Twitchhiker | Paul Smith's travel tales from here and there

The Twitchhiker book – three weeks and counting
12/07/2010, 16:24
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Amazon has been updated with the final cover design for the Twitchhiker book, so I shouldn’t get into trouble by posting it here.

I’m really pleased with it – partly because the designer was sourced through Twitter (many thanks to @JO_PARRY_ART for her wonderful work) but also because the cover quotes are from two of my favourite people – Radio 2’s Alex Lester and Guardian columnist (and radio legend) Martin Kelner. In the words of Edouard LaPaglie: “I know I would.”

Three weeks to go!


Twitchhiker book spotted in the wild
05/06/2010, 22:27
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It’s just under two months until my book about twitchhiking is published, and the past week has been spent wading through copy edits and amends, and upsetting my editor by deciding to hack out whole chunks of chapters after the manuscript had been proofread. There’s a phrase about a horse and its cart that applies in such situations.

Anyway, yesterday I spied this in the grasp of a journalist – it’s a trade sampler of the book, which features the first draft of the first seven chapters. It’s produced to encourage wholesalers to stock the book and to pique the interest of the press.

I hadn’t seen a copy of it before, and became a little too excitable. Actually, I was looking for an opportunity to steal it, but short of a mugging it wasn’t going to happen.

Before yesterday, I only knew my book as a lengthy Word document, so it was surreal to see a sample of it typeset, my name splashed across the covers. Admittedly it’s the name of several thousand other people too, but I put those words inbetween those covers; where else will you read a book that travels three continents and takes in social media, human kindness, Indiana Jones, Glen Campbell, moon rock, Afterburner, Fox Mulder, hobbits, Porky Pig, Nutella, Rhys Ifans, dolphins, Superman II and Liv Tyler?

Very, very exciting. And not long to go!

The Twitchhiker book – done! Sort of. Nearly.
05/04/2010, 16:12
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It’s been deathly quiet round these parts for the past month, and with good reason – I’ve been trying to finish the first draft of the Twitchhiker book. I’m bloody thrilled to say that I completed the manuscript yesterday evening, with 85,903 glorious words, and only five weeks after my deadline passed.

I’ll tell you more about the writing process at some point, suffice to say it was the most difficult things I’ve done in my life. And there’s still oodles of work to be done; as this is the first draft, I’ve now got to work with my editor Lucy at Summersdale on revising the text and crafting it into better shape – editing, deleting, expanding where appropriate.

So lots to do, then, but I can now sleep a little more soundly. It also means if you’ve pre-ordered the Twitchhiker book on Amazon (and I’d be delighted if you did) there’s a far better chance of you receiving it, as opposed to a couple of months ago when the words were still locked in my head and stubbornly refusing to spill out through my fingers.

I’ll let you know more as and when I can, and hopefully I’ll be able to let you see the fabulous cover too, which was produced by @JO_PARRY_ART. It’s worth buying for that alone, as well as the foreword by the delectable @jemimakiss. Hooray!