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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Author Interview Katherine Roberts Q2

The countdown : 8 days to go!

Every day from now until Song Quest by Katherine Roberts is back in print and her new novel the Sword of Light is released, I'll be sharing with you a question posed by me and answered by Katherine. The most in depth answers ever offered by an author in bitesize daily doses. Enjoy! And my thanks to Katherine for taking part.

If you haven't read my review of Sword of Light, follow this LINK.

More information about the Song Quest Campaign can be found HERE.

Question 2


Can you tell us a bit about the process of Song Quest being taken on by Catnip? Are there any different steps in the process for a book that has been with a previous publisher? Is it a different experience second time around?

The publishing process picks up later, at proof stage, missing out all the detailed editing and rewriting that happened the first time round. This makes sense, since that part of the work on the book has already been done. There are still proofs to check, though, because the layout of a book is copyrighted to the original publisher. In this case, I believe Catnip bought a copy of the Chicken House edition and retyped it, then reset the story for printing with fresh illustrations. They also commissioned a new cover image, which they put to a vote for the final colour decision – black or gold – and readers voted for gold. So the finished book looks a bit different, but I resisted rewriting the story so the words are the same. In this age of e-books, I’m delighted that “Song Quest” will soon be back in print as a proper book.

The experience of being published this time around is different because I have moved on to new projects. Song Quest’s first publication ten years ago was very exciting for me, since it was my first published novel and represented a personal achievement after five years of rejection from publishers and agents. My first editor Barry Cunningham visited me at home to make the offer, and then worked closely with me throughout the editing process, bringing the book out in hardcover with Element Books, where he had moved to set up a children's list after signing JK Rowling for Bloomsbury.

"Song Quest" could easily have sunk without trace, as many debut books do, except Waterstones in Piccadilly ordered 150 copies and displayed them around their foyer, and soon after that I got a phone call to tell me the book had won the Branford Boase Award, and would I be coming to the ceremony? Since I had no agent at the time to tell me what to expect, I thought this was all quite normal for a first novel! Then Disney asked to read it and things got even more exciting, but in the end they decided not to make the film, which was probably just as well because any money from such a deal would have been lost when Element went into receivership a year later... publishing is full of such ups and downs!

Anyway, after noticing your wonderful campaign to get the book back into print (THANK YOU!) Catnip must have visited my website and seen that the rights had reverted to me… and so a new edition was born, making Song Quest my longest surviving book in paper format with three UK editions so far – Element, Chicken House, and now Catnip.
Katherine Roberts

Three UK editions! And in just eight days, I will own them all. I am so excited! I can't wait to see the cover in the flesh (well, paper).

You can visit Katherine's website:

Rhianna Pendragon, heroine of Sword of Light, is on Twitter. Follow her here: www.twitter.com/PendragonGirl
Tomorrow, Question 3!

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