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.
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.