There she blows!
Finished the new draft of ON SACRED MOUNTAINS today, and whammed it off as an email attachment to a friend who is just becoming a publisher. He has a real appreciation for the sacredness of the land, and probably real expertise at handling such a book in Britain. He could also, if the book suits, turn it around so it comes out this year. The last book took twenty-two months from delivery to publication, by which time of course the editor who recommended such a delay had left the company. I'm intrigued by the idea of going with a smaller, more human house than Random House. Some time soon I've got to find out the identity of my latest editor there, since even the latest one has left without informing me.
I love this new book. The final shifts in tone, style, structure, content, make it truly accessible I think. It's an important and beautiful book. I do want it to reach the world this year.
I've Anglicized it, both in spellings and choice of vocabulary. After years as an English language teacher, it's bizarre how curious and wrong English spellings look to me now. The American form of spelling will surely dominate in the end. It's easier and makes more sense ... doubling the 'l' to make 'travelled' for example would seem to transfer the stress to the second syllable. Such rules are hard to teach and to learn ... and will surely become redundant. Other choices are linguistic - so sugar candy had become candyfloss; a prom Queen has become a pantomime dame (OK they're different, but both kitsch in their ways). I look forward to reverting to American norms for the US edition.