Suddenly, it’s very real

Hello, friends. One of the strangest things about writing a book is knowing – or, more accurately, discovering – that it’s done. I mean finally, irrevocably, too-late-to-change-a-comma done. For me, this revelation usually foists itself upon me when I open an envelope from my lovely editor at Walker Books, Mara Bergman.

Rivals in the City (Walker Books ed)

It’s not that I’ve been unconscious throughout the editorial stages, of course. But editing is very much a process that clips along on someone else’s timeline. An email pings, a package of page proofs arrives; I look things up, I shuffle words. There’s usually a very tight deadline, which means that I’m working late into the night, and never have the chance to do the final read-through I really want to do. And then the whole thing vanishes again.

Eventually, however, my words come back to me and they’ve been transmogrified. They’re sandwiched between covers – in this case, one that’s embossed! There is my dedication, standing alone. There is the sharp, sawdust aroma of printer’s ink on paper. And so much work – thousands of hours, dozens of people – compressed into an object you can balance upon your palm.

It’s a gorgeous moment. It makes me gasp and feel proud and foolish and grateful and incredulous, every time. (It’s also a terrifying moment: there will be errata.) But more than anything, I am ready. I can’t wait for Rivals in the City to make its way into the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Three weeks, now.


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11 Responses to “Suddenly, it’s very real”

  1. Rade says:

    Congratulations! I can’t wait for my pre-ordered copy to arrive:-)

  2. Ying says:

    Thank you, Rade! I really hope you enjoy it.

  3. Woooooooot! :) Congratulations!!!

  4. Deni says:

    I want to read it so badly!! Is there any news of a release in the United States yet?

  5. Cass says:

    Yey! Congratulations! I can’t wait for it to hit Aussie Shores!!! I’m so excited!

  6. Ying says:

    Deni! So sorry for this late reply (your comment got shuffled into a pile of spam comments). Candlewick Press will publish the US/Cdn edition in February 2015.

  7. Ying says:

    Thank you, Cass! Not too much longer, now.

  8. Caroline says:


    I’m one of your French readers!
    First, congratulations for this fourth book, I am sooooooo impatient to read it!!!
    I hope you are going well, not too tired -like I am… How is the weather home? I even forget where you lived… shame on me… I read your kind of short biography so many times!
    I live in Netherlands since one year, and am going to an international school here (expensive, but very cool!), and last week, we had sun and it was warm, but today, we have clouds in a grey sky… despite this, it doesn’t rain; but I love rain and ”bad” weather, so everything is okay!

    I wanted to know if you had any idea of the pub date of Rivals in the city in French – I can read it in English, – I am becoming bilingual!!! – , but I prefer to have all of them in a same language… not that I don’t like English, but I read the first chapter – amazing!- and it seems like if, from one book to another, Mary and James suddenly chose to speak another language O.o… Does’t it sound weird?
    Again, ”bravo” for those books, this series is one of my favorites, (which might be strange when we know that the others are more heroic fantasy, but can’t we love everything? you revived in me the love of historic and detective story, for which my father compliments you!)
    I seriously can’t wait to read the rest of the story, it’s so sad that this is the last book!!!
    I love your writing style, and, mostly, your characters, which are all so good! I love Mary, I love James, I really like Felicity and even Octavius Jones ;p

    I am thinking about writing books, maybe as my job -actually I promised myself to write, but I still hesitate between novel and comics…

    Oh! And if, by chance, you come somewhere in France, Belgium or Netherlands (I don’t really believe in the last one… I don’t know why… an intuition…), for dedications or anything else, please, tell me!!
    Continue like this, and write others books!!!!!



    P.S.: sorry if I wrote too much, I hope I didn’t annoyed you talking about the rain and the good weather, I would just say that you and your books inspired me… :)

  9. Ying says:

    Caroline, I’m SO sorry for this slow reply! Your lovely comment was lost in a batch of spam but believe me, I’m certainly not annoyed by anything you write. I wish I had your good attitude towards grey skies. We’re having delightful early summer weather now – sunshine, blue skies, fluffy white clouds – and I’m so pleased and relieved that winter is finally gone.

    Thank you so much for your very kind words about the Agency novels. I’m thrilled to know how much you’ve enjoyed them! I’m afraid there are no plans to translate Rivals into French right now. I realize how frustrating that must be (I like my covers to match, as well) but I don’t think we are likely to see a French edition in the near future.

    Best of luck choosing your genre! Maybe you could try a little of each, and see what you prefer?

  10. glauber says:

    YAAAAY!!!! I know someone who will be very happy! And if she’s happy, i’m happy too! :-)

  11. Ying says:

    Here’s to happiness all around! Thanks for stopping by, glauber.

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