply not sure about any more. Perhaps this is the key to good writing – don’t rush it. Leave it and come back a few times and you see things you don’t otherwise spot when submerged in the story. I know the first time I read our tale properly in (Lulu) book form I spotted a few continuity errors. A couple of hours later these were fixed to the benefit of the text.
What I don’t understand though is how you get a book with your name on it on the shelves and not know that it’s full of filth. I might not remember every single word in ours but I have a pretty good idea where the debauchery is and which bits I won’t be reading out in front of an audience if my Mum is sitting there (Candice can do those ones, she probably wrote them anyway as I’m far too well brought up). Surely you’d look in the bookshop window and think “That lady looks like me on the cover. And she has the same name. What larks, I’ll get a copy.”
On the other hand, do you think Dan Brown knows everything in his massive novels ?