Proofreader’s Exhaustion

We’re finishing up the final round of proofreading on my soon-to-be-published novel Death at the Flea Circus and I’m exhausted.  I’ve read the full novel four times now, making lists of corrections on each read-through.  Editors Bill Roberts and Christa Malone have each read it at least that many times, probably more, and given me their lists of suggested corrections and questions, each of which I’ve responded to, item by item.  This has been a particularly difficult text to proof because of the many archaic words I used for sections that are set in different centuries.  In many cases, we’ve had to research the history of a word, its spelling and usage in old books.  Also complicating the proofreading has been the novel’s highly convoluted and at times cryptic storyline.  I wrote this so long ago that I’d forgotten almost everything about the book, and rereading it felt more like a first time reading.  Now, after four readings, I have a better understanding of what’s going on in the story, although I still get confused about the details and there are many areas of mystery to me.  The book has benefited greatly from Christa’s expert suggestions; she has an amazing knowledge of language and the professional presentation of fiction.  I owe her a huge debt for the work she’s done on this book.  And I’m so glad we’re almost done proofreading.


About David Barker

David Barker is the author of two works of weird horror fiction written in collaboration with W. H. Pugmire: The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal and In the Gulfs of Dream & Other Lovecraftian Tales (both books were published by the now defunct Dark Renaissance Books, but copies are still available from Dark Regions Press.) Barker and Pugmire also collaborated on a Lovecraftian horror novel, Witches In Dreamland, which will be published by Hippocampus Press, possibly in late 2017. Recently, his stories and poems have appeared in Fungi, Cyaegha, Spectral Realms, The Art Mephitic, The Audient Void, The Indiscriminate Mixture and on He has a short story in the weird fiction anthology, Nightmare's Realm, edited by S. T. Joshi and published in 2017 by Dark Regions Press. He also has published several works of horror and bizarro fiction as Kindle ebooks, including the bizarro zombie novel Dead Guys in Packards. Together with Jordan Hofer, David Barker has written two nonfiction books about UFOs and alien abduction: Little Gray Bastards (published in 2016 by Schiffer Publishing) and Unidentifiable Flying Objects (due in Fall 2017 from Schiffer.)
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