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Page proofs.

One day, a huge package arrives from the publisher and when you open it up it's full of pages of words - that you've written. You can look at those words on a screen, or print them out with your home printer, but it will never, ever look the same as this pile of pages.

Once you've finished admiring the stack, you read it and I don't know about other authors, but for me, it's like reading a book you haven't read before. There's something familiar about it, but it's fresh and different.

At times, there's a small flutter of delight when you come across a twist or character you weren't expecting. At times, there's a stomach-dropping disappointment that something's not right - a word, a character's reaction, a place. But most of these things have been ironed out by this stage, and the seemingly ever patient editor listens and offers an opinion and together, you fix things.


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