Well, it’s been a week of rather grand news.
To begin with, The Rook is going to be published in Australia! What’s that you say? “Um, Dude, your book’s getting published. In English. Isn’t it going to be in Australia automatically? That’s what they speak there, right? More or less? If it’s published in English, it must be published in Australia.” You would be forgiven for thinking so, but, in point of fact, that is not necessarily the case. In the case of The Rook, it was not to be the case. HOWEVER, the good people at HarperCollins Australia have decided that they like the book enough to acquire the Australian rights, so it will be available in stores that are within 6000 kilometres of my house. This is a big deal. The whole idea of having a book published somehow seems more real when you know that you could go to the local store and see it. So, I’ve been chatting with my Australian editor (and managed to leave one of the most horrendously awkward voicemails in the history of spoken communication) and it’s all confirmed and for real. I don’t like to announce these sorts of things until it’s definitely for really actually done and accomplished, for fear the universe will take umbrage at my presumption and make it all a dream or something. But, this is confirmed and for real, and the Australian version will be coming out in, I think, February 2012. I’m not certain to what extent there will need to be editing, although I am rather hoping that they will go through and put back all the u’s that my poor American editor had to cut out of various ‘honours’ and ‘colours’ and ‘neighbours’.
Other rather exciting news is that I just got my first review! I’ve had some very nice comments from authors (and those totally blow my mind, by the way. It’s tremendously exciting when someone whose work you regard so highly says nice things about your work.) But, this is the first one from an authentic publication, and from Library Journal, of all places. And it’s rather nice, too. I’ve had various people advise me, very soberly, not to read reviews. Or at least, not to read the bad ones. This advice is a trifle problematic, since I’m not going to know if a review is bad or not until I read it. Fortunately, this one popped up on my Facebook page – thank you to my friends who noticed it and sent it on — so I could assume it would be nice. And nice it is! Finally, the third book in Clive Barker’s “Abarat” series came out. Absolute Midnight. I’ve been waiting for this book for years, since about 2005. And I can say two things about it. First, I can entirely see why it took so long to come out, because it is filled with paintings by the author. And secondly, I think this book is the best refutation of e-books that I can think of, because it is beautiful. It’s sure to be a glorious story, but it’s also a glorious THING. The paper is amazing, the art is vivid (could it be satisfactorily recreated on a screen? Doubtful.) It’s a thing that is beautiful to behold. A sculpture that tells a story. A future heirloom. I gloat over it, the fact that I have it.
And now, I must away, to finish packing. For much of this week, I am attending a Rail Safety Convention. My knowledge of trains is somewhat limited, mostly restricted to the exploits of Thomas and Percy (was Percy the one that they walled up alive in a tunnel? I always found that a bit disconcertingly dark). But, this is my chance to learn. Plus, I’m visiting Melbourne, which I am really looking forward to.