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That’s me, Writer Extraordinaire.

For lo, did I maketh myself sit every night with my stack of copy edits, and verilydid I read every 20,000 of them, and I say unto you that I tooketh my Wite-Out and my Rapid-O-Graph pen and I raiseth my scissors and my tweezers, and yea did I make whatever corrections were necessary, forsooth the booketh known as Yon Damnable France Book be as infallible as The Word.

Yes, I’m feeling very pleased with myself. I made all the edits worth making and then: when I noticed that boththe Klingon and I had missed a significant and glaring and embarrassing error (I went through the whole Damn Book calling the Haut-Medoc the Haute-Medoc!!) I did something that should get me in the Ink-Stained Wretches’ Hall of Fame:

I contacted the smartest, savviest, most literate native French speaker I know and I hired her to be my third and French editor. She’s a scientist and an artist, and she’s seen enough of my writing to not gag at my creative use of the m-dash, and she’s going to read through the Damn Francemanuscript one more time to make sure that I’ve got all my accents acute and grave in a row.

See? See? That’s how much I care about you, my readers. I do not want youto be troubled in the least that it’s taken a chunk of my soul and sanity to make your reading pleasure as carefree as possible. You will not have to worry that I’ve conjugated those terrible reflexive verbs incorrectly, or that all those “a”‘s in “patisserie” have gone hatless. Nope. You probably won’t even notice that each and every damn accent is done by hand — my hand — and that I spent the last three nights having nightmares about all those questionable French words that we use in English but don’t mean what we think they mean (there should be a word for those words, non? Rendez-vous; RVSP; decor; de rigeuer; etc. ).

And, when my French editor is through, I’ll make those corrections, and then Bloomsbury wants one more editorial pass at the manuscript before we go to the production phase. See? See? That’s how publishing really works IN THE BIG LEAGUES. (It’s a lot like torture.)

I’ll let you all in on the secrets of book production (I read recently that it usually costs a publishing house $130.00 per page to produce a book, but with me as the crack typesetter and genius designer, that cost should come in around $145.00 per page) all in good time, dear readers; all in good time.

Next up: The Cover. Neither my editor at Bloomsbury nor my agent liked the spiffy new cover I designed, a combination of the best parts of the two covers that we discussed here in this space a while ago. So it’s back to the drawing board, but until then:

Tonight I just want to share with you the Official Author Photo for The Damn France Book:

Or should I go with that shot of me in the pink sweater?

9 comments to I am the Pin-Up Girl for Writerly Awesomeness!!

  • Deborah

    The photo is a delightful mix of glamour and playfulness. And your hair seems to have grown out nicely, too: the perfect length.

    Sounds like a polyglot spell check is needed, with a handheld scanner for books like yours that aren’t on the computer (all one or two of them).

  • Rachel

    Ah ma cherie, the french read-through is a brilliant idea. Your publisher should have thought of it, but so glad that you did. And the photo, ooooh la la. We await with eagerness the publication of TDFB.

  • I LOVE the official author photo!

  • Nadine

    Brill, just brill re the French editor. Who else can keep those agues and graves straight except the French? And the author’s photo is parfait.

    There is a name for French words that look and sound to English ears not what they really mean, like douche or a lot of words that end in -ellement: faux amis.

    But you might be seeking a word to describe French words that have been absorbed into English use in ways not intended by what the word means in French, then how about Angalis amis?

  • You have to do another cover?! I’m just glad that you’re still even speaking to your readers. After all, we’re the reason you’re suffering through all of this. Bonne courage!

  • JOAN

    What, pray tell, did the editors not like about the book cover? Do they not know that reader opinion was employed? Do they not know that we are waiting for That Damn France Book with rapt anticipation? The longer they futz around with their complaints the longer we’ll have to wait. I can’t imagine what The NitPickers will approve.

    I don’t know how you spend hour upon hour getting these books into print. I commend you for your faithfulness to your readers…and I can tell you this: I’d read this book if it didn’t even have a cover…so there, editors!


  • Susie

    Lovely official photo, you look so cute and sassy at the same time!

    For The Damn France Book cover, how about that sexy picture of ‘you’ in the pink sweater?

    Thank you for all you do for your readers, I wish there was a way we could have a party for you…or something. You’ve been sweating tacks over this just for us and what can we give back besides book sales?


  • Tracey

    You need a cat in a beret somewhere in the photo. Possibly with a baguette in its mouth.

  • emily m

    loved Tracey’s comment. The pic is perfect and isnt that top the one you found in one of our thrift shop haunts in Delaware County? Hope so. Did Top Cat take photo. I LOVE the photograph surrounded by the drawing. Just the right unique touch. (What about THAT for the cover?)

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