Lots of people ask me what it’s like to receive your own book in the mail, and the answer is mind-blowing, surreal and really quite bonkers!
Normally when I buy or receive a book, I look at the cover, read the back and then get on with reading the actual story. However, when I receive my own book, I study it so much that I could have it as my specialist subject on Mastermind!
First of all, I always stare at the cover for a lonnnng time. Yes I’ll have seen it many times before then, but not in the flesh and certainly not to hold. I’ll look at every aspect of the cover – the style, size and colour of the font, the photograph, and even the texture. Then I’ll do the same with the back cover too.
Next I’ll open it up and gasp at the beauty of the end papers! Now let it be known that very rarely do end papers grab my attention in a book I’ve bought – unless they have something funky going on, like a photo or interesting pattern. But with my own books, they’re fascinating! The end papers for Before Marilyn for instance, show hundreds of photos from the Blue Book Agency. The end papers for Private and Undisclosed are bright pink, and in The Girl they are gold (both to match the text of the titles). The end papers for The Battered Body, meanwhile, are blood red! I would never notice this in other books, but in my own it is absolutely intriguing!
Next I’ll start flicking through the book – I’ll read the Dedication, the Contents, and the Acknowledgements – even though I’ve read them all a thousand times before! I’ll do the same with the photographs because this will be the first time I’ve seen them on glossy paper! Then of course, comes the smell test. Yep, I’m a proud book sniffer (the sign of a true nerd!) and let me tell you that I’ve never been disappointed with the sniff-ability of my own books! 🙂
After I’ve looked through the book, it’s always great fun to show my family and watch their expressions as they study it in almost as much detail as I do. Then of course they see what I’ve written for them in the Acknowledgements. My family are always excited to see the book, and my parents read it straight away and give me regular updates on where they’re up to! I must say, The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones is creating a lot of discussion when we get together. My parents are as shocked by the scandalous Victorians as I am!
After all the years I spent hoping, wishing and dreaming that I could become a full-time author, receiving my books is always a huge deal. How boring to be uninterested in your own book! At the moment I’m working on a book that will have lots of beautiful photos throughout, and I can’t wait to see what that one will look like! More on that later!!
For now, I hope you enjoy the photo of Betty posing with a copy of The Girl. She was absolutely thrilled to pieces, as you can see! 🙂
Before I go, I just want to make you aware of a competition I’m running, to win a signed copy of The Girl. To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer the following question: If you could go back to the 1950s to spend the day with Marilyn, where would you go and what would you do? Please comment here or on my social media (@MMWriterGirl) by Wednesday, and I’ll pick a winner shortly after. Good luck!!
Until next time,