ARCs of LATITUDE ZERO are here! My editor snapped this picture of them shrouded in mystery, beneath racing numbers that show the publication date. (Many thanks to the talented Renee Combs for designing the numbers!)

ARCs at the starting line! On your marks, get set . . .

These galley copies are now starting their journey out into the world, making their way to reviewers and to booksellers. As a writer, this is the part where it can feel hard to let go. It’s scary — there are still some corrections to be made, proof pages to review. But it’s exciting, too. The book looks and feels like a real book, as opposed to a mess of papers and Post-its and computer files. It’s time to let go and let it find its readers. I hope it is well-stretched and hydrated. I wish it well.

A box of ARCs arrived at my house this weekend, too, and here’s what they look like without the racing numbers:

Latitude Zero ARCs! Looking like a real book!

I’m so happy with the book design — it’s so creative! The designer, Kate Renner, superimposed a bike wheel on the cover. The crowd scene in Quito, Ecuador conveys and mystery and international intrigue. Kate also turned the book spine into a road, reflecting the book’s bike racing context. You can’t see it well in this picture, but black pages divide the book into Parts 1 and 2, resembling the equatorial line that is also a significant part of the story. There are lots of other cool things in the book design, from how the pages numbers are laid out to a recurring graphic on the bottom of the page. Book design is a fascinating art, and I’m just in awe of all the attention to detail.

Here are some scenes of what the book looked like before galleys — you can see that it’s come a long way!

Winter 2012-13: a book in process!
A draft in process – aerial view
Latitude Zero climbing the walls! (This is a system of matching scenes to settings)
LATITUDE ZERO creeps into my husband’s shopping list! (I get a lot of ideas on the whiteboard in our kitchen)
LATITUDE ZERO at the beach! I keep 6-8 notebooks per novel; here’s a working notebook plus manuscript pages in revision.
LATITUDE ZERO on a family vacation! (Loose leaf pages on a windy beach not so practical….)
An early manuscript draft of LATITUDE ZERO – a year ago just the sight of these stacked-up pages was a huge thrill!