Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Did On My Holidays

Nothing much gets done in the publishing business, in August.  Editors and agents are out of town; authors who still retain any shred of common sense should take some time off too.  The populations of towns in the industrial heartlands used to relocate en mass to slightly sunnier, coastal towns for their summer holidays.  In Scotland, cities still have trades fortnights, when tradespeople all go on holiday at the same time.  August is the publishing industry's trade holiday.  Try to take time off in any other month, and a massive, and massively urgent, copy edit of that novel you submitted several months ago is liable to turn up just as you're packing your bags.

I clearly don't have any common sense.  I've just delivered a novel, but instead of relocating, I've stayed in town.  London in August is half-deserted.  Families have loaded up their people carriers and 4x4s and vanished beyond the M25, or entrained through the Channel Tunnel for France and Italy, Spain and Portugal.  Away from the centre of town, streets have the somnolent, dust-blown air of an earlier, car-free decade.  You can hear birdsong.  Nothing much moves.  Even the Olympics hasn't really disturbed the tranquillity.  It's my favourite time of year.

And besides I've been working.  Editing a collection of short stories for publication next year, and preparing for Kindle, with my co-author Kim Newman, our post-alien invasion novella, Prisoners of the Action. The terrific cover is by award-winning artist and make-up maven Dave Elsey, and for those of you who aren't on holiday, it's available now.


Blogger Ken Houghton said...

"entrained through the Channel Tunnel for France and Italy, Spain and Portugal."

Good to see the Chunnel is good for something, even if it is just facilitating your peace of mind.

August 22, 2012 4:25 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

I like the Channel Tunnel. It's like a fragment from another, better future.

August 22, 2012 5:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. London is at its best when everyone has left. I like Christmas in London too, although it's disappointing that there's never any snow. Of course, I'm leaving town tomorrow for a week in hot Vienna, so I should talk.

August 22, 2012 11:22 pm  

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