That’s the delivery date for Guardians of Paradise: 30th June.
I’m pretty good at getting my homework in early, and I was looking set for another delivery before deadline, in time for a busy weekend, and an interesting science event early next week (of which more later perhaps). All that was left was the final read-through of the last half-dozen chapters, and the ‘accidental sex-toy’ check.
(I should probably explain about the ‘accidental sex toy check’. That’s when I take a list of all my invented names for people, cities, worlds etc, and Google them to make sure I haven’t inadvertently come up with a word that has an, ahem alternate inappropriate meaning (as opposed to a meaning I don’t mind – yes, I know that taro is a root vegetable, ok?). I’ve been careful to do this ever since I very nearly named the planet in Principles of Angels after ‘a range of products designed to maximise sexual pleasure’. You may laugh, but I suspect the critics might not have seen the funny side. I discovered my mistake, by accident, about a week before the book went to press. So, since then, I check.)
And that was all that was left as of last night. Then this morning I woke up aware that one of my climaxes needed tweaking. (Having already lowered the tone I feel comfortable using the analogy of a decent shag – from a woman’s point of view – to describe the pacing of the last fifth of Guardians. You work it out.) Anyway, there was one scene I was a little worried about (and a couple of beta-readers concurred), and this morning I suddenly knew what I had to do to fix it. As a bonus to increasing tension where it was previously lacking, this idea should ensure the book has more (eek!) closure, and give the last couple of lines, in the epilogue, a lot more punch. So, it needs doing.
The only problem is that it means rewriting a pivotal scene, plus putting in foreshadowing, and fallout, in the chapters around that scene. In about four days if I still want to enjoy my weekend. Hmm. I’d best get back to work….