Monday, 9 February 2015

The Scion

A Safkhet, last week.  Photography © Guy T Martland



Early December.  Last year.  I was sitting at the back of a conference hall in faceless Heathrow hotel land.  Tired because of an early start and wired because too much coffee was inter-reacting with my sleep-deprived cerebral cortex.  My phone seemed to have entered a reception black hole.  Or maybe it was jammed because of the planes, I wondered, conspiracy theories blooming in my mind.  The hotel had wifi, I noticed during a particularly dull lecture.

I pressed the email icon on my generic smartphone.  A missive had arrived from a publisher.  I opened it, wondering if it could be another rejection.  Always the optimist.  I scanned the first few lines.  Then read it again.  And again.  My science-fiction novel 'The Scion' had landed a publisher!  They were called 'Safkhet Publishing' - I'd met some of their authors at Loncon earlier in the year.  The contract was for it to be published as an eBook in the first instance.

In a break I made some excited phone calls, dropped a few texts to friends who'd read it.  The conference passed in a blur.  Then there were some drinks in London, a gig (Son of Dave) with some old friends.  I may have had one too many.  And then then next day: home, happily hungover.

So, where are we now?  Well, shortly after the email, I signed a contract with Safkhet.  Then came my final edit, working through the book, obsessively making sure I hadn't missed any glaring plot holes.  I changed some formatting to Safkhet's liking.  A few Cure lyrics were removed - even though Robert Smith nicked stuff from everyone (Mervyn Peake, Penelope Farmer to name a few), I'd read that securing permissions on their lyrics was near impossible.  I did however obtain permission to use the title of an Autechre EP as a character (thank you Warp Records!).

And then it was off for their copy edit, sent late December.  I imagine it is now slowly working its way through the machinations of the publishing world.  Somebody somewhere might even be creating a cover... When I hear more there will be further blogs.  But in the meantime, some short stories have been accepted in various places.  And I'm writing, writing, writing - mostly working on a separate novel.  But I've also cranked out the first 10K words of a loose sequel to The Scion...

References: 

You can see some great examples of these in the British Museum, like I did last week.



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