Last week the advanced copies of my latest book arrived, A Children’s History of Leicester. I wasn’t expecting them. I had Mum on my mind, her extreme agitation and the beginnings of what we suspect could be cancer-related delirium. I had Rod on my mind, his run of infections following all that chemotherapy, and yet another course of antibiotics for him to take. And I had the new cats on my mind. The postman’s visit meant that the front door was open and the cats were still confined to quarters. In fact, the last thing on my mind was a delivery of books which made their arrival all the sweeter.
The cover was shiny, tactile, exciting. I turned the pages and felt that (almost) familiar thrill that I hope will never pall. All my words are there, all that research and writing, selecting and editing, but I had only ever seen them as black on sheets of white A4. Now the colour and illustrations have brought my words to life.
Two have already been placed on The Shelf. It may not be heaving with books quite yet but it’s starting to look almost respectable, don’t you think!