Ok, I know it's not quite Xmas time yet, but it's the feeling of the moment in the mind of this writer.
Perhaps the countdown to Christmas would be a better way of putting it. It's now just under seven weeks until the new tvdetective book, Shadows of Justice, is published, and I'm in the process of busily working myself into a frenzy.
I've said it before, but there's no better comparison I can think of - it takes me back to being a child, and watching the days pass, ready for the arrival of Santa.
As is the way in the run up to publication, there are lots of things going on which are a constant reminder - the sorts of thought-poke which I don't mind at all.
Firstly, I've just finished approving the final edits of the book.
This is the dots and commas stage, and it's far from exciting. But it does keep Publication Day (I've decided capitals are warranted due to its importance) continually in mind.
Secondly, something more interesting has been happening this week. It's a dilemma, causing much agonising, but highly enjoyable for it.
I've been choosing which part of the new book to read when I come to give talks about it.
You might think this is simple - just go for the first couple of pages. But they're not always the best at giving a sense of the book. So perhaps you pick something from a bit later, some action, or mystery, or intrigue, or drama...
It can't be too long - no more than four or five minutes, or the audience will begin to shut down. But it's still got to make sense and provide a taste of the story, the characters, the settings...
Ah, decisions decisions.
But! I have finally settled upon a reading, after much faffing.
And here's the exciting part (for me, at least). I've got a talk to do about the tvdetective books on Saturday (16th March), and I'm going to give the reading its debut there.
Cue much walking up and down, determinedly practicing my intonations and inflexions.
If you're interested, the talk is at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter at 2pm, as part of the celebrations of the anniversary of the Devonshire Association. There are more details on the News and Events page.
But for now, it's back to counting down the days to an author's Christmas.