A momentous thing happened this weekend. I passed the text and covers for The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst for press.
See, I said it was momentous.
OK, not in the greater scheme of things. But that point when you stop correcting and rewriting (even at page proof stage – shocking, I know) and decide that yes, you could go on tinkering for ever, but with editors, friends, relations, readers and the nice man delivering a package who clearly wished he hadn’t ALL telling you it’s fine, and you sign it off – yes, that.
When you watch your book sail beyond your reach into the hands of publishers and printers and wait for it to emerge in numberless copies, bound, gleaming, and with that wonderful smell of new paper and ink. Gulp.
But despite the butterflies, I can’t wait. This stunning cover (designer, Pete Lawrence; artist, Hilary Paynter) – showing the moment 13 year-old Henry stumbles on a mysterious, ancient diary in the school library – expresses so well the magical atmosphere of The Tragickall History of Henry Fowst that I’m longing to see it wrapped around the finished copies.
The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating. With publication day on 28th August, I’m banking on hordes of readers returning from their holidays having devoured every book in sight and casting round hungrily for more.
Happy scoffing, dear readers!