Getting to limbo – The wilderness year or the ‘how can it possibly take this long’ conundrum: This is when you find out your book won’t be out for over a year! Seriously. 18 months is not uncommon. Of course for me there was also that little bit of unfinished business to take care of… a rewrite. Applying the revised synopsis that had persuaded Penguin took about 4 months. They loved it which, I have to tell you, was a serious load off. I now had a final draft! Er… again, no. The script then went to a copy editor who, very pleasantly, pointed out all my spelling mistakes, grammatical faux pas and general incompetence, but also said she loved the book and so joined the growing list of lovely people I’ve met along the way. At this point I was also asked for a dedication and acknowledgments. A few weeks later a thick envelope arrived from Penguin containing the proofs (see photo). For those who, like me, had no idea what this means, the proofs turned out to be an A4 printout of how the pages of the book will actually be laid out, for you to read and change anything you’ve written but now can’t live with. Now I knew my book was 404 pages long, and it was time to break out the red pen again.