TARNISHED publication day!

It’s a funny old business, publication day. Particularly when it’s your third book and you’re writing a fourth, and the deadline is looming.

For your first novel you go out and have a long, boozy lunch, ‘possibly’ followed by an ill-advised walk along the seafront. Your second might see you nipping out to the pub and perhaps sharing a bottle or two of champagne in the evening with a couple of mates.

But poor old TARNISHED – I am so embroiled in novel #4 that I don’t dare lift my hands from my keyboard.

Still, the launch party is coming up and, as it’s going to be half term, I fully intend to let my hair down for that. Watch out neighbours!

But, however I mark it – and the weather today is so beautiful that I *will* be taking myself away for an hour’s brisk trot along the Kemptown seafront at some point (I’ve even got my jogging gear on as a statement of intent) – it is a wondrous thing to have your book out there in the world. It’s also scary, thrilling, daunting, sickening, joyous and pregnant with possibility (of greatness or disaster, depending on the mood du moment).

In the end, the best bit is that the story you have been finding words for over at least a year of your life is now going to find the people without whom it couldn’t exist – readers.

Grateful thoughts also turn to the people who are behind the book – Everyone at Headline, my publishers, who help me make my words better, who turn them into a beautiful book, who get the word about my words out there, and who get the shops to sell my words. And of course, AgentSimon and his team at WME, who keep doing the deals that enable me to spend my life dreaming and typing.

Because, of course, there is actually no better way of celebrating the publication of TARNISHED than to keep working on novel #4. It is a complete joy and an utter privilege.

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