Sunday, December 11, 2011

When A Book No Longer Belongs To the Author....

Now this is something I had been warned about...once your book is out in the wide world, well, it's no longer really yours. Your book becomes the reader's book. They create a 'new' book by bringing their experience, reactions and emotions to it.

So now THE CORNISH HOUSE is beginning to wend it's way out into the world via the uncorrected proofs, I am in a state of unease.What are people thinking? Love it? Loathe it? Killing themselves laughing at the typos....there are a few humdingers in there...

DH has read the book - and thank God he loved it. He would say that, but I have also known him long enough and well enough to know if he was lying. The best bit about him reading the book was to finally be able to discuss it with him. When he finished the book he stared at me in shock and said...so this is what has been going on in your head...Umm, yup. He has had to look at me differently. He became caught up in the story and found it hard at time to remember it was his wife who wrote it. This, of course, is good.

It was also interesting to hear his thoughts as he knows the landscape of the book so well. He placed things in different locations, different pubs when I hadn't used a name, and responded to some characters and actions in an interesting manner. So he has proved a test case for me....

DH is not my first reader, but very few people have read the book...even some of closest writer friends haven't. I had never really thought about it. My mother has read it twice...helping with the typos and I think consumed by curiosity...what was her daughter saying. So DH is the first person to read it for pleasure without any other purpose....and now the list grows.....gulp. I need to let go and focus on the next book. I needs to be better than THE CORNISH HOUSE...the joys of being a writer....

How did/do you feel when you release a book into the world? As a reader do ever think that your version of the story will be different that of the writer's? I suppose in a way when a film is made of a book we experience this.....someone else's take on the 'our' book...


29 comments:

  1. I felt the same when my DH first read the uncorrected proof of my first novel. I know it sounds daft, but my book was no longer 'private'! ;-)

    And with other people reading it now, it feels much the same. Did they laugh at the points I did, when I wrote it? Was their experience of a scene similar to mine? Or did they see/feel something entirely different?

    Thank heavens I'm now on the sequel; it makes the 'letting go' that much easier, I feel. :-)

    Good luck with The Cornish House, Liz - I'm looking forward to reading it. :-)

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  2. Very interesting thoughts. I'm hoping my novel will be released into the world before too long, but I'm fascinated by how my friends and family have viewed it. Was delighted when one friend said she kept forgetting I'd written it and was thinking she'd recommend it to me because she knew I'd love it! It's a bit like sending your child out into the world and hoping everyone will love him/her as much as you do, isn't it? Good luck with The Cornish House!

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  3. Hi Liz. Thank you for posting this. I have shared it with my DH and hope it goes some way to explaining my late hours and occasional absent- mindedness.
    I am looking forward to May :-)
    Laura.

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  4. Joanna - I know exactly what you mean! I'm so pleased that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Good luck with the sequel...off to investigate...
    lx

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  5. Susan - I find that a huge compliment when your friend forgets that it's you. Fingers crossed yours makes in to the world soon.
    lx

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  6. Thanks Laura! It does a bit but I do think DH found a real shock in a way...
    lx

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  7. Bon voyage, The Cornish House!

    What a really exciting moment for you, and one that I can see was dead scary, too.

    I can't wait to read it.

    Liz X

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  8. A vivid description of every writer's dilemma of 'letting go' Liz. I responded to your piece on two different levels: I'm your agent, and it made me want to shield you from the anxiety, and I once published a book myself and had a panic attack the night before it was published. Partly: 'oh god, people I know are going to read this' and partly also 'oh god, people I know might NOT read this'. I can absolutely empathise!

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  9. Hi Liz, I'm going through the same process, and trying not to think about it. And I can't bear to read the *uncorrected proof copy*, perhaps because I know how much was corrected!

    Lots of love, & good luck with it.

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  10. I can relate, Liz! But somehow, I think you have nothing to worry about. :)

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  11. I can't wait to read, The Cornish House.

    I'm sure that if Carole Blake loved it, it must be wonderful.x

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  12. It IS terrifying! But if your mother and your DH have already read it you've crossed the biggest hurdle :D ... Seriously though, I just try not to think about it.

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  13. Thanks Liz and it's one you're on now...enjoy! lx

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  14. Aw Judith - yes the corrections - you too had them by the millions :-) Good luck with your launch and i can't wait to read it!
    lx

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  15. In those terrible dark moment when I thin it's all terrible I remind myself that my fab agent loved and I do feel better!
    lx

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  16. Christina - yes, I think my mum was the biggest hurdle...you know..the sex scene type thing...cringing just thinking about it...
    lx

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  17. I'll let you know how I feel when my short story debuts in January. It's the first real published thing I'll have and I'm nervous and excited about it!

    Your cover art is breathtaking! I'm meeting all these wonderful authors this morning. Tells me it's going to be a fantabulous week! Adding it to my tbr pile! I love meeting authors who blog! I also LOVE your blog title.

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  18. To be honest, I felt quite scared at first when 'Turning the Tide' went out into the big wide world! I think it was to do with my long-held dream becoming a reality and having a private, personal world that had previously only existed in my head becoming a public space that people could comment on. It felt a bit as if the genie had just popped out the bottle! But, let me assure you, Liz, that any secret worries or apprehensions you might have, just disappear as soon as someone enjoys your novel. A couple of readers were kind enough to write to me quite quickly and it felt wonderful! You'll be fine!

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  19. Jen - fingers crossed for your short story début and thank you for your kind words. I hope your week has continued on a fabulous note.
    lx

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  20. Thanks Chris - you hit the nail on the head with 'private world going public'...
    lx

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  21. Glad I found this blog although it is making me even more nervous about my novel coming out this spring! I've been thinking in terms of last edits and cover design when - gosh! - maybe I should be panicking about my potential readers!

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  22. The Divorced Lady - I think we go through stages were we worry about different things...reader reaction is at the top of my list at the moment because the cover is done...all that left is the final copy edits...Good luck with your launch in April-so exciting!
    lx

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