The last cut

As readers of this blog know, I’m preparing to e-book publish all my novels for the UK and beyond. What I hadn’t factored into my schedule projections was the need to proofread and re-proofread the files, nor my natural impulse to revise a novel long after it had been published. 

And so — due to a comment from one of my ever-so-excellent volunteer proofreaders, Wally Rabbani — I have just made a cut to Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe that … yes … just a little, took my breath away! (There’s a scary thrill to cutting.) 

I cut the Prologue. Out!  (You can read it here.)

It’s written from the point-of-view of a ghost, Marie Antoinette. Josephine did believe that Marie Antoinette’s ghost haunted the Palace, and I wanted this ghost to have a role in the novel, but … no, that was too tricky (but for one scene, with hints). Hence, the ghost’s prologue at the beginning.

I’ve been fond of this prologue, but, as Wally pointed out, the reader just doesn’t need it. And he’s right. I think it’s a stronger novel without it, and that’s what counts. 

Have iPad, willing to proofread?

{Image: from the National Library of Serbia Manuscripts, Cetvorojevandelje 17th century, BibliOdyssey.}

Recently I put out an unusual request on my Facebook Fan Page, asking for volunteers with iPads to proofread the e-book editions of the Trilogy which will be published soon.

I got an amazing response from my awesome Peeps: 7 volunteered for the first, 7 for the second, and 3 are now working on the third. A number of those who are now still proofing the second are willing to read/proof the third, as well.

But now I have a forth — Mistress of the Sun — ready to be proofread. Do any of you have an iPad? And, if so, are you willing to take this on? I’d email you the file with instructions. Basically, if you see an error, you highlight it.

I should explain that the reason an iPad is important is that the file is in ePub format and it’s possible, in iBook, to highlight the typos and email them to me. I’m told that an ePub file can be read on other readers, as well (Sony, for example), but I’m not sure how easy it is to email in the errors.

If you have an iPad and you’re willing, send me an email: sgulland at sandragulland dot com.


No chuffing, please! On revising, again and again.

No chuffing, please! On revising, again and again.

{Cover of my e-book edition of Mistress of the Sun.}

In preparing to e-book publish my existing novels in the UK and beyond, I’ve had to revise, and then have them retyped and proofed. (Thank you so much, my FaceBook Fan Page readers!)

I, too, have had to carefully reread all of them, which has been quite an experience for me.

As well as timely.

In preparing to write a Young Adult novel about Josephine’s daughter Hortense, it has helped a great deal to re-read the Trilogy.

In writing This Bright Darkness (working title of The Next Novel) — a novel set in the Court of the Sun King — it’s been vital for me to reread Mistress of the Sun.

Firstly, I’ve recognized important changes I will need to make to This Bright Darkenss.

But secondly, I have had the opportunity to revise Mistress of the Sun. (The process never stops!)

At the Banff Book Discussion Weekend this last summer, a reader questioned the use of the word “shenanigan” in Mistress of the Sun.

Quite rightly! The first use of that word wasn’t until 1855.

I considered changing “No shenanigans—” to “No nonsense—”, but that didn’t quite convey the meaning I wanted. (Clorine is warning Petite not to have sex with old Gautier.)

Exploring possibilities in the on-line Oxford English Dictionary is one of the tasks I love best, so after some searching, I settled on another word. It’s quite old, quite rare and mysterious, but I think it gives more of a sense of Clorine’s meaning:

Clorine wagged a finger. “No chuffing—”

“Don’t worry!” Petite said, cutting her off before she said more.

Do you love it? It’s a word that goes back to 1200, and it means cheating, deceit, or falsehood. Plus, if you ask me, it sounds just a little bit rude.

Update: I admit I’m chuffed over how many have expressed interest in the word chuffing. (Thanks to Anita Davison for pointing out the modern English use of the word.)

Now, another change. Although “nickname” is a very old word, it feels modern to me — and, I suspect, to readers. Thus, I’m changing it to the dignified “sobriquet.”

An unusual request

An unusual request

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ll soon have my Sandra Gulland Ink e-books up. In the words of a youngster I know, “Soon is a very long time.” We are close — very close! — but for the concern that a few typos remain.

I proofed the files in France last summer, in the backseat of a car full of film crew, radio blaring. Not ideal!

Since then, Kris Waldherr, designer and tech wizz, read about half the chapters, and found typos. There are others, no doubt, and I’m on deadline revising This Bright Darkness: so no time to spare!

Here is the request. Are there any of you who 1) have an iPad, and 2) would be willing to read the new digital edition of The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Joséphine B.?

If so, I’d email you the file with instructions on how to get it into iBook. Then all you would have to do is read it, highlight whatever errors you find, and email them to me. (iBook makes this very easy.)

If you are interested, let me know! sgulland AT sandragulland DOT com.