Infinite Sky has an American release date! May 2014. Hurray!
Photographs have been taken for the cover, which I will share details of soon, and yesterday I finished checking the copy edits of the book.
It was the first time I have read Infinite Sky since proofreading it last year, due to being scared of hating it or finding 0.2,000,000 mistakes, so I was delighted to discover that it's really not that bad! I even found myself drawing sad faces at the end of several chapters, and not many novels make me do that. It's funnier than I'd remembered too. Especially the Matty chapters. She is fast becoming my favourite character, and I would really like to write more in her voice - she is so camp and amusing.
The funny thing about re-reading your own novel after so long is, that although you get pulled into it in a way that wasn't possible when you were re-reading it every day, there is still a detached part of you that remembers things about the choices you made as you wrote. It remembers why you wrote certain sentences, and sees your inspirations as you read.
When Iris dreams of being safe and in the cool green shade by the brook, I think of reading Roddy Doyle. And when she talks about the blue and white sky I think of D H Lawrence. When her dad confronts her, after discovering she has been secretly spending time with Trick, the Traveller boy, I think of reading Antonia White. I owe bits to all of them.
When she runs through the cornfields, I remember what it felt like returning home after my MA to my beloved Brook Farm, where I hadn't lived for ten years, and running through the farmer's fields with the dog, and how the grass and nettles catch your legs, and flies catch the sunlight, and how you really don't need anything except a little sun and somewhere to sit. Or at least what it feels like to believe that for a few minutes.
Mannerisms that I've stolen from friends and relatives over the years jump out at me, and the names of places and people that I've reappropriated remind me of how much of myself I put into the novel - years of observations! - debut novels are such personal things.
I also found some mistakes. Iris gets the names of certain birds and trees and fish wrong. If you can spot any of them, I will send you a prize.
Also, I am going to be giving away a signed copy of the lovely paperback, so check back for details about that soon!