Have I shared a picture of my first book proof of Secrets of the Tides yet? It is a wondrous thing. I like to look at it. A lot.
A while ago, when I worked in publishing, I was responsible for producing vast reams of book proofs. It was always exciting, getting that first box in the office, ripping open the carton and lifting out the very first proof of a new book. There were worries too: had the colours come out right? did the text flow properly? was there a massive typo on the front cover? All those proofs, but I don’t think I every fully realised how an author might feel, seeing their words in book format, for the very first time. Well, I can tell you now, from the other side of the fence, it is a complete thrill.
I love my proof. It has my name on the front. It has a spine. It is covered in nice quotes from the people who work at Orion. And it has a letter from Kate Mills, my Editor, on the inside front page which explains why she felt compelled to buy Secrets. They tell me they are doing a second run of book proofs, when the cover has been finalised, which is lovely too, but I know that for me, there will never again be a proof as gorgeous as this first one that arrived in the post.
I caught my babysitter reading it the other day. She looked kind of guilty that I’d found her with it, but I didn’t mind, particularly when she asked if she could borrow it. She said she’d been grabbed from page one and that was – of course – enough to put a massive smile on my face for the rest of the day. What would-be writer wouldn’t want to hear that?
Only time will tell if others enjoy reading Secrets, but it’s nice to have all those amazing Orion quotes on the cover. In darker moments, when I feel like book 2 just isn’t going to work, I read them and feel my confidence return. So thank you, Orion. Thank you for the loveliest proof a debut author could ask for.