I remember (very clearly!) how much hard work it was putting the stories of Not So Perfect in order. We (me and the wonderful Roast Books people) knew which story we wanted to start with and which we wanted to end with, and that was about it. Making sure what went between them flowed (for those who would read it in order) and making sure it was balanced and sensible was, well, it was not easy and it took an awful lot of time getting it right. (And I DO think we got it right, which is good.)

So. Not So Perfect has 22 stories in it.

Freaks!, the next book has 50. And they’ve been written with Someone Else, ie (should that not really be elle est??) the very lovely and superbly talented Caroline Smailes (more on that, and the process, to come I imagine).


50 stories that needed putting in order.

We tackled the problem head on. We met yesterday morning and spent pretty much the whole day frowning, umming, arring, laying stories on the floor, arranging them, rearranging them, sometimes scratching our heads, and occasionally swearing. It was hard work. But we did it. In the end. Caroline didn’t even need to shout at me once. (Huge thanks must go to the brilliant and generous Fabri, who let us borrow the upstairs of the cafe he runs where we had sufficient space to have fifty stories and their illustrations on the floor – it made things SO much easier. The lemonade helped too.)

So, Freaks! is nearly totally finished. There are still bits to do, illustrations to come in, edits to complete and things but, yesterday, for the first time, we got a proper idea of how the book will look. And I’ve got to say, I’m really, really excited about it.

And some pics…

The manuscript.

Pretty thick.
Scattered Stories
FINALLY! The stories in order! Go, us!

16 Comments on “Order!

  1.  by  Caroline

    That's me thinking,'What the hell have you just done, Nik!?' And, also, where are my shoes? Was an ace day! πŸ˜‰ x

  2.  by  dan powell

    That photo with the stories all across the steps is ace. Must have felt great to get to that point. Looking forward to reading the result.

  3.  by  Emma

    Sounds & looks like quite the process! Looking forward to seeing the finished article πŸ™‚

  4.  by  Brigid

    Looking forward to reading them, I am trying to write a novel at the moment, so that encouraged me for some reason.I think your caption 'Scattered Stories' could make a good name for a collection.

  5.  by  Steve Murphy

    Well done mate, I think if I zoom in on the photos … I don't need to buy the book … What a skinflint … Looking forward to it Nik ! πŸ™‚

  6.  by  Nik Perring

    Ha! Caroline – I had no idea it distressed you so much! Thank god it all worked out in the end! And it certainly was an ace day – thanks so much for driving over! x

  7.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks Emma! I'm not sure 'process' is the right word – crossing fingers and hoping, might be more accurate!

  8.  by  Nik Perring

    Thanks Brigid – and I'm thrilled to hear we've helped in some way. Writing's never easy and it's always nice when we get a little boost! Best of luck with it!You never know, 'Scattered Stories' might just be the title of a book one day – if it is I'll buy you cake to say thanks!

  9.  by  Nik Perring

    Ha! Thanks Steve! I actually had to pull the picture of the illustrations because it revealed too much (not for greedy money reasons, because all will be revealed at the right time!).Hope you enjoy it when it comes out…!

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