Book updates!

For those of you who are new here, I’ve written a book about my time as a field scientist and writer in remote locations around the Arctic and western Canada, and my journey to become an academic. That journey was marred by the challenges facing women in academia, and cut short by a devastating mental health diagnosis, at which point I went back to the writing I’d given up for academia but in a diminished capacity. My book is called Meltdown: The Making and Breaking of a Field Scientist, and will be published by University of Alberta Press. Read more here.

There’s lots of news to share! First of all, I have an official publication date of 17 June 2025: almost exactly one year away. So mark your calendar for the release date – I have, and am circling it twice.

I have a book cover! Don’t think I can share it publicly yet, but it’s pretty awesome. Apparently the Press’s spring catalogue is going live this week, so I’ll have a link to share in the next few days.

I’m currently at the copy editing stage. The copy editor goes over the manuscript to identify any continuity problems, flag any spelling/grammar issues, ensure the clarity of the writing, and generally make sure the manuscript follows the Press style guide. The copy editor will have her edits to me at the end of June, and we’ll work together to have them back to the Press by early August.

We’ve already been talking about potential blurbers for the book—these are other writers who read the book and provide a brief summary of their thoughts about it. Their quotes (blurbs) are used on the book itself and in the marketing material.

Usually blurbers get an advanced reader’s copy (ARC; hardcopy) of the book to read, but the Press doesn’t have those ready until two months before the book is released. This is too short a timeframe to get blurbs, so we will likely send them the copy edited and laid out manuscript in PDF format in the fall. It’s exciting to think of people you respect and admire reading your book and commenting on it—potential blurbers, please say yes to my blurb request!

I also have an author photo, which is the one on the ‘Book’ page of my website and was taken by my husband. I like it because it shows me doing what I enjoy—being outside in winter. Plus, I would be uncomfortable doing a photo shoot with makeup (which I never wear) and fancy clothes (which I don’t even own).

I’m not exactly sure what order things go in after the copy-editing and sending the PDF to the blurbers. I know there’s layout and proofreading to be done. But I don’t know what the timeline is on these things. 

What I do know is that the book is becoming real. I’m a bit nervous about it coming out since it’s so personal. But it’s also a universal story—person does something with their life then realizes maybe it was the wrong thing and is sidelined by problems that push them to do something different. That’s the basic storyline. A more detailed storyline would include remote Arctic and western Canadian fieldwork, being a writer and a woman in science, and dealing with mental health issues.

Regardless, you’ll see all of this in the Press’s catalogue later this week—maybe even today! I’ll update this post when the book link is live.

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