I collect Doctor Who books. I have hundreds of the things carefully arranged on floor-to-ceiling shelves around the walls of my study. I love receiving each new title, but the arrival of today's latest addition to the collection was far more exciting that usual.
A box of author copies of my book, The Comic Strip Companion, including paperbacks and one hardback copy, arrived by courier this morning.
I was out at the time, enduring a uncomfortable hour-long session at the dentist. I arrived home with a numb mouth to be greeted by my wife Rochelle with the news that FedEx had called by to drop off a box for me.
Excitement overcame the drowsy after-effects of of dental surgery as I cut open the package and handled for the very first time actual, physical copies of my book. It really existed!
I'm in New Zealand; Telos, my publisher, is in the UK. I've spent the last week hearing from enthusiastic overseas readers who've received the book, whilst all the time I've been eagerly awaiting my own as the books made their way around the globe.
I knew that the book had been printed and distributed. It's just that until I held the finished published copies in my hands it didn't feel completely real to me. Just feeling the solid weight of the limited edition hardback with its glossy cover, or leafing through the only slightly more manageable paperback, is an indescribably satisfying feeling.
Entirely coincidentally, the book has arrived in my hands almost exactly five years after signing the contract (on 26 September 2007), and one year after delivering the manuscript (on 21 September 2011).
|(Author's expression in these photos due to numb upper lip...)|