Special Delivery

The package arrived and I knew what it was. I had been waiting 35 years for this, so I left it on the table and kept looking at it, kept touching it and kept smiling.

My books had arrived, my books; books that I had written. So I waited until my partner and son arrived home and we opened them together. I wonder how authors who have written 5, 10, or 50 books feel when the parcel of the latest books arrives. Is there still a thrill? Does it diminish in any way? I can only hope to experience that, but I’m convinced that each book would occasion the same delight.

Yes I carried it round with me for the next week, incongruously wrapped in a sandwich bag in my handbag. I felt like telling everyone – I’m an author! And that really was the first time I felt justified in calling myself an author. As an historian, of course, I needed evidence, not just theory. So a month later, do I still feel that excitement? Yes, but in a more confident way. Less scrappy puppy, excited and yappy – more sleek and contented cat, purring softly.

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