I’ve waited thirteen years to write these words: I am now looking at a copy of Richard Matheson on Screen. That’s right, the book is off press and in my hot little hands (metaphorically, at least, or I wouldn’t be able to type this). And, as strange as it sounds, in some ways it has exceeded my expectations.
Y’see, during the course of researching, writing, and finalizing the book, I was—as loyal BOF readers know—forced in many cases to remove things, usually because I couldn’t obtain legal permission to quote various sources beyond a certain length, or at all. Then, McFarland’s copy editor removed some more text, presumably because he or she felt that I was going off on some unnecessary tangents, which I’ll be the first to admit I am wont to do. But they also took out some stuff I really cared about, so in the final analysis, after I edited the page proofs, I had to take it on faith that they would correct and/or restore that which was truly important to me.
I am delighted to report that, I would say, 95% of the time, they have done just that. Sure, some amusing typos crept in during their edit (my favorite is Tallulah “Bonkhead”), but in the main, it’s what I wanted, and even more. It’s been about a year since I had to turn in the manuscript, and of course Matheson material continues to appear all the time, as demonstrated by this blog. But in the process of making the final edits, I was able to include several items that have come to light since then, and make the book more timely than it was before.
I thank McFarland from the bottom of my Matheson-soaked heart for their scrupulous attention to detail, and for turning my ponderous pile of pages into a surprisingly slim and elegant volume, with nicely reproduced photographs and an attractive layout. This is a book to which I am proud to have my name attached, and I can only hope that when Richard sees it, he considers it worthy. Truly, this has been worth the wait.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this when the reality of it sinks in, but for now, I’m just in a pleasant state of shock and disbelief that after all this time, it’s finally here. Stay tuned.