Shiver the Whole Night Through: status report

About a month ago I wrote here of how my debut Young Adult novel, Shiver the Whole Night Through, will be published by Hot Key Books in November. Figured it was about time for a status report, so…here it is.

First, the manuscript (actually a typescript nowadays, but that word doesn’t sound half so good) is finished. My editor, Naomi Colthurst, had some suggested changes from my original draft of the novel – all of which made it a better book, though of course as an egotistical writer, I didn’t want to hear this! (Also, I’m a lazy man. Work = bad.)

Anyway, I did the major rewrite earlier this year, and over the last few weeks Naomi and me have been making a few final tweaks…now we’re more-or-less done. The MS will be copy-edited as well, of course, then the laid-out book proofread a few times…ah yes, it’s all glamour, this writing game!

But the whole thing is getting quite exciting now, because we can see the completed book in sight. Already the Hot Key design people have been beavering away on a cover – from rough proofs I’ve seen, it’ll be great. Very cool and evocative; captures the mood of the book bang-on. And most importantly I guess, really leaps out at the reader from a book-shelf.

We’re also (almost) at the point of adding in acknowledgments and so on. I’ll write up a brief bio of myself – always nice to introduce yourself and your work to new readers – but I’m not a huge fan of lengthy ‘thank you’ lists in books, for a number of reasons I won’t bore you with here. It’s a mixture of personal experience and point of principle.

My last two published novels had very brief acknowledgments: Even Flow just read, ‘For Majella’ (my wife), and The Polka Dot Girl read, ‘For women everywhere.’ Simple as that. I’ll probably stick to something similar with Shiver the Whole Night Through, and hold off on the extended greetings and salutations* until I win the Oscar.

I’ve also been doing up a Spotify playlist to accompany the book – a sort of soundtrack to it. Music that inspired the book, that I listened to while writing it, that complements the story or expresses something inexpressible about the characters and themes. It’s been massively enjoyable, listening to great music for work, and a little head-wrecking too. But in a nice way. We’ll link directly to this in the e-book, and have a web address in the print edition. The music isn’t strictly necessary to enjoy Shiver, but it’s a cool little add-on, an aural embellishment.

So that’s where we stand. All I gotta do now is kick back, get slowly drunk for about four months, then rouse myself sometime in October and prep for publication. Hurray!


*That’s a quote from Heathers. If you haven’t seen it yet, rectify this immediately. The best movie ever made about teenagers. It’s 18-cert, by the way, so if you’re not yet an adult…eh, don’t let your parents catch you. I think a 15-cert would have been fine anyway, it ain’t Texas Chainsaw Massacre.


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