Monday, 10 November 2008

A moment to cherish

The first copy of Dancing for the Hangman has arrived at Edwards Towers. It’s always an exciting experience to see one’s own book in its final form for the very first time. All those months (years, perhaps) of labour – at last in a shape suitable for sending out to an unsuspecting world.

I’m pleased with the look and feel of the book – Flambard Press are a smallish publisher, but over the years they have built up a very good reputation for quality, with major award successes and a very good roster of authors (including, in the crime field, Val McDermid and Harry Keating). It seems to me that they have done a terrific job. (The image above is the original artwork, not the final version, by the way.)

Of course, the pleasure is tinged with anxiety. Gone is the opportunity to fiddle yet again with the text – and, as someone who constantly revises, the thought that I’m no longer able to improve what I’ve written is inevitably rather agonising. And what will readers think of it? Are any reviewers likely to be interested?

The questions are more acute in the case of a book like this, which is so very different from my other novels. I’m conscious that Dancing for the Hangman doesn’t easily sit in a conventional category of crime fiction, and is not obviously ‘commercial’.

Yet this is a book I’m really glad to have written. So far, the reaction of those who have read it has been intensely positive, and that’s a great reassurance, especially as the advance comments from the likes of Frances Fyfield (whose quote now adorns the front cover), Andrew Taylor and Anne Perry come from novelists whose standards are high.

So I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope that readers of this blog are similarly enthusiastic!


pattinase (abbott) said...

Best wishes on another lovely book, Martin. I am sure it will be as popular as the rest.

Sarah Hilary said...

It looks excellent, Martin. Congratulations!

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks very much. My fingers are duly crossed!