Monday, July 11, 2005

This and That and New Rules

Saturday I did a reading and a Q&A at the Westhampton Library in New York.  It was a gorgeous day and I didn’t expect much of a crowd as it’s a beach town.  But a lot of people attended.  Not that it was standing room only, but there were a respectable amount of people.  I hate doing these things, but once I’m into it I like it.  I wish I could remember that before hand. 

My editor called on Friday to say I’d have the edited manuscript back by Tuesday.  He also said there wasn’t much to do.  That was the case with the first book so I tend to believe him.  Still, I didn’t want to see that book so soon.  They do everything very fast at Ballantine.  I’m going away next week for about five or six days and then looking forward to a vacation in August.  By that I mean a vacation right here where I live.  But I bet the copy-edited manuscript will wing its way to me sometime in August.

I’m enjoying my freedom now,  and not looking forward to having to do anything with TOO DARN HOT.

The reviews in various newspapers and in online magazines are beginning. So far there was only one lousy one where the reviewer went on and on about Hammett and said that I didn’t measure up, and that my PI was no Sam Spade.  Really?  Why compare me with Hammett in this way?  I don’t understand that.

It didn’t bother me because I thought it was so stupid.  Bad reviews in newspapers or magazines, or blogs that I respect are a different animal.  That certainly can make me feel bad.

As I said in an earlier post, I don’t have a contract for future books in this series.  So at this moment I have no plans to start writing in the fall.  That may change if a contract is made with Ballantine, or some other publishing house.  I hope the latter doesn’t happen.  I don’t want to leave my editor.

One thing I didn’t have time to mention during the gruelling days of the final draft, is that Ballantine sent out a new style sheet to all authors.  I had to change my font and one couldn’t have two spaces between sentences (as most people my age were taught to do.)  So I had to think of that as I went through my revision.  And a CD had to accompany the final manuscript.  I use a computer and back up on a CD, but what about writers who still use a typewriter?  Or those who don’t have a CD drive. 

Call me crazy but I don’t like the feel of it.  I liked my font and I like two spaces between sentences.  But when I write the next book, if it’s for Ballantine, I’ll have to use a font I don’t like.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, and I suppose it isn’t, but it annoys me.  I’ve never thought of myself as part of the corporate world. What orders are going to come next?




write kathy said...

When I was taught to type back in high school in the mid 1980s,I had to leave two spaces between sentences. When I was a junior in college in 1990, I lost a letter grade on a paper for leaving two spaces. Microsoft Word greets me with green squiggly line when I try today. Two spaces were acceptable when I used my old Smith Corona. They were verboten when typing became word processing.

I don't think the change was generational, but technological.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I do wish people would leave their email addresses so I didn't have to post to respond. Whether the change was generational or technological isn't quite my point.

I've published a lot of books and this is the first time I've been told what font to use and how to space. I use Word and I don't get a green or any other color squiggly line if I make two spaces.

Anyway, thanks for leaving your comment and good luck with your writing.

Anne Bonney, Pirate said...

I learned how to type on manual typewriters and have kept up with the technology as it presented itself out of a sense of survival. I've even taught 'keyboarding' to middle and high schoolers and found myself referring to the 'enter' key as the 'return' key. It brought welcome relief to all of us to hear me speak a 'foreign language'. Talk about adaptation!

Double spacing between sentences, however, is a standard for us English teachers, but that's so we can make it 'bleed' more red ink with greater ease of viewing. (I've never used red pens to correct student papers. It hurts me to see it, I can imagine what it does to the kids.) I gave up on that one when I realized how 'uncool' it is. (High schoolers are more than ready to let a teacher know that, don't you know?) This adaptation makes me insist on double spacing between lines even more. SOMEONE has to keep a hold of the traditions!!

I got over the 'double space after a period and the beginning of new sentence' rule really quickly, however (it took about 6 months and I haven't had any 'relapses' for over 10 years).

I can certainly empathize with you, Ms Scoppettone. So much so, that I'd be having a fit if I was told a font was being chosen for me. That is totally disturbing to me as an artist. Maybe another publisher would be more understanding, and understandable? Especially since it's more for their financial gain than it is for allowing your work to be better expressed by a choicer font.

Keep writing!

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

So which font did they dictate, and which do you prefer to use?