Summoning the impossible…

tumblr_n2168eDJSI1tuhgb2o1_500Yesterday was World Book Day, and I got an unexpected surprise: the very first finished copies of Werewolf Parallel and the new edition of Daemon Parallel arrived. Here I am looking just a little pleased and proud, not far from my publisher’s offices.

The route to getting a book published seems to be a series of steps where it slowly becomes more and more real – like summoning a ghost through a seance, luring something impossible and unlikely into the everyday world…

First there’s an idea, then a pitch. Then – if you’re lucky – there’s a contract. Next you just have to write the thing, and there’s many points in that process where you don’t believe it’s ever going to be finished at all. Eventually, after much fidgeting and screaming and industrial quantities of tea, you have a complete draft – a huge stack of paper, sitting on your desk. That’s the first moment I really believe in the book existing, I think, but it’s still a good distance off….

Next comes edits, and re-drafts and changes. Cover designs appear, and blurbs and marketing ideas. New voices are joining the seance, and you’ve got to concentrate – try and make sure you’ve all got the same idea of the presence you are summoning into existence, and you’re all dreaming of the same thing (because if you haven’t, what strange chimera might come through instead?). You need to defend your vision, coax it through. Then you get proofs (and I’ve blogged about that before) and it’s nearly there… The words on the page are typeset with the right fonts and headings and effects, and it’s starting to take shape, to look like an actual printed book. But here and there the magic is skew-wiff – did you really mean to use that word twice in the same sentence? – and the spell needs tweaking. You have to focus some more…


Finally, the book itself – the ghost  enters the room, fully formed… But that’s not where the magic ends. Because the more people who believe in it, the realer it becomes. I know I’ll get a little jolt of the impossible the first time I see a copy in a bookshop, in a library, in the hand of a reader…

It’s just going to keep getting more solid, more real. The seance is over – the presence has materialized.

There’s no sending it back now…

The Parallel is open, and the werewolves and daemons are here!


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