A very quick post – with apologies to those who have already been subjected to my hysterical boastings all over Twitter and Facebook – to say that today something truly exciting happened. I received a picture-tweet-link-thing showing me a shelf in the York branch of Waterstones full of pristine, gorgeous copies of Rites. It is officially – in this store only, until June 25th – on sale.
For the first time, I don’t really have much to say in this blog post. It’s been a very strange day. I’ve been trying to do work, failing, grinning like a lunatic, and pulling up again and again the amazing pictures that friends have sent me (thank you Stu, Ruth, Paul and Cat!)
It feels so strange having it out there in the world, just hanging out there nonchalantly on the shelf next to Douglas Coupland. Amazing, of course – I’m so proud that all the months of hard work has resulted in this gorgeous item being available in a shop I’ve always thought of as a kind of brain-temple, looking so great and also – thanks Waterstones! – clearly given such prominence. But then, of course – because I’m a writer, and we are neurotic and miserable – fear follows quickly on the heels of pride, and I pick up my own copy and see an awkward sentence or a tiny plot inconsistency and I think “Oh fucksticks, that’s awful, nobody will take me seriously now,” and have to sit down and drown my innards in apple tea til I calm down. And then – because I’m a writer, and we are self-punishing and never happy – I think, “Well, ok, that’s one down, what about the next one?” and I go back to the tiny but growing manuscript that is becoming my second novel, and I see the mountain that I just climbed, there to climb all over again. Only, no, it’s not the same mountain. This one is bigger. Bigger and more terrifying and populated by banditti of high expectations and chasms of historical inaccuracy. But off I go nonetheless. And then I grin and look at the pictures again, and become distracted, and it all starts over.
Enough now. Off to my friend Cat’s to eat her delicious food. Will post very soon about the second novel, about how to write Middles, and about a great conference in Newcastle.
Til next time!