Liza Cody Newsletter February 2016
February 7, 2016Hello!
It’s been a long time since I sent you one of these, but I only bother you when there is actual news.
This time it’s because my backlist has been given a kiss of life. My first seven novels: 6 Anna Lee mysteries, (Dupe, Bad Company, Stalker, Head Case, Under Contract and Backhand), the African-set novel (Rift), as well as the short story collection (Lucky Dip and other stories) have all been republished. They’re out now, both as print on demand paperbacks and on Kindle.
I expected them to be out a year ago and had no idea it would take this long or be so difficult. I wanted to design the covers myself. For the Anna Lee books l used one of my own photos of my daughter, silhouetted, and wearing my somewhat battered fedora hat. Very private eye, I thought. Her talented fiancé, Ant Howard, brought the series to life using his box of magic Photoshop tricks. As he did for Lucky Dip with my pencil drawing of a muscular, angry young woman. You can see it on my website. I ran out of ideas for Rift and used a stock photo.
In the middle of this, I managed to contract a rather nasty dose of shingles and retired to bed, wasting a few months.
After that, well, the rest of the delay was caused largely by my naivety and ignorance about scanning – the process of turning physical books into electronic ones. I thought that a scanned book would be an accurate representation of the book. But – shock horror – far from being so, the scan adds its own layer of typos, bloopers, goofs, idiocies and bizarre insertions to a well proof-read piece of work. Nor is a scan even consistent with its mistakes. For example, in one book it might read a lot of words beginning with the letters ‘cl’ as ‘d’ – clear and clearly became dear and dearly – but not every time and not in all the books. One book might have 30 or 40 paragraphing mistakes but another only 2. I simply didn’t know what to expect and had to proof-read with a magnifying glass.
But now it’s done, although I’m pretty sure I missed a lot. Maybe I should run a competition to be won by the reader who finds the most mistakes in one book.
Oddly though such close attention to 30-year-old work was like reading historical novels – telephone boxes but no mobile phones, parking spaces in central London, no internet or emails. etc. It’s amazing the changes the digital age has brought to everyday life
And now this example of primitive woman, for whom digital means ‘with the fingers’, must get back to finishing the follow-up to my latest novel, Lady Bag. Wish me luck. As I do you.
Very best wishes, Liza