I finally got the proofs back to Headline, only a couple of days later than promised. And I let them know that I was running late. That is rule number one in the author/publisher relationship book.
So keen was I, in fact that I hand delivered them, getting them photocopied on the way to Brighton station so that I would have my own set (and that’s rule number two).
In London, I popped into the cafe next door to Hachette towers on Euston Road just to check everything was in order, and I was so glad that I did so. 50 pages of the original were missing. In a panic, I rang the photocopy shop and a giggling girl told me that they were there, in her hand, that they’d got left in the photocopier.
I am afraid I hit the roof. My deeply surpressed inner Tory reared up. I had made this special trip, so symbolic, so big for me, it was almost a pilgrimage, and this stupid copy shop, whose one job is to photocopy things for people, can’t even photocopy things for people and hand back the originals.
I did have the photocopied 50 pages, though, and my amendments, although not in purple, were visible, and Leah was entirely OK about it. But I still had to call into the copy shop on the way home that evening, read them a riot act and demand another set of copies for free (even though I knew I didn’t need them). Then, gasping slightly, I stuffed my inner Tory deep back inside myself and zipped her away. Forever, hopefully….