Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Salt Story update

 My book, out in November, is called Salt Story, of sea dogs and fisherwomen. So now it has a real name!
Yesterday the Australia Post lady beeped outside (she's a bit worried about that brindle hound Wolf) and when I lurched outside in my nightie, she handed me a parcel from her car. It's the typeset proofs.

The editor at Fremantle Press and I have been sending edits back and forth for six months now; pages full of red squiggly lines, cross-throughs and comments; using MS words's track changes. I've shifted chapters around and shifted them back on her suggestions, rewritten introductions and conclusions, changed names and written new stories. Yesterday was the first time I've seen the book in the above format. It was just photocopied A4 pages but eventually it will look like a real proper booky book. 

Then there are some of the images that the graphics folk will use to illustrate Salt Story:

The fish pictures were created during an 1841 zoological expedition around Australia and published in a weighty tome called The Zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Erebus & Terror: Under the command of Captain Sir James Clarke Ross, During the years 1839 to 1843. The Western Australian Museum provided the scans.

The publisher printed out six copies of the book so I could give the fishermen copies to check. I want them all to be okay with their representations and their pseudonyms. Yesterday I drove down to the fish factory where I knew I could find some of them, because it is where they buy ice or drop off fish to be processed.
'Axel's' wife was in the office but, "Hubby's out at Stokes' Inlet with Unruly. They're sharing a car because of the fuel costs getting back and forth. They'll be in on Saturday." She looked at the manuscript. "Is his name really Axel in your book?"
She looked at me curiously. "How did you come up with that name?"
"Don't know. It just popped into my head."
"I don't reckon he will like it. In fact, I know he will hate it."
"His mum had a 'dalliance' with a bloke called Axel, about thirty years ago. He doesn't like him very much."
So I guess there are still changes to be made! Thank goodness I'm running it by the fisher men and women first.


  1. I'm SO EXCITED to read it! Great to see the proofs...possible to pre-order a copy yet?

  2. Replies
    1. Double fantastic! Reminds me of a local Chinese restaurant.

  3. Joy! My heartfelt best wishes for all your endeavours Sarah Toa.

  4. OMG!!! wonderful to have got this far.

  5. Cheers Peter, MF and Tom. Isn't it? (Exciting, Joy and Brilliant.) It's quite amazing to see the amount of work that goes into something you pick up and read everyday - and not only from the one who supplied the raw material.

  6. Well done. another step forward. Love the Axel connection. Writing can be very funny /strange. I'm apprehensive about that step when I let relatives see what I've made of their ancestors.

  7. I have been freaking out about this bit Mr Hat, but it seems they are happy with my work. Phrew.

  8. My ethical local fishmonger had a fresh flying fish in his cool room yesterday. I wondered if that was merely by-catch. I've never seen fillets of flying fish in any display before? Those early illustrations are fantastic aren't they.

  9. Yes they are lovely.
    My nan used to tell a story about buying flying fish from the markets in England. "Do you want the wings as well?" He'd ask her.
    "I want a fish, not a chicken!" she retorted.

  10. The illos are gorgeous, it will be a beautiful publication. And funny about Axel and what Mrs Axel said.

  11. Congratulations! The illustrations are a nice touch.

  12. Thanks Sontag, not there yet but I've been fairly quiet about the book during my last lot of rants and yarns. Yes, the illustrations are beautiful. You can download the Erebus and Terror book and have a look through it, if you are interested in zoological illustrations and descriptions. It's a real gem.