I couldn’t have imagined this when I started posting here back in January, but Shady Characters has a book deal. I am still battling with disbelief.
Laurie Abkemeier of DeFiore and Company got in touch back in March; we put together a book proposal over the next few months, and just last week Laurie emailed me to let me know that it had been picked up by the publishing house W.W. Norton. I’ll be working on the book over the next year or so with Brendan Curry, one of Norton’s non-fiction editors, and it will appear in shops — well, honestly, I have no idea when it’ll be ready!
What does this mean for the Shady Characters website?
First, I’m going to take a break from writing longer articles for a little while. Though I love writing the articles here, it’s a time-consuming business and (perhaps selfishly) I’m looking forward to a little time away from these longer articles.
Second, and more importantly, in no way is the site “finished” or closed for business! The site will continue to be updated, both with news of the book and with new articles. Not only that, I’ll still be watching the comments with as much enthusiasm as ever: some of the most widely-discussed articles here have come from comments and emails sent in by Shady Characters readers, and I’m sure there are many more to come.
Finally, some thanks are due. Writing for the site has been eye-opening, in the best of senses; my own knowledge of punctuation, grammar and typography is dwarfed by that of the site’s readership, and to pretend otherwise would be to do you all a disservice. Thank you for reading, commenting, sending in your thoughts and corrections, and for supporting the site on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, I must thank my friend Jeff Sanders, who has patiently read over each article draft (often on Saturday night or Sunday morning as I scrambled to get it finished in time) to make corrections and suggestions that have improved each one immensely.
Thank you all!
Oh, and there’s still time to vote on your favourite Grammar Blog of the Year — perhaps a last-minute effort could propel Shady Characters to the top of the list¡