Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paris With Children Update

Apologies for my five-month hiatus from small batch travel...

The last five to six months have been busy: a move (bought, remodeled and sold a home), my three wee ones paired with an intensely busy travel schedule for Matt was rough at times, and of course work on the book made it all but impossible to update this blog. I averaged a grossly inadequate 3-5 hours of sleep per night from August to mid-January, the most extraordinarily sleep-deprived period being between October and December.

A brief update on the book: the original release date was slated for mid-March. I realized quickly, by early September let's say, that the scope of the topic and my writing/work style would not produce a book by said deadline.

One image that sticks in my head, that typifies my writing experience this time around, is that of my one-year-old Charlotte, knocking on the set of French doors that function as a totally anemic separation between our family room and living room-cum-office. I wanted to ignore her, but I looked back and watched as she poked the glass furiously with an accusing finger. Charlotte heaved through puckered lips, 'I hate that. I hate mommy working.' I bowed my head and sunk deeper into my chair. The new home office was hopeless.

'The Pucker'
Photo: Brian Smyth (www.brianmphoto.com)

As I progressed, Paris with Children seemed like it would be finished by the end of November, then mid-December. I couldn't cut the cord completely however, until year's end. One anticlimactic click of a button and off went my little manuscript into the hands of my editor.

The anticipated editing/printing timeline process looked something like this: editor reads manuscript (ms), I offer my response to any questions she might have then work on required edits. The ms would then go to the copy editor for fact checking and a read-through followed by one more read by me. Finally it would be sent to layout and design; printing would take an additional month. Random House, the distributor, requires that a book be in its warehouse two months prior to its release date which would have put us at mid-June for release.

Three weeks ago, my editor (who also owns/runs the publishing house) told me that the senior creative director and top buyer from a major retail brand (that I won't name:) requested a meeting with her. She said, in all sincerity, that it's tougher to get a meeting with them than it is with Obama. Briefly, the directors loved the mock-up of my book and wanted to put it in ALL of their stores. The catch–we'd need to delay its release until February 2013.

I love my editor. She's amazing–so I'm taking her word for it that to hold the book gives us a better shot at 'real success'– I assume that means relative commercial success. Still, it's bittersweet. I want to see it now of course, to hold my book in my hands–to find closure to what was such a consuming experience. I did think it made more sense to have a travel book released in February than mid-June, at which point most summer travelers have long since made their plans, so I was on board with the revised date.

That's it. I hope to post more often now that the book is sort-of finished...The editing timeline was thrown out the window with the new release date. Our edits and finish work will now progress at a more humane pace. I'm hanging tight at this point–attempting to get adequate sleep, exercise (recently began crossfit training-yikes!) and trying to be more present with the family (while still thinking about my next project)...

Here are a few images from the artists we are using for the book's cover (www.famillesummerbelle.com):

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