On taking control of your writing

I personally could use some cheering up after the U.S. election, not gonna lie. So for this (very late! Blogs have taken a back seat, I’m sorry!) post, I’m going to get all excited about a thing that I love. In other words, my newest book, part 3 of the Mirrorworld series, Reckless: The Golden Yarn by Cornelia Funke.

reckless-photo
Look how pretty it is!

Funke has been my go-to favourite author for years. I kept the third book in her Inkheart trilogy beside my bed for a whole year when I was younger, and dipped in and out as needed, until I knew each page. I didn’t think I could love anything of hers as much as the Inkworld until I picked up Reckless. But once again (even in a book she now calls unfinished: a rewritten version has been published as Reckless: The Petrified Flesh), she showed her ability to seamlessly weave stories together. She is a master of language (extra impressive considering her books are translated from German) and of story-telling. I read the sequel to Reckless immediately when it came out, and had been waiting for book 3 ever since.

In case you can’t tell, Cornelia Funke was already something of a hero of mine thanks to her writing. But last year I discovered she had, after a disagreement with her publishers over suggested changes to The Golden Yarn, decided to set up her own publishing house. This way she could print her books herself, in the way that she wanted them to be read.

I thought this was brave and brilliant. I don’t intend to criticise her previous publishers at all; but the professional publishing industry is one which sometimes grants the creators of books less control over the finished product than they would like. To see an author I admired so much able to stand up to that aspect of the industry, and taking control of her own writing in that way, was incredible to me and I admired her so much for it.

Naturally this only added to my excitement over the third book in the series, The Golden Yarn. And naturally, a new publisher initially launching in the US would take even more time to come across seas (which I completely understand, that was something I was prepared to accept as the only drawback to the news… but… the English translation of book 2, Living Shadows, was first released in 2013. And it ends with a serious cliffhanger. That’s a long wait.) I could have bought the online version – at times I was tempted – but the book looked so pretty.

SO. Last month I was VERY EXCITED to find the new, pretty versions of books 1 and 2 in while browsing a bookshop. They have been republished with Pushkin Press. (I actually had a very excited chat with the bookseller about it.) Book 3 arrived on the third of November.  The Golden Yarn is sitting beside my bed right now and making me ridiculously happy.

There’s so much to look forward to – I’ve barely begun. In fact, I’ve got to go. I’ve got some reading to do…