Being chased by tigers

After a fruitful telephone call with my (genius) art director Ben yesterday, I am now in possession of the Space Race To Do List and a PDF of the book as it stands. Phew! The new ground is cut, so we are entering the final stages.

This is the first time I’ve seen the novel in its entirety with illustrations and text together. Ben and I are very excited, and it certainly looks different.

Although I’ve never been chased by a tiger or any other large wild animal, the feeling I have now is, I imagine, like that first risky glance back after a spectacular sprint through the jungle to see if you’re safe or not. A lot of the physical symptoms are similar – exhaustion, some stiffness in the legs and a not inconsiderable dose of adrenaline still running through m’ veins – but who said this would be easy?

It’s funny, but seldom does anyone ever say what a very lonely and fearful business being a writer can be. Lots of uncharted jungle. Lots of tigers. So next time you’re in a bookshop, remember all those poor authors who have run blindly through the undergrowth to bring you… well… robot monkey armies in this instance.

I have completed all of the really difficult illustrations and much of what is left is polishing, adjusting and tidying up. The list is 4 sides of A4, but I know it is just a matter of getting up early and sticking at it.

For those who want a bit more detail about The List, the complex technical bit is that all the text must be black, or shades of black, so that foreign publishers can remove it at the printing stage and replace it with their own translations. This sounds simple enough, but this occupies a fair chunk of what I have to do. It’s my own fault because I got carried away in places.

Running too fast to escape those tigers. Growl, growl.

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