How nice it is to have friends on Publication Day! Yes, it's Thursday 19th March 2009--which is when the lovely new paperback of my first novel, Hootcat Hill, lands in the shops. The hardback was published last year to some very flattering reviews, and now the nice people at Orion have once again given me a beautiful new and eyecatching cover (left), complete with scary, red-eyed purple dragon and a lightning bolt. So far today I've had many wonderful messages, as well as alerts from the Bookwitch and from Fiona Dunbar to say they have mentioned me on their blogs--and the Witch has given me a lovely review, which I am very happy indeed about.
Knowing that my book is in the shops (albeit only in a new incarnation this time round), is a funny old business. I feel hopeful and excited, of course, and proud too--everyone has worked so hard, editor, design, sales and marketing, publicity to get it to this point. Now I just need people to buy it and read it. Naturally I feel nervous about this in a recession. But then I think, where else, for the relatively small outlay of £5.99, could you buy escape to another world, thrilling adventure, a feisty heroine, cutting edge technomagic, a furiously beastly dragon, a malicious and scary green elf witch with pointy teeth and a slug bag, a dwarf with a living beast tattoo, gory death, epic destruction, a blacksmith with a burned bum and scarlet motorbike leathers, talking owls, beer which makes you grow horns (or a tail...or claws), and, well, too much more to mention? It seems to me that the power of the imagination is far greater for a reader translating words on the page into pictures in his head than it is for the player of a computer game that someone else has already imagined on the screen. Also, it's better value and cheaper.
So, welcome to the world again, Hootcat Hill. May you give pleasure to all who open your pages. Personally, I'm off to open a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Blow the credit crunch--it's not every day I get a book published! I can go back to the bread and water tomorrow.