I can’t tell you how exciting the moment is when you pick up the first, printed and bound copy of your debut novel.
I’ve been in the world of printed media, ie magazine publishing, for all of my working life, some 25 years and I am quite used to seeing my work – my writing – appear in print, circulating in the public domain. Every time the latest edition of a magazine arrives from the printer I get a thrill, a buzz that I have been involved in producing that work, that my writing is leaping off the pages inside, my name is credited somewhere within as the writer of a particular feature or editor of the entire publication.
But seeing your first book arrive from the printer is in an entirely different league.
I’ve always loved books. I love books as much as I love reading. I’m not a ‘kindler’ – my book club’s name for someone who reads on a Kindle or other electronic device. I can see the advantages, especially when travelling, but stubbornly, I persist with my love of books. My suitcase is always the one you can’t lift because it’s half full of my carefully selected holiday reading material. And I never give my books away after I’ve read them – my house is full of books – unless it’s a book I haven’t enjoyed. I can only think of two of my books that have ever found their way to the local charity shop. I’m not going to tell you what they were, but they were both best sellers, by well known writers, but I just didn’t enjoy them for various reasons, so they went. I actually hated them – it takes something as strong as that for me to get rid of a book.
So, back to the moment when I saw my first book in print for the first time. I was out on the school run on a Friday afternoon. I’d already battled my way into the centre of Oxford and was preparing to fight my way back out when my mobile rang. It was a delivery driver trying to find my house. Not an unusual occurrence. I live at the end of a no-through lane in a house lots of people in the village don’t even know is there. I gave him directions, assuming he was trying to deliver one of my regular cases of wine from Laithwaites. Told him to leave it in the porch as I wasn’t in and thought no more of it, until much later that evening when one of my sons carried the box into the kitchen. I saw immediately it wasn’t wine – not big enough or heavy enough, but I still had no idea what it was until I opened the box and there was my lovely book, with its beautiful and striking front cover – thanks to the wonderful designer at my publisher, Book Guild Publishing – staring up at me. It was the most exciting moment. It looked so lovely – good enough to read even – we were going out that evening and I just had to take a copy with me in my handbag to show everyone we saw. Not sure they shared my excitement, but I didn’t care. I still love looking at it even now, several months later.
The Roots of the Tree is now available and is selling well – if you’ve read it, please drop me an email, via this website to let me know what you think of it.Share this: