It has arrived. Not by stork, but by lorry, but the feeling is much the same as that of holding a child. My book. I can heft it in my hand, my imaginary world made real through the sheer weight of the paperback with my name on the spine. Miniature bubbles fizz their way up my throat – it might be pride, it might be stomach acid, who knows? I lift the book to my nose and it smells like a new book does, an enticing scent of stories as yet unheard. Except that in this case I almost know the whole text verbatim, but it doesn’t matter that I know how it ends or what happens along the way – not this time.
At the precise moment when I caressed the cover of my book for the first time, I made a mental leap from writer to author. No major difference, one might argue, but at present I am very tempted to paraphrase Neil Armstrong, you know, “One giant step for …” But I won’t, as that would be rather trite. And yes, I know that the fact that the book has been printed & is available doesn’t automatically mean it will sell (of course it will, I say with a nervous grin) but for now I am just going to enjoy the moment and leave the marketing concerns for tomorrow.
As of today, other people than myself can make the acquaintance of Matthew and Alex, gain insight into their lives in the seventeenth century somewhere in Scotland. As I write that, I am overwhelmed by a sensation of vertigo, because as of today my creations are no longer my exclusive property. My readers (and may they be many) will endow my Matthew and my Alex with qualities and quirks, filling in the non described parts with what they think makes sense. I feel as I am launching a flotilla of miniature vessels – my characters – out onto uncharted seas. I hope all the effort I’ve put into making them buoyant will keep them afloat – actually, I’m sure they’ll do just fine.
There’s a book with my name on it people! I think I’m about to burst!
P.S. Thank you to all the wonderful people at Matador.
If you want to buy my book, visit troubador.co.uk or Amazon or Lovereading.co.uk.