As they climbed up into the hills above Beirut, Hartmoor gazed out of the car window at the buildings around them. No scent of spring for this trip, he reflected, the February rain greying out the scenery. Misty tendrils snaked around the treetops. He remembered his first journey on this road, past the sprawling village of Bchamoun at the foothills then the road winding through the villages clinging to the plunging gorges of the Chouf Mountains. Now, as then, the houses in the villages seemed stacked up on top of each other, densely packed on the steep hillsides.
To the side of the road ran a concrete storm drain that crossed the tarmac as the camber and direction changed, the grating covering it clanging under the taxi’s wheels. The taxi hit a pothole hard, the engine note jumping and a dark cloud left behind as the driver changed down a gear. The rosary hanging on his rear mirror jangled.
They passed the village of Ainab, Hartmoor marvelling at the number of new stone-clad villas, gated developments and building sites overlooking Beirut spread out far below. A blue sign proclaimed ‘Shimlan.’ He leaned forward and asked the driver to slow down, ‘Shway, Shway.’
From Shemlan - A Deadly Tragedy
The mornings and evenings this week have been a tad hectic, with proofreader Katie Stine chucking up no less than 230 line errors (where the hell did THEY come from?) in her edit of the MS of Shemlan - A Deadly Tragedy and my last editing round, performed using a Kindle, now almost over.
Its amazing that after so many edits, beta reads, a professional edit and a professional proof read (Katie's VERY good) that I'm still chucking stuff up but that's the way it goes with books. You can do a lot with 85,000 words, including word repetitions, lazy adjectives, little touches to clarify points, better word choices, filters (he saw the shiny spoon = the spoon shone) and more.
I'm giving a follow up workshop for the Hunna Ladies Writer's Group on Saturday at the Emirates LitFest's home, the Dar Al Adab - on how to self-publish a book. Last time we looked at how to write and edit, so now we're going to complete the exercise and look at how you can use POD and ebooks to make your work available to a truly global audience. What better example to use in the live demos than Shemlan itself? So I'll be publishing the e-book on Saturday.
That doesn't mean you'll be able to get your hands on it Saturday. Amazon Kindle takes 12-24 hours to populate, Createspace for the paperback can take longer (including the Book Depository which can actually take a couple of weeks to bring up a title) and Smashwords' Premium Catalogue (iBooks and the like) can similarly take a while. I reckon by my 'official' target publishing date of November 5th you'll be good to go and the links can go up.