This is one of the most thrilling moments in the life of an author. Well, I suppose winning a major literary prize – say the Booker – might almost be up there… It’d be good to find out.
But really! Back down to earth, Crouch. This is the moment. You have spent the past year grappling with the contents of your mind, trying to give this story you have to tell shape and form and voice, feeling sometimes exhilarated, more often downhearted, wilting with guilt about leaving it alone for more than a day, feeling sick if youdon’t hit your deadlines; dreaming and thinking and scribbling and writing and writing and rewriting and cutting and slaying.
And then, after all that, the postperson knocks at the door and hands over a heavy package with your publisher’s name on it. And you take the parcel and you carry it through to the kitchen in a faux-cool manner that doesn’t even fool the cat, and you force yourself to make a cup of tea before you sit down at the table, when, unable to hold back any longer, you rip the damn thing open.
It’s the first time you’ve seen the book as a book-shaped thing!
It’s real at last.
And you think they are truly beautiful. They really are. Look at the photographs above.
Then you sit down and read through the ‘Uncorrected Proof Copy: Not for Resale’ and you reach for your red pen and your pristine, book-shaped thing is quickly desecrated as the final edit begins – final, that is before the really very very last one you might squeeze in before the mass market paperback comes out…
TARNISHED is out in trade paperback on the 14th March 2013, and in mass market paperback in August.
I am giddy as a kipper!