Welcome to my
online journal...

My name is Alexander Gordon Smith, and I'm the author of various books including The Inventors series and the brand new Furnace series.

This is my blog, and is where I talk about books, writing and, well, probably other stuff too...

A Break Between Edits...

I've just sent off the final proof edit for Furnace: Solitary, which feels great. It is a terrifying, spine-chilling, bowel-loosening feeling, though, sending a book off for the final time. I mean even in this final read-through I found some more typos. Frank, my uncle and a great proof-reader (and writer), found one where I'd written 'nose' instead of 'noise'. How do these things slip through?! There are bound to be some typos in the finished book, but I guess that's just life. And it happens to everyone. I recently read on the wonderful and mega-famous Darren Shan's blog that his latest Demonata book had a whopping great big typo on the last page where the publisher had run some text on from the last line. Which is awful!

Anyway, Furnace 2 is now done and dusted, and it's now straight on to the copy edit for Furnace 3. Copy edits are less stressful than proof edits, I find, as you know you'll have a couple more chances to change anything further down the line. However, they are a lot more work because they often involve some big and complicated structural edits, and sometimes rewrites of entire sections of the book. But I've only got until Friday to get this back to Trevor, the fantastic copy-editor, so I'm hoping it won't be too bad...

Before I crack on with that, though, here's a quick rundown of the highlights from the last few days:

Thursday: Lynsey, Lucy and I went to Yarmouth for a quick visit to the Sea Life Centre, which was fab. There are loads of great fish and other sea creatures there, some of which you can touch. I even prodded a starfish, although was told afterwards that I'd actually poked it in the bum (which is right in the middle of its back). Nice! The highlight of the place was the octopus, which was only small but which was truly mesmerising to watch. They are so graceful, and so alien, and so beautiful. And they're as clever as dogs, cleverer actually as they can unscrew jars if they want whatever's inside, and I've never seen a dog unscrew a jar! After that we walked along the seafront playing on the arcades and eating fish and chips and doughnuts. Great fun! The only disappointment about the day was that Jamie didn't want to come. He wanted to go into town with his friends and buy World of Warcraft. Oh where has my lovely little brother gone?!

I popped into town afterwards to meet up with some friends, Luke, John and Nathan. But by 10 we were all knackered, and Luke, bless him, had actually fallen asleep in the bar. It's terrible getting old.

Friday: Lucy was at a sleepover so Lynsey and I went to see Let the Right One In, which is an amazing Swedish vampire film. I won't say too much about it, other than that it is remarkably atmospheric, and terrifying. The two main actors, both children, are fantastic, and the film instantly catapulted its way into my top five vampire films of all time. Go see it! I'm going to buy the book as well, as apparently it's also really, really good.

Saturday: My good friend Joel is getting married in a couple of weeks, and to celebrate his Stagness we decided to do something outdoorsy and adventurous. Luke booked fourteen of us at Go Ape, which is a massive assault course set 35 feet above the ground in Thetford Forest. I've been before, and remembered very little about it except for being covered in cold sweat and shaking like a leaf by the time I'd finished. It seemed a little better this time round, but it's still bloody hard work. It's all climbing rope ladders, crossing tiny bridges, swinging over the ground on Tarzan swings, struggling up rope nets and speeding down ziplines, which was all terrifying but great, great fun. By the time I'd finished I was definitely at least 3% more of a man than when I'd started. After that it was curry then beer, although I managed to get away with only having four pints and a cup of tea, and as a result lost the 3% gain in manliness that I had accrued earlier than day. Never mind.

Sunday: I was on the radio, see below!

Monday: Kung Fu again, and we're all really getting into it now. We've finished learning the first form, and plenty more to boot. So much fun! And Jamie seemed much more himself today as well, rather than the sulky teenager we've got used to. It was fun watching Lucy and Jamie playing around crazily like they always used to!

So that's about it for the last few days. I'd better get on with the edit now, wish me luck!

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