Things a publisher will do for a novel they love

In my last entry I mentioned that I had typed a few more pages of Everybody Scream! which got me thinking about how unique the whole process has been with this novel. When we first approached Jeff Thomas about releasing something of his on RDSP he told us he had a completed novel, possibly his best work. We were hooked. But there was one drawback, the novel was entirely handwritten.

In fact, Jeff hated the thought of typing it in so much that it had been sitting around for 15 years. Still, a novel that Thomas himself was very proud of, was impossible to resist. We had to read it. When the pages arrived I was extremely excited but also nervous because he’d sent us the only copy in existence! I was probably only 10 or 20 pages into the book when I decided that we had to publish it but then I kept thinking, what if the end sucks?

I didn’t have to wonder long though because the manuscript was impossible to put down. Luckily Jeff had pretty neat handwriting back then. I was soon so lost in the story of one day at a Punktown carnival that I often forgot I was reading a manuscript and not a printed novel. It turned out that the ending was an action-packed stunner and just as good as the rest. At 100,000 words Everybody Scream! is a roller coaster ride of emotions that left me gasping and feeling a little empty, the way a really good long book does, because I’d gotten used to looking forward to reading it. At that point I probably would have done anything to publish Everybody Scream! What we did have to do is type in every one of those 100,000 (give or take a few) words.

Considering my previous brushes with carpal tunnel syndrome (stress injury from too much typing) I knew it wouldn’t be easy. So I’ve been typing one page at a time, spacing them out over the day, and trying to get an average of 3 done per day. John has also been working on it. I drafted a few others, including my mom, but don’t have the sections they are working on yet. Even so, we are well past the half way mark and have progressed to 70,000 words! Although typing can be a drag, reading the book again has been great. I’ve caught a whole bunch of things going on that I had not noticed the first time.

current mood: exhausted
current music: Strange Fire by The Indigo Girls