Thursday, June 21, 2007

My book in my hands

I have got some early copies of Out of the Tunnel. They were meant to arrive on Monday so I have been feeling like a cat on hot bricks all week. The parcel arrived ten minutes ago from Pan MacMillan. I opened it, feeling like I was going to be sick. My hands were shaking. They still are.

I can't actually bear to read it. I flipped through quickly, to make sure that the last-minute subbing errors had been changed, and the dedications page was ok. I sniffed it, smelling the new paper smell. I ran my fingers over the title. I looked at the cover, and felt extremely wierd about seeing my face on it. I put a copy on the bookshelf, (between Barbara Trapido and DBC Pierre!), so I could see what it looked like next to other books. It looks ok: 280 pages, reasonable size ( I don't buy books that are really slim, it seems like a waste of money if I can read it in an hour but my book looked quite chunky). I phoned J, and explained that I felt like throwing up. He thought I was mad. I emailed the publishers and thanked them. I emailed Fergal Keane, who got me into this writing lark in the first place. My sister called and I explained, and she said she was looking forward to reading it.

'I don't read many books, but I'll read your one.'

' Well, you are in it.'

'Am I? Eeek.'

I am about to phone Mum and Dad, but Mum is at the doctors and I am worrying about her.

Now I am sitting here, feeling very odd indeed. I don't know what to do next. Any suggestions?

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Blogger Ian said...

Suggestions of things to do? Er, feel proud, maybe? You have every reason to.

June 21, 2007 1:12 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Suggestions...puff your chest out and pout with pride.

June 21, 2007 1:18 pm  
Blogger Dave Hodgkinson said...

What do do next?

Put the kettle on and have a nice cup of tea, obviously.

June 21, 2007 1:19 pm  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Large gin and tonic?


June 21, 2007 1:32 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

I am having a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich, and a nice sit down. Then I am going to have a meeting in town, and after that I am going to drink fizz with my friend Tikki.

June 21, 2007 1:33 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Good idea. Probably best to do something completely different and get out of the house for a bit.

June 21, 2007 1:53 pm  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...


June 21, 2007 5:57 pm  
Blogger Clare said...

Congrats on getting the book Rachel and hope you feel a bit better about it now you've had time to digest seeing it.

A cup of tea works wonders :).

June 21, 2007 7:30 pm  
Blogger Randall said...

Dear God, Rachel - turn round the other way and have a right proper stiff *something* to drink. And if you do toss, don't worry about it - just another sign of being human. A book is much like a baby - easy to create, hard to finish getting into the world, nearly impossible to live with once made. Congratulations from the club across the pond!

June 21, 2007 8:04 pm  
Blogger Tina - omme i London said...

Let the champagne corks FLY! Congratulations and well done you!!! I can't wait to see "you" on the shelf at WH Smith - or better still, behind a desk signing copies...

June 22, 2007 12:09 am  
Blogger Graham the Funky Aardvark said...

Things to do other than panic

Practise your autograph for the book signings

Wait till the movie is released

Write the sequel (Or another topic)

Practice acceptance speaches

Of course, you could just say "it is done", and have a nice irish coffee or something, as whatever happens now, you have done something that not many have done themselves (as a % of the population). Be proud!

Take care


June 22, 2007 1:10 am  
Blogger Dee said...

Congratulations! and well done. You should be proud of yourself.
My feeling is.. this is only the beginning.

June 22, 2007 9:36 am  
Blogger zoe said...

congratulations, missus! i can't wait to get my copy and i'll have you sign it when i'm in the uk next month :)

June 22, 2007 11:49 am  
Blogger Elissa said...

Congratulations. I know that writing that book meant you had to go through the painful memories again.
I will definitely buy it when it comes out.

June 22, 2007 11:59 am  
Blogger Ash said...

You think that's weird, wait till the first time you walk into a shop and see it sitting there on the shelf. Or even better, someone you don't know flicking through it.


June 22, 2007 12:44 pm  
Blogger Jessica said...

Congratulations, what an awesome accomplishment!

Jess in the states...

June 22, 2007 12:55 pm  
Blogger Christopher Glamorgan said...

... put the book down; have a stiff drink; give yourself a pat on the back; wait for the critics to comment; have another stiff drink; ignore the critics that are not in tune with your way of thinking... then start work on another!


June 22, 2007 2:21 pm  
Blogger Dr Hiding Pup said...

What to do next?

1.) Set up a Google Mail account and set up a Google Alert for the title of your book.

2.) Start writing to all your friends who might read it.

3.) Start plugging away on every forum you can find, not to mention MySpace, Facebook and Friends Reunited.

4.) Take a look at WorldCat, and keep a note of how many copies of your book turn up there.

5.) Find out who your publishers' sent review copies to and think about fingering them for a review.

6.) That drink everyone's mentioning - have that, and then another that looks just like it :-)


June 22, 2007 2:34 pm  
Blogger Cecilieaux said...

"I have been feeling like a cat on hot bricks." See "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" by Tennessee Williams.

June 22, 2007 9:50 pm  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Well done Rachel. Do whatever comes naturally.

June 22, 2007 11:28 pm  
Blogger seth said...

hi rachel,

my ny borders friend says the book is "not in the system." someone else said it would be availiable on or after july 26th.

i am now on what i hope is my last borrowed pc. i havent had a chance to figure out what i want in a new pc. i was told to hold off on vista.

its the first official day of summer here in ny and its sunny,warm and breezy with temps in the 70's. (f)


seth :)

June 22, 2007 11:30 pm  
Blogger farouchegrande said...


try at's available for pre-sale orders there.

here's the link:

June 24, 2007 6:23 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Rachel, congratulations with your book launch. Let's hope all the bad times are behind you now.

June 26, 2007 5:29 pm  

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