That’e2’80’99s TAD done and dusted. At long last, THE ART OF DETECTION is off my desk, all the blue Post Its (notes to self) removed and the brown Post Its (notes to editor) folded neatly along the side of the page; all the copy editor’e2’80’99s mistaken changes of my American English into English English (Mr. to Mr and Dr. to Dr etc, etc) dragged back west of the Atlantic; an entire subplot woven in (Have I said something earlier that contradicts this bit I want to add? Where did I mention this character before? What other key words should I use to find those mentions? Haven’e2’80’99t I used this descriptive phrase before? Ad infinitum, ad nauseum); all the additions marked for insertion, stapled onto their relevant pages, and double checked to make sure they got printed (only found one that got overlooked); explanatory notes written and attached; double oversized rubber bands strapped around it; inserted (with difficulty’e2’80’94the thing was big to begin with, and I put another hundred pages of replacement on top of it); the Fed Ex mailing label filled out; and into the Fed Ex box at two thirty yesterday afternoon with a most satisfying slither and thump.

The proof pages, work of some poor longsuffering maniac of a typesetter who has to work through 500 pages of typescript with changes on every line, will come to me in a month or so.


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  1. Anonymous on October 25, 2005 at 1:54 pm

    I’m curious about something. In To Play the Fool, you talked a lot about Holy Fools and some kind of modern movement that started in London. Was all of that accurrate information, or wa some of it made up? Where can I learn more about Holy Fools?
    I can be contacted at

  2. Jacqui M. on October 26, 2005 at 2:47 am

    What will you write after your next standalone novel? Another Mary Russell?

  3. Claudia J on October 26, 2005 at 4:02 am

    ah, the joys of double-wide extra-large rubber bands. Unless you’re using them to play snap tag or shoot dried peas or rocks… ouch.
    Just read Darker Place – will there be a follow-up? I wonder, since Anne seemed to survive the cult, what happens to her, Dulcie & Jason after she recovers.
    Respond to

  4. Pen on October 26, 2005 at 8:03 am

    I wonder if you feel like that after every book you’ve written? I can imagine that after all that effort, re-writing, corrections etc etc you’d be only too pleased to just hand it over.
    Do you ever read your published novels?

  5. Chris on October 26, 2005 at 8:23 am

    I wonder – when you do the publicity tour for a new book, a good year since the ‘post-it note stage’, do you have a love/hate relationship with it when it comes to doing a reading? Or, has enough time elapsed since you finished the ‘editorial’ stage for you be feel happy to be going back? I imagine, for example, that when you tour for The Art of Detection, your new work in progress will be foremost in your mind!

    Best wishes, Chris

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