Sunday, June 19, 2011

I have lots of news for you....

I didn't post last week, as you will have noticed -- I have been so busy.
Firstly, I had a meeting with the managing editor, the editor who is actually putting the book together, and the illustrator -- and so have had lots of work to do for these three people.
That work is done, except that I have to write a paragraph or two to get Charlot Birnie's photograph into the manuscript.
I also must finish the captions for the photographs that I know are going into the manuscript.
I think there are about sixty illustrations -- that's a lot!
Some of them are archival photographs; some are photos of items that are in the Royal British Columbia Museum collections -- other illustrations come from personal collections in Washington state and in England and have never been made public before!
It's very exciting!

Some images I have collected cannot be used because their lines are so fine and delicate they won't show.
But we have found good substitutes for those difficult images.
It's amazing how much negotiating, discussion, and researching goes into illustrating a book!
When you choose illustrations you have to keep in mind many things -- the quality of the paper, the size of the page, and how much the illustration has to be reduced!
I think I could write a book on publishing a book, from the perspective of a first-time author -- but I don't think I have time.

At this meeting I learned the publisher has decided that though many of the illustrations will be black and white (they are, after all, black and white photographs), some of them will be in colour.
So it will not be entirely a black and white book, and that might change its price -- be warned.
Anderson's rarely seen drawing of the Kamloops post will be in colour, as will be his paintings of the lower Fraser River -- yes, Anderson was a watercolorist, too.
There will be images to amaze and delight, and I am happy to be the person who brings them to you.

I have been asked when the e-book will be available, and now have the answer.
It is planned that it is published about a month after the publication of the book, or as soon as everything is loaded on and working properly.
E-books can load in a jumble, and the publishers' supplier has been having some problems that hopefully will be fixed by the time it's my books turn.

Oh, and on the subject of computer problems -- I wrote the book in Windows XP which had whatever version of Word was running ten years ago.
That computer crashed almost immediately after I got the manuscript sent to publisher, and any corrections or editing, on my part at least, have been done in Word Seven.
My editor's Word doesn't like my Word, so there have been problems with getting the end-notes to behave -- as you know, Word likes to CONTROL.
And then we need to insert some things after the manuscript, but before the end-notes, and Word is again objecting....
That's not my problem, but I think my editor has been tearing her hair just a little bit.

The illustrator uses a MAC that doesn't communicate with my computer, but I know my way around that -- my long-distance cousin Virginia has the same problem.
The illustrator has to draw the maps that show the four explorations and the two brigade trails, and she hasn't even read the book.
She'll draw a map that covers the territory and send it to me.
I will print it out six times, and on each separate map draw one exploration, or one brigade trail.
Then she gets to put them all together on one map!
It's not as easy as it sounds.

I think she also gets to put the book together, and she will place, at the front of each chapter, decorative pieces of Anderson's maps....
I am overjoyed, to say the least, and cannot wait to see the finished book.

Other exciting events are interfering with whatever spare time I have.
I signed up with Hope Mountain to hike up the part of the brigade trail they are travelling this year.
It's a steep section of the trail behind Hope, and they warn to be prepared for severe mountain conditions and to wear good hiking boots and use poles and if you have bad knees, consider how you are going to get down the steep trail.
My knees are fine, my feet a little iffy but I have good boots, so I think I'm okay.

"Holy Crumbs!" the man in charge wrote me, and offered me a chance to lead a group that was hiking the Snass Creek trail that Anderson followed to the top of the Coquihalla in 1846.
I'd love to do it; I want to hike that trail to the top of the plateau and look for Anderson's Tree, which can no longer exist.....
But I hope to reserve the trip for next summer, and will discuss with them how best to do that.
The best time of year would be the first week in June, when we can also visit the grove of California Rhododendrons and see them in bloom.....
But I think that's early in the season for Hope Mountain.

So, as you see, lots of exciting things are happening.
Book launches are being planned -- the Heritage House book fall book launch (for all their authors) is held at British Columbia Museum and is quite a social event.
Everyone dresses up! I attended in jeans last year and felt quite out of place.
So if you want to attend that one, dress up.
We have a separate book launch planned by the publisher's Marketing Dept and I will find out when it is prepared.
We are finalizing book reviewers, and choosing people who will read the book and submit cover quotes.
I am approaching book stores that know me (there are a few in Victoria) and will encourage them to carry the book when its published.
And I still have to manufacture the index for the book -- that, too, will take time I don't really have.
As you can see, there is plenty happening, and some of these events will prevent me from making my regular entries in this blog.
Please be patient with me when I seem to "disappear" for short times over the coming summer.

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