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A Book, That Book, Any old Book

August 18, 2012

It’s finally more than a cover concept and more than a pile of draft manuscripts that stand more than 30cm high. What do I think of that? I suspect I might be like a father who is indifferent to the birth of his child – there is something unnatural about that and not to be desired. But the delivery of this book is not filling me with the excitement others think I should be feeling. One potential reviewer thinks I am hiding my feelings and being too modest. No, not at all. Grateful for the published book? Sure thing. Pleased? Absolutely. Relieved?  Of course. Time and effort validated? Yes thank you. But writing a novel is a process, and the delivery of the actual paper version merely part of the writing business. I pick up the books and think, “Okay, that is expected, the next thing is to promote them’. And a book is not a book in and of itself. It’s the representation in paper and ink of a story. And well, to be blunt, I happen to know the story. So I have received a small box of books which contain a story I know reasonably well.  Paper and ink (and pixels for those who buy the e-version) are mere vehicles for enabling a story, which means a lot to me,  to be told to others. And therein lies the real meaning and potential excitement. If others catch something of the passion that drove me to write the story then I will be very excited. If the reviews reflect something of readers catching the drama of day to day life in Baghdad in 2007 then you just might see this father get very excited about this particular child. On the other hand, I confess to looking forward to sharing something of the enjoyment others derive from the published volume. A book launch is one way to do that and I’m anticipating the pleasure of sharing insights into the process, and in return sharing their excitement. Sounds like a reasonable deal to me

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