Appearances and Reality

Something happened this week, which, as time passes will doubtless come to feel small, but is currently poking away at me with a sharp metaphorical stick.

The publication of my new book, The Dark Horizon, has been delayed for two weeks. (A hold up at the printers, last quibbles about the cover.)

So, I'm putting on the classical English brave face, upper lip starched and stiff, and saying, 'What's a fortnight? The big day will still come around quickly enough.'

But in reality...

Aaaaarrrggghhhh!

Maybe I can put it more eloquently than that - I'm supposed to be an author, after all.

It feels like the kid with a handful of money and face pressed to the sweet shop window being told it's not opening today.

Or the hungry man with a hot, fresh and delicious pasty in his hand seeing it snatched away by a seagull.

Or someone who's just run a marathon and is reaching for a bottle of water... only to see it slip through her fingers and spill all over the floor.

And I could go on... and on... and on.

I tell myself I'm being melodramatic. In fact, I know I am. And other people tell me likewise. But guess how much that's helping?

I suppose it's because I love publication day so much, a feeling that's never waned in the slightest since my first. It's the moment all the work, all the planning, all the writing, all the editing finally comes to a tangible conclusion.

There it is, the beautiful book, sitting in your hand, and with your name on the cover. It wasn't a dream, after all.

I carry the new novel around with me for days. I flick through at regular intervals. I sleep with it beside my bed. I put it on the table if I'm out having a beer and smile at it, like we're new lovers on a date.

I try to reassure myself, tell myself that it must be a good sign, that it means I'm as in love with writing now as I was at the start. It's what we authors do, isn't it? Those aren't just words on the page, they're part of our souls.

Ah, well, June 16th and counting... and counting... and still counting...