morning Doubleday shocked the hell out of me by sending me
the book cover for Company.
I didn’t even know they’d
started work on it, which was crafty of them. If I had, I would
have been all over them, raising concerns and highlighting
issues. Because I’m helpful like that. Instead: bang! Here it is.
And I like it! The majority of novel covers, in my
humble opinion, blow like crazy, so I’m hugely relieved to get
one that’s clean and cool and kind of intriguing. The design is
by Michael Windsor, the same guy who did
Jennifer Government cover,
so if you noticed a certain similarity of style, well done you.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Max, that looks all
right, I guess, but… I dunno, what’s the donut for?” To
which I am happy to tell you: oh, you’ll find out.
Oh, man. I’ve done it. I’ve finished my new draft of
I think what I’m feeling now is relief. I’ve been editing this
thing for more than a year, on top of the year it took to write.
I actually had the initial idea in 2001, and took at least three
stabs at initial chapters in that year and the next. It has been
a very long road to here.
I’m relieved that I can think about something else for the next
two or three weeks, while I wait for my editor to give me feedback.
And I’m relieved at finally being done. But mostly I’m relieved
that I think I finally managed to do justice to the idea that’s
been bouncing around in my head for the last four years.
I’ve always had a lot of faith in the central concept, but I
sometimes wondered if the characters were up to the job. I tried
all kinds of variations.
I threw people out and auditioned alternatives. In the last
draft (hello, number eight), the biggest rewrite of them all,
I gave the two main characters complete personality overhauls.
Brain surgery couldn’t be this messy. I had bits of people everywhere.
But ohhhh, it’s so much better now.
About a month ago Doubleday told me they were pushing Company
out to 2006, since I was taking so long on the edits.
I cringed. I have been trying to build up the courage to
announce this since then. I’m really sorry—I wish this book
could come out this year. But I’m really glad it’s not.
I hate the old version of Company now. I love my new book.