Meeting my books

And so…..(in deeply hushed and reverential tones)……They. Have. Arrived. ‘They’ being the books, obviously.


It isn’t often that dreams come true (sadly) but I feel as though some of mine have. So much so that I hardly dare believe it. In fact, I don’t believe it. Not yet. The evidence is lined up on my bookshelves, 35 copies of Things He Never Knew; my dream is now tangible, and I still feel as though I’m just looking at it. I’m not living in it yet. At what point will that change? No idea. I’ll let you know.

My books arrived exactly as I had always imagined that they would. Well, almost. Technically, I slept through it. That’s right, I slept through the most exciting arrival of my life (children aside; and it would be impossible to sleep through that) because they arrived at 8:30am on Friday morning. But apart from that, it was exactly how I always imagined. Two, biggish boxes which when I opened them were stuffed full of my books. And I was pleased, I got 35 copies. It’s quite a hard thing to take in, to stare at something that came from my imagination, that I created. Many things exist in my imagination but it is rare for me to see one of them sitting in front of me. One box was full of books and one was half-full of books and half-full of promotional material which was equally as exciting, despite the fact that the posters have a mistake on them. I had already noticed this, as had the production co-ordinator and he’d confirmed that they would be re-printed. When I sent an enquiring email (very difficult to get the tone right; I did not want to sound cross when these people had just made my dream come true) the production co-ordinator replied and said yes, he knew and they are in the process of being re-printed but he thought I’d prefer the wrong ones rather than nothing at all. I thought that was very sweet. And it also shows a deep understanding of my nature which is all about having things NOW NOW NOW. I don’t think I can have been trained very well as a child. I dislike waiting. I’ve also developed a neat technique for dealing with things that I can’t have. I simply make myself stop wanting them – which usually works very well, unless I really, really want something in which case I engineer a way to get it.

my display!

So back to the posters, I think it’s the idea that MY BOOK is being advertised. Those posters are designed for people to look at them and be encouraged to buy my book. Hundreds of people will look at them and this link is what makes the posters exciting. I think. But, to be honest, the whole thing is pretty exciting. And as I remarked to someone via email I spent Friday in much the same state as a small child spends Christmas Day; thoroughly over-excited. This earned me a reply beginning “Hello small child….” , which I suppose I deserved.

But this really is a once in a lifetime experience, I say this in a serious way, unlike Tim Vine up in Edinburgh. The next box of books that I receive will be full of my second book, I will have done it before, it won’t be a totally brand-new feeling. I shall be an experienced opener of boxes of my books, and this first time was something to savour.

It took me a long time to actually unpack the boxes, because of the above feelings. I left them as they were for most of the day, until I had to sort them out properly because we had people coming for dinner. I then swept all the papers, magazines, TV remotes, toys, pens, etc., etc. off our coffee table and underneath it and created a little display with all of the books lined up and the posters fanned out. My husband looked at this, laughed and said “Are you leaving them like that until Rob and Steph get here?”

“Darling,” I said seriously. “I’m leaving them there for the rest of the week.”

His eyebrows were raised, put it like that. Of course I didn’t in the end because the risk of something being spilled and everything ruined was just too high. Especially considering our usual, alcohol-fuelled dinner party behaviour, it’s perfectly possible that a bottle of red wine might have gone flying. I like having Rob and Steph for dinner; she’s worked hard for years to pursue her ambition to become a doctor and is due to graduate in medicine next year. I’m pleased about this because happily for me she comes out with a whole range of medicine-related anecdotes from the interesting to the emotive to the fascinating, plus some truly revolting ones. This week her placement is in obs and gynae which I was hopeful about and she didn’t let me down; “Sarah,” she said, “I had to stare at a vagina for seven hours.”

I think I prefer the way my dream came true.

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