I’m excited to share that, at very long last, my trusty tome that was originally published as Bugs Bites & Bowels
is being relaunched at the end of this year. This will be its sixth edition. The fifth came out way back in 2009 so it was in sore need of an update. Indeed, I updated it in 2011 (ready for a relaunch that got scuppered), then in 2019 (that delay was down to COVID) and again in 2022, and we have just finished the final tweaks and polishing. It went off to the printers over the weekend.
Meanwhile I’ve been driving various editors at the new publisher – Fox Chapel – to distraction with my authorial pernicketiness. The book is a comprehensive health guide that can be used by travellers when remote from clinical help. I explained to the team that – given that it might be being accessed by someone who is ill or anxious and where there is no electricity or internet – that the index and cross referencing needed to be really good and I needed time to check all that over.
Publishing being publishing there was – as ever – a tight schedule and they gave me three days.
I started on the index. Now indexing is a profession and there are specialist medical indexers so the first thing that leapt out at me was some rather daft entries viz.:
African tick-bite fever was listed under A
African vervet monkeys was also listed under A
Little fire ants was listed under L
Oriental schistosomiasis under O
Severe burns under S
Yellow oleander under Y, and
West Indian stinging ants under W
I’ve asked various friends and relations where, for example, they’d look for information on severe burns and they were unanimous that they’d look under B not S, and none of them are professional indexers. The current indexer doesn’t seem exceptional though. In a previous edition we narrowly escaped Old and New-World screw-worms – those revolting eaters of living flesh – appearing under O and N respectively. But maybe my subject is just too rarefied and I should cut some slack.
Bashing the index into a condition that I felt would help a panicking traveller took the equivalent of three full days, though, but as I only had three days the index was completed – with me growing steadily more cross-eyed – over two 12-hour days. Only then could I start on the cross references within the text.
So, dear readers, please consider the amount of time and love that has gone into this book and kindly post lots of nice reviews on Amazon or wherever and tell your friends.
I believe it will be out in November in both hard back and paperback as well as in electronic format. It can be pre-ordered on Amazon.