I had written another post for today, but it felt wrong not to give this space over to the launch of my new novel, officially published today.
The Secret Ingredient is my eighth book. Coincidentally, my mum had eight babies. I wonder if she ever felt it would be expecting too much of people to be excited for her by number eight? Even though I have no doubt she loved that baby – my little sister – as much as the rest of us, and felt just as proud and elated ... if perhaps, a little more tired! By novel no. 8, I don't expect everyone to experience the same thrill they did when my first book, Call Waiting, was published. My family are very proud of me, but it's what I do now. There's not the same level of excitement when my advance copy comes. It's like, 'Oh, that's great, Mum. Congrats ... What did you say we were having for dinner?'
Same with friends: 'You've got another book coming out? But aren't you writing at the moment?'
'Yes, I'm working on the next one.'
'So what will this be, six ... seven now?'
There is no way the heightened level of excitement that accompanied that first book – even the first two or three – could be sustained. It would be impossible, and exhausting. I couldn't do it, so I can hardly expect everyone else to. But that doesn't mean I'm not proud, and happy, and that I feel a very real sense of achievement. With the publication of The Secret Ingredient, I have over a million words in print. That boggles my mind. But more than that, the characters are part of my psyche now, taking their place alongside the characters from all my previous books. So here's to them! I hope they're all right out in the big wide world, without me overseeing everything they do. They're on their own now. I'm on to number nine ...