Draft 3 of my next book is back with my editor!

This is good news indeed! Draft 3 means that most of the creative work is done. All that is left now is a bit of tweaking here and there and a big sigh of relief.

There are a few more steps before the book is published including copy editing where you think you've spotted all the possible errors in spelling and punctuation and but your editor manages to find thirty-three more, line editing where each word, comma and full stop are checked by a very patient person, and the first proof where you see the book laid out as it will appear as the final published book (this is exciting until you spot another three errors!).

There will also be a wonderfully creative illustrator hard at work designing the book cover. I should be seeing some ideas soon. Can't wait!

It is around this time that I will start to seriously think about the next book. I love this stage because anything can happen. Ideas will be forming which seem totally unrelated to each other. These are sometimes just images of things that pop into my head, phrases, things that I read about or watch on TV. Characters begin to take hold - I have no idea where they come from - but I just get a sense of them and maybe start to talk to them (in my head, of course, otherwise it would be weird). I am constantly collecting ideas in a notebook. I write down EVERYTHING. I have learned to do this the hard way by having a totally marvellous idea in the middle of a supermarket, then forgetting it by the time I've got home.