Has It Really Been 132 Years?
Well, it has been an actual 132 years since Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie was born, but it only feels like 132 years since I’ve been saying this book is ready to publish.
Christie’s birthday is September 15, which also happens to be Cozy Mystery Day. (No doubt in a nod to the Queen of Mystery.) There’s also an International Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay, England around this time with a week’s worth of Christie things to see, do, and learn.
Back in 2020, when we were all still hanging out in our homes, my husband sent for exotic ingredients like candied violets and gold flakes so he could bake a special Christie birthday cake. It was called “Delicious Death” after the cake prepared for Bunny’s birthday in the novel A Murder Is Announced – and it was quite delicious!
At that time, I was sure that the book would be finished shortly and then we’d get to work choosing images, laying everything out, and knocking off other minor tasks that needed to be done before publishing. Boy, was I ridiculously optimistic! I didn’t even complete all the research until the fall of 2021.
In my defense, we moved during that time, downsizing from the family home of 30+ years to a much smaller place. Clearing out and packing up was brutal and there was always work to do in my day job as well.
And now it’s the fall of 2022 and still no book. So what have I been doing in the past year?
- Editing the manuscript.
- Correctly formatting an extremely long bibliography.
- Searching for images to use as illustrations.
- Meticulously researching and documenting said images to prove they are in the public domain and won’t get me in trouble if I use them.
- Editing those images.
- Creating a cover design.
- Re-building my marketing platform.
And that’s just for the print version of the book. There will also be an online glossary that can be accessed from a phone or computer, so I’m uploading and cross-referencing all kinds of things there, too.
I’m not doing this all by myself, of course. Much of the technical stuff is done by my publisher who is also the cake-baker, my husband. While at the same time, we’re still doing our day jobs and volunteer projects and trying to have a little fun, too.
But we are getting super close now. Really we are! There are a few technical hurdles to get over, which are never as simple as you hope they will be, but progress is being made. Launching the book on Agatha Christie’s birthday would have been wonderful, but we couldn’t pull it off. I can promise, however, that this book will definitely be done before Agatha’s next birthday!
Photo by lil artsy