Saturday evening, as many will know, was the official launch of both the publishing company, diiarts, and my historical novel, May 1812.
And now it is Monday evening, and all yesterday and today, I have been asked how I’m feeling? Am I excited? Have my feet hit the ground? Is it wonderful? Am I relieved? Was it all brilliant?
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
And curiously, the thing that I was most concerned about–meeting people–went very well. Not a single one threw wine in my face, bunged rotten tomatoes at me, called for the reintroduction of the pillory, twapped me hard about the head, or slapped me. The reading of an excerpt from the book also went surprisingly well–although I’ll tell you this: when reading aloud dramatically I have discovered I spit like crazy. (Charming, I know–and you didn’t want to know that.)
But the emotions today encompass all of those fine, exalted thoughts and more. Or perhaps it’s just very different. I don’t know.
Because there’s a great deal more to it than all that. For you see, in one day, an idea that I had been nurturing, writing, working toward and living has ceased to be just an idea in my head, but it is now an object of desire, coveted and covetable, a hardcover book.
(And thanks to the superb work by the cover artist, it is a very beautiful book, too.)
A few weeks ago–this was following working very hard on the final editing, the final scenes–I awoke one morning and realised that the door to Myddelton’s life was now closed to me. It was done. And there was nothing I could add or discuss or change. I didn’t belong in his head or his bedroom any longer. It was all done. I had said all there was for me to say. And although he would always be close to me, I could never again enter into his private world. Which is an odd sentiment–perhaps even a tristesse.
And the realisation that May 1812 is now out there, to be bought, cherished, disliked, coveted or whatever, by the reading public is an extension of that. It is no longer my book. It belongs to whomever buys it, reads it, engages with its characters and ideas and has it on their shelf…