I haven’t written in a while. I haven’t been able to. I had just completely run out of words for a little bit, I felt like I’d used them all up.
It’s been a big year of words, a big, busy, brilliant year, to go with the B theme, but it’s been exhausting, in the best possible way (another B).
I had to write a whole new book (out in 2017, I’ve just finished the first draft, and I really love it, thank God, the universe and the Flying Spaghetti Monster), and I had to edit Yellow. This is on top of my regular day job putting the TV news to air at the ABC, and you know, living and being a human. Doing stuff. BIG YEAR. Editing is hard, but super worthwhile. It meant plucking out the threads of the story and pulling and pulling until the bad bits fell away and the good bits were stronger. It also felt like playing jenga with words, and I took out scenes and the whole thing wobbled and all I could do was hold my breath and hope the whole thing didn’t collapse until I’d frantically filled in the holes. (It didn’t collapse, the book is signed off and done and going to print. *breathes out*)
The funny thing about finishing a book is the sense of relief, yes, but also the other things which are out of your hands. Such as the cover. I was researching covers on the internet and the general internet consensus was that authors HATE the covers chosen for them, or at the very least, I should have very low expectations. I was just happy to have written a book. To have it published and made into a physical thing I could hold in my hands was a bonus. To have it published by my favourite publisher ever, Penguin, was a miracle. To have readers as well? Well, *mind blown*.
A bad cover didn’t bother me too much because all of my other expectations had been exceeded. Penguin did ask for my opinion, and I gave it, but I didn’t really expect them to listen. I just sort of expected a stock photo of a teenage girl on a beach or something similar and I was resigned to that. But I did let them know what I was really drawn to. I said that I really liked geometric patterns and abstract designs, I said I’d like for it to have a sort of pastel colour theme, mainly aqua and yellow representing the beach, and I really dug hand-written typography. My editor acknowledged my suggestions, though I wasn’t really expecting anything, but then she sent me the final cover and she had taken on board everything I had asked for, but made it better. So much better.
My reaction –
Yellow is coming out January 27, 2016, and while this year’s been hard, it’s also been an absolute peach. I’ve already received some feedback from readers that Penguin had sent early copies to (uncorrected ARCs) and they have been so lovely it’s made my heart swell, but it’s also so strange and weird and all sorts of mixed emotions knowing my words are going to be out in the world. Blushing, but good blushing. Even blogging seems strange. But at the very least, if people do judge a book by its cover, I know I have a very good cover to represent me. And for that, according to the internet, I am very, very lucky.