I’ve signed the contract now, so I guess this is as official as it gets so…
I have a book deal!
I’m writing a popular book on infrared astronomy for the Taylor and Francis imprint CRC Press – these are the people who publish, among other things, the tome known in science labs across the world as the Rubber Bible.
Working title for the book is ‘Infrared Astronomy: Seeing the Heat’ and it will present a run down of the achievements of infrared astronomy across the whole of astrophysics. Since working in the infrared has now become part of the bread and butter of astrophysicists, this means that the book is also going to be a summary, to some extent, of the current state of play in much of astronomy, form planets to cosmology.
All more easily said than done, since I now have to write it.
Those of you paying attention will have seen that a second page to this blog, titled Infrared Astronomy Book, popped up not so long ago. Various things associated with the book will end up there – additional material, links to images, that kind of thing. I may also say something about the writing process on these pages as I bring my way through it.
I’ve already found that there are some interesting similarities and differences in writing fiction and non-fiction. The IR Astronomy book, for example, is already well outlined – this was part of the proposal process – while my approach with fiction is that as long as I know where to start and how to finish, I don’t find a detailed structure that useful (quite the opposite in fact).
I’ve finished the first draft of the chapter in infrared detectors, and am now writing the first astronomical chapter to be written (though not the first astronomical chapter in the book), which is about the lives of normal stars.
I’m also writing this part of the book at an observatory, since I’m working at the Submillimetre Array in Hawaii for the next week.