Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had a few people ask me things like, “Oi, didn’t you say you were publishing a book? So where the heck is it? WAS IT ALL A DREAM?”

These people are beginning to worry (or possibly hope) that they imagined the whole thing.

THE DRAGON IN THE DRAIN is still coming soon. Promise. So what’s the delay, Cooper?

Well, I’ve been writing for years. But I’ve been publishing for never. And what I didn’t know before now is that when you prepare to publish, you create accidental side effects. Without realising, the further you travel down the road that is signposted “Edits”, you change reality and brew certain scientific conditions that are perfect for the replication and rapid growth of a certain kind of virus-like creature. It’s actually frightening how quickly these beasts can get a grip on your life and infiltrate your work. They run amok, leaving your writing battered and bruised. Sometimes they even leave it for dead. The worst thing is, they have the power to blind you to their very existence so you can’t even see them, no matter how hard you look. Then, when you finally believe you’re ready to publish, they cruelly reveal themselves at the very last moment: usually seconds after you’ve saved a file called, “FINAL final draft, definitely final, absolutely without question THIS ONE IS THE FINAL DRAFT!” That’s when they appear. And then they have a party.

Yes. That’s right. When you head towards publishing, no matter how many protective barriers you erect to protect yourself, no matter what convoluted steps you take to keep them at bay, you suddenly find that you’re an expert at something you never even set out to learn at all: breeding typos.

Some of them have probably spawned themselves in the time it’s taken to write this blog post. I’ve already deleted several. But these things have had the same qualities bestowed upon them by the universe as odd socks in washing baskets and plastic carrier bags kept under the sink: they are able to reproduce without human intervention. We are in constant battle to keep invasion at bay. This is serious stuff, people.

So, back to THE DRAGON IN THE DRAIN. It’s currently in the hands of a very experienced, absolutely merciless literary warrior. She is conducting a special purification process that involves hunting down every last critter and expelling it and all its friends and relatives from existence. That’s right. She’s a member of the most remorseless, pitiless, unforgiving group of people in the world: a proofreader.

So, THE DRAGON IN THE DRAIN is in the final stages of scrutiny, and it really is almost ready for release. Stay patient, faithful potential readers. I’m grateful for your stoicism.

Meanwhile, I’ve started writing the next book, which will be a sequel to THE DRAGON IN THE DRAIN. Exciting news! Hurrah! Six thousand words and a mere 476,000 typos so far.


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