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  • jdettmann

Cover Me, I’m Going In


Here’s a tiny bit of book. My book. Yikes. 

Good grief, the last time I blogged was three months ago and I was ordering cheese for H’s exhibition. Well, the exhibition came and went and was a resounding success, and we have only just finished eating the thirteen kilograms of cheese that accompanied it.

My book is now at page proof stage, which for those of you not indentured to the publishing industry means the editing is more or less finished and the words have been laid (lain? anyone here an editor?) out into the design the pages will have when it is a real live bound book. It’s being proofread by a professional, and I’m reading it, and so are a few other people whose eagle eyes I trust. Next week I’m going round to an editor friend’s house to read it aloud to her, which will no doubt throw up a few more errors we can fix. It’ll be like audio books would have been in the olden days, before recording existed, when authors had to go from house to house reading their books aloud to people while they did the ironing, or sat in the back of the car reading to them while they drove to Canberra.

And there’s a cover now too. A cover which I completely love, which is a very lucky thing because authors don’t always get covers they love. I happen to have had an award-winning genius designer create my cover, which certainly increases your chances of getting a cover you love, but it’s never guaranteed.

Cover design processes can be a bit like clothes shopping with your mum: there’s a fair bit of getting affronted when a suggestion is made because while sure, that’s a nice enough large geometric print a-line tunic/ cover design, DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME/HAVE YOU EVEN READ THIS BOOK? When you’re shopping with your mum you can pretend you thought she meant the tunic was something she would like, and you both save face, but with book covers you are terrified of pissing anyone at the publisher off and getting a reputation as A Difficult Author so you have to just say ‘that’s a very interesting direction’ while also screaming ‘NO NO NO’ with your eyes, which has a less than 100 percent success rate when done via email. Luckily for me, it all worked out fantastically well and my cover is the greatest, so please feel free to judge my book by the cover and recommend it to your friends and family accordingly.

It’s only just occurred to me that one of the great benefits of a really good cover is that if you’re feeling a bit nervous and fearful for your book, (which let’s face it, who isn’t, because it’s taken everything in you to write it and get this far and what if everyone hates it?) then you get to wrap it in a protective layer of someone else’s talent to present it to the world. That is an excellent deal.

I’m not going to show the cover in this post, because I am doing what’s called Building Interest. Next time, I promise. Or sooner, over on Instagram Stories, which is where I do most of my day-to-day timewasting or ‘Content Production’ as I prefer to call it.

On the home front, all continues as it generally does at this time of year, with various viruses queueing up all the way down the street to take their turn to strike us down. This week it’s May Blossom’s turn with a chest infection, while last week we had Garnet with my personal favourite, the Night Vomits. I was certain we’d all get it, as the virus was so virulent that practically every kindergartener at the school came down with it. But it’s seven days and eighteen bottles of Domestos later, so I think we might have dodged it.

Oh, and I’ve rejoined the gym and lost my mind with enthusiasm over it, as I am wont to do. I’ve been three days in a row and now I can’t walk up the stairs. I’ve been doing Zumba classes with the old ladies, like I used to. It’s all the same old ladies that were there before, but now they’re a few years older and a few years hotter than me. But this time I like them more. Last time I found all the sexiness and gyration and shouting ‘woooo!’ that goes on in a Zumba class completely intolerable. It made me cringe to see them all flailing about, loving themselves and reclaiming their sex appeal. And all those mirrors. Gave me the absolute horrors. Probably because I’d just had a baby and had lost my centre of gravity along with my sense of self, and couldn’t swing my hips in the right direction or in time with the correct arm to save myself. I felt like a highly uncoordinated hippo in a salsa club.

I don’t know what’s changed. Maybe it’s that I no longer have postnatal depression. Maybe it’s that I’ve come to terms with my new maternal figure and have realised that life’s too short not to dance yourself stupid with a bunch of life-loving women a few times a week. Maybe it’s because the first class I went to happened to be a fundraiser for the drought-stricken farmers so everyone there except me and one other newbie was dressed head to toe in animal print, all the songs were African-themed and half of the class was taught by a man in a gorilla costume. Whatever the reason, now I feel like a sexy highly uncoordinated hippo in a salsa club, which is a distinct improvement.

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