I used to stand in bookshops pt 2

I was gearing up for March 17th, when I’d finally see my book sit quietly on a shelf alongside hundreds of others, as though it was the most ordinary thing; just a book, on a shelf.

I was preparing myself to be, well, a bit underwhelmed? The anticipation couldn’t possibly deliver a satisfying payoff, so monumentally had I wished and dreamed of seeing it.

Then, on Twitter, someone posted a picture of it in a branch of Waterstones and I saw that the Brighton shop had stock a week early.  So I popped in.

I was trembling as I walked up the stairs and into the SFF section.  Nope, not on the table, where were the…ahh, the hardbacks.  At the bottom, in the corner, surrounded by Brandon Sanderson.

Snakewood on the shelf
Just another book.

A moment of disbelief.  Then, I don’t know, something settled inside me, or, not inside me so much as beneath me; the ground had hardened, the quiet of the numinous pressed into me.  I was outside time as I reached down for it.  My own book.

I passed the next few hours in work much as I passed the minutes leaving the shop and walking back there; agitated, on the verge of tears, knowing nothing would ever be the same again, and nothing could now undo what I had worked for and what Rhian and I have sacrificed so much for.