Sunday, 26 February 2012


Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey - Robert Franks
Doing proofs is exhausting but ultimately satisfying. I've just delivered the first set of proofs for Mother America and other stories to my lovely editor, D. You get to knock all the sentences into shape before the MS goes off and is magicked into a book; that's daunting and enjoyable work, I find. I also got to zone in on what particular words were obsessing me over the three years or so that the book was written. In this case 'drear', 'moon', 'swoon' and 'filthy'. Some of them were ditched, naturally.

I always get cold feet about the book at this point. I grump around the place, sure that the whole thing is an absolute dud. Then one story will give me confidence and maybe one more will do the same. That brings a flicker of excitement.

This book is about parents and children. About the awful things they do and say to each other, and about their fierce love. There are lots of mothers and sons trying to figure it all out. The stories are set in Ireland, Paris, New York, Rome, Mexico and beyond.

The designer has been sent the brief for the cover (I can't wait to see what she comes up with) and the blurb is being edited and re-edited. I'm gathering review quotes from previous books too and I'm slowly starting to believe that it's all happening. The same thing with every book - disbelief and tension and, eventually, the finished book.

Mother America and other stories will be published by New Island in May. And I have a new stablemate - the wonderful Josh Ritter. But, of course, he and I are old pals as you'll see from this blog post here :).

Josh's début novel Bright's Passage will appear from New Island in April. Coup!


shaunag said...

Congrats on getting the proofs off, Nuala! Love the title by the way and really looking forward to seeing the cover and of course the book in May!


One set down, who knows how many to go, Shauna!? I think I did 4 prrofs for Nude. Hoping not so many for this :)