Hello lovely friends! Well, I have lots to share with you today, so I'm going to get on with it straight away. Starting with some visual images of GREAT BEAUTY.
Behold! I can finally share with you the beautiful proof editions of Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh's Curse (Coming to a bookshop near you, September 3rd 2015!) Didn't those wonderful people at Scholastic outdo themselves?! I don't know what my favourite part is. I love the fonts, I love the purple background. (If you are lucky enough to see one of these in real life the background is absolutely LUMINOUS. Truly, no photograph can do it justice. It looks lit up from the inside -- which is a pretty magical quality for a book to have!) Fortunately the actual real life cover is keeping these things and adding in a spot of incredible illustration as well. It's still having the finishing touches added to it at the moment, but I can't wait to share it with you soon.
When this beauty slipped through my letterbox I was so excited. There was dancing. There was crying. There were many photographs. I carried it around with me for days. I tucked it in my handbag and took it out with me. I sat with it next to me on the sofa, and I slept with it on my bedside table. I just couldn't stop staring at it! A book! A REAL BOOK. It has my name on the spine in shining silver letters. When you open it up it has my story inside it. Only, it doesn't really look like a story any more, it looks like an actual, actual book. I know I am repeating myself but this is exactly what was going on in my brain.
It sort of still IS what's going on in my brain.
In fact, my only reservation about the proof cover was that it was a bit TOO good. Talk about not managing people's expectations, I know I would be excited to read these good looking pages! There are a couple of strange things about the proof editions - the first strange thing is that now the book exists 'out there'. It is being given to people and they are reading it. I can't think about that too much or I get a bit light headed and need a sit down. The second strange thing is that I have edited the book again since the proofs were sent to the printer. That means that people are reading a version of the book that I have since done a lot more work on. I really can't think about that too much or I reach for the gin with a trembling hand. What this means is that I want to lean over people's shoulders while they read and hiss, "IT'S MUCH BETTER NOW! IGNORE THAT CLUNKY LITTLE BIT THERE, IT"S GREAT NOW!"
Although I don't suppose the desperate need to get involved in people's reading will ever go away. As you already know, this is actually one of the ways this experience crosses over with my thesis research. It's very strange when people talk to me about the book as they have experienced it - sometimes very differently to the way I experienced it. Strange, but beautiful.
(Yes, by the way, this is me taking photographs on the doorstep having torn the containing parcel open in a frenzy.)
And to complete your experience of the day itself here are some pictures of Paul and I looking VERY excited: