Thursday, February 09, 2006

salamanca: the road to publication

I took a day off from work today, after spending the night barely able to breathe. I had a low grade fever, nothing serious, but enough to give me difficulty in focusing my mind - even American Idol seemed utterly banal.

I did have a previously set meeting with my publisher, so I took a cab to Katipunan in the early afternoon, hoping it would be mercifully brief. In addition to the usual contents of my pocket, I carried tissue paper to wipe my nose with.

My publisher/editor, Maricor - one of the most incredibly nice people in the world - came with the book contract and the edited manuscript, both for my approval. I spent the better part of an hour trying not do suffocate in my own snot and going through my text, which had three kinds of corrections:

1. Replace "towards" with "toward". I favor "towards" and it really stunned me to see how often I used that word in "Salamanca". Maricor explained that it was simply a matter of American preference. I did not quibble and accepted the change.

2. Drop the hyphen in compound words. Apparently, the common style now is to write "newly born" instead of "newly-born". There are some exceptions to the rule, such as if the compound word is a noun, but I agreed and swiftly changed them all. As long as what I wanted to say is there, I do not begrudge the loss of my hyphens.

3. A two sentence dialogue exchange that left me wondering what I was trying to say in the first place. It was a simple thing to alter attribution.

And so the editing and approval phase is done. I gave comments on the cover and had the dog (Shiro) removed. "Salamanca" will have two versions: the high end cream paper version and the newprint Student Edition. We are scheduled to go to press by end of the month, and the launch is tentatively set for April 1st (I know, April Fool's Day, which underscores dramatically the fact that part of me is still in disbelief that this is even happening).

Contractwise, I assigned the Philippine rights to the publisher for five years. This means that after that span of time, I can publish the book myself or give it to another local publisher. I hold the international rights as well as the film rights (hope springs eternal, after all).

Ateneo will also review my first collection of short fiction. For this anthology, which will see print one way or the other I promise you, I'm selecting around 12 or so of my more recent stories (2002 upwards, because I cringe at my earlier work). I'm thinking of the following:

1. L'Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)
2. Terminos
3. How Rosang Taba won a Race
4. The Maiden and the Crocodile
5. Four-Letter Words
6. Saturdays with Fray Villalobos
7. Dragon Eyes -
8. Into the Morning
9. Rope
10. the Gaiman entry
11. Karnac or Graveltown or my Tin Soldier redux
12. The Middle Prince
13. Hollow Girl: A Romance

Sadly, I have no intention of collecting my plays (I have several, of which six won Palancas) in the near future, unless someone offers to do so. I prefer to work on and publish my fiction.

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