Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Publisher wants it all quiet on the western front

This is just a quick post because I'm pretty busy trying to construct a website for my new enterprise. Steep learning curve, I assure you. Plus the boys are imminently returning to school (cue weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth) and my teaching will get underway next week. Summer, suddenly, is over and as so often as September arrives, there's a sense of having been cheated. Certainly, we were cheated weather-wise, and all meteorologists should be spit-roasted over the barbecues they predicted we would have. But also, you remember late June, early July, the academic year coming to an end, the season stretching ahead, the plans for all the things you'd do, the trips you'd take ...

I always plan cultural/educational Places to Visit and Things to Do with my sons - and then fail to carry through. Plus the big change this year is that said sons wouldn't be seen dead with me downtown, in case they run into their mates. It is Not Cool to have Mum around. So Mum ends up feeling distinctly redundant.

Sebastian Faulks was on Breakfast this morning, promoting his new book from the comfortable position of established, well-regarded, media-friendly author. He told an anecdote, which as literary anecdotes are prone to be, was part-funny, part-horrifying. When he wrote Birdsong his American publisher was reluctant to take it on. She asked him whether he could cut the war sections (!) or, indeed, relocate it to a more recent conflict! She wasn't entirely getting the point of it, was she? This follows on the heels of a friend telling me yesterday that someone she knows, of high academic standing, cannot sell her father's memoirs (and this was a man who had lived a perilous and exciting life) because, as one publishing minion put it, 'Your father's dead and therefore we couldn't arrange a promotional tour.'

Permission to open and close your mouth like a goldfish.


Denise said...

My rubbish memory is occasionally useful, in that it lets me forget all the terrifying publishing stories I hear!

Hope the website is being friendly.

Colette said...

Yikes! Good luck with the website. I've been going to nuild one for a couple of years but keep putting it off.

Lorna F said...

Denise - well, constructing a website is turning out to be a challenge! It's quite fun, though. I think.

Colette - thanks for your good wishes. Like you, I've been putting this off for ages. Setting up the blog was a lot easier, I have to say!