I got a hard copy of my new book in my hands yesterday. The first thing I did was sniff it. I opened it up, and took a long deep draw of the smell of it. I couldn’t help myself. I was standing in the middle of Great Victoria Street Station. Pat, the publisher had already arrived off the Derry train and was sitting with his computer, doing stuff. He was having a coffee and offered me one, but I needed to just grab them and go, as I was heading off to Inishlacken and Roundstone in Connemara for Culture night, via Waterford – I needed to get on the road.
My books were in two plastic bags. He handed them over in what at some level looked kind of a subversive gesture, but hey, that’s book junkies for ya.
I am very chuffed. I think it looks beautiful. Issy Uhlemann designed the cover specially. This morning, I switched off the phone and the computer and I just stayed still until I’d read it from cover to cover. I was glad to be alone with it – inspecting it, and taking in more of the smell. I stroked it.
The whole experience is a lovely one – akin at some level to quiet time alone with any new arrival. I’m looking forward to the launch now. That’s next week in the historic and beautiful venue of Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church and as a joint launch with the poets Myra Vennard and Deirdre Cartmill. I am happy for us all and looking forward to that.