Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Beating a retreat with a dog-eaten manuscript

Ah yes - 'tis nearly December and we are preparing for the annual pilgrimage to Mallorca.  This will be the 15th consecutive year that Dave will have worked at the International School - Queen's College in Genova near Palma.

It is also going to mark the 10th anniversary of the first draft of "the dog book", a manuscript that has been revised more times that I can remember without yet reaching publication.  It shall be accompanying us on the journey again and hopefully this time it will emerge as a beautiful butterfly.

Why is is that some books just don't seem to ever be finished?

It began as an autobiography but the character of "Sandy", the naughty Labrador Retriever, rather took over.  It evolved into episodes told by the canine protagonist where he is forever duping his humans in his eternal quest for food.  We paid for a professional edit way back in 2007 (I think) but the work needed just didn't appeal and so it lay in a dusty cupboard until 2011.

2011 saw a brief and hasty re-edit of early episodes in an attempt to release a canine ebook to tie in with the release of the music album and "Poo on your Shoe" video.  It even had photos of a neighbour's dog to stand in for Sandy (thanks to Lewis, Sue and the wonderful Hugo).  Dave was just not happy to send it out there so back to the cupboard it went.

In the course of its evolution, we have lent many people sample chapters and received favourable feedback.  One of these fans sadly will never read the final book as she passed away this year, still only in her twenties (stupid cancer!).  I feel it would be appropriate to dedicate it to her when it is completed.

Anyway, tally-ho to the retreat we go!