When precisely does a book come into being? A practical person might reply, "When the first copy is printed." There are many steps before this: pre-release publicity, (truly!) final edits, submitting the first draft, official announcement, signing the contract and so forth.
Tonight, I sent my wonderful publisher Somekind Press (truly!) final final edits on my essay collection Echoes, to be sent to the printer this week. It still does not feel real. It did not feel real when the book was announced (4 Sep), when I submitted the first draft (9 Sep), when my friend Zoya interviewed me for radio (mid Sep), when my editor and I submitted the manuscript for layout (early Oct), or when I received the first layout (20 Oct).
It won't feel real until I receive the book and hold it in my hands!!!!!
I'll have more to say about the proces of writing Echoes but for the moment, I want to tell you a little bit about the book. It is a collection of three essays about my relationship with my maternal grandmother and mother, fashion, nostalgia, memory, lineages, language, old Chinese pop songs, washing machines and the things we unconsciously inherit.
I love the cover design by Vaughan Mossop. It's so elegant and classic. The circle and mirror motifs are perfect. I wanted to stare at the cover all afternoon when I first received it.
I am especially grateful to Fran Berry for inviting me in July to put together a collection and to Camha Pham (dream editor!!) for her patience and astute yet tender edits. Thank you also to Vaughan, Simon Davis, Nikki Ellis and Luisa Brimble for making Echoes possible.
Below is the official description:
Echoes can be ordered here.