Proof reading must be one of the most thankless tasks in publishing. It is a proof reader's responsibility to ensure there isn't a single mistake in a book, whether it be grammatical, timing, or literally anything else. The proof reader for Be Careful What You Wish For, came up with eight such queries in the 120,000 word novel, and the one that amused me most just goes to show how seriously they take their job. I had Harry Clifton returning from New York on a Comet aircraft - my research had shown that the Comet was in operation during this period - however, the proof reader discovered that the Comet was taken out of service for 6 months in 1957 for metal fatigue safety concerns, and can you believe it, Harry was making the trip during that 6 months. How many readers would have spotted this, is in itself a debateable point, but proof readers are not interested in such niceties, but in simply getting it right, and bravo to them. So what did I do? I didn't move the Comet, I moved the date. God bless 'em.
The final copy of Be Careful What You Wish for is now with the publisher and will be on the bookstands on March 13th next year.
After an exhausting evening on Thursday, I was late down to the gym on Friday morning, but as my trainer advises me, at my age, it's important not just to do cardio (I can still run an 8 minute mile flat out - and flat out is what I am at the end of the effort), but that stretching is absolutely vital - even when she's not there watching me. Lunch with an old friend, Michael Parker, former Olympic 110m hudler, perked me up. He's writing a book on how to pitch, and having been with Saatchi & Saatchi for some 20 years, his opinions are worth listening to - I'll let you know when the book is published.
In the evening, Mary and I went to the opening night of Eat, Pray, Laugh! Barry Humphries' farewell tour at the Palladium. Another exhausting evening, where I laughed so much I had to bend double to make sure I didn't get a stitch. Dame Edna was on her usual wicked form - impossible to believe she's 79 years old - and although I would encourage every one of my readers to attend the great Dame's farewell ceremony, I would advise you not to sit in the first 5 rows, not least because Sir Les will spit all over you in the first half, and in the second half, Dame Edna will make you cringe with embarassment. It's a well known fact that Dame Edna's shows always book from the back to the front. But don't miss it, you'll never see her like again.