Holding it in my hand

Posted: June 9, 2009 in Writing, YA Fiction
Tags: , , , ,

Dust - cover 9781741664461The cover is glossy enough to leave finger prints, glowing, rich and vibrant, in amongst the detritus on my desk. My first novel is in my hand, fresh from the printers.

I flip through the pages, fast-forwarding to the end to read the acknowledgements – it’s the first time I’ve seen them in print.

A name leaps out from the back cover – Katherine Barry. I don’t know her, but that doesn’t stop the rush of gratitude for her beautiful artwork and cover design.

I flip back to the front; I’ve forgotten to add my website to my author bio. Doesn’t matter, there’s always google, if anyone’s interested.

My mind wanders to signings – which page does an author sign? Not the verso, the little-used left-hand pages, so it has to be recto … the title page or bio perhaps? Surely not the dedication page? Isn’t that just for Mum and Dad?

Like a primary schooler, I practise a new authorly signature. It’s harder than expected and keeps defaulting to the cheque-signing one.  The bank won’t like that, so I try again, tongue clamped between my teeth.

I should be working on my next novel – a strange man has hoisted Henry Hoey Hobson into the back of a truck – but I’m distracted by my first-born. Transfixed like all new mothers, but unsure what to do with it, now that it’s here.

It seems curiously self-contained, lying there on my desk, not needy at all. Meanwhile the faint hammering in my head is growing louder. It’s Henry, clamouring for my attention. He’s growing fast – 12,000 words old already – but he’s not going to get out of that truck on his own.

I kiss my first-born and move it gently, but firmly, to one side.

Hang on Henry, I’m coming!

  1. Congratulations, Chris! So incredibly exciting. Make sure to get the signature just right – I’ll be wanting it ready for when I track you down at your launch! I’m in awe if you’re actually able to keep writing Hoey with this current distraction – I think it would take me at least several days to calm my mind enough. By the way, your first born is just gorgeous – I’m feeling very clucky 🙂

  2. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Katherine – I can just see you popping them out one after another and keeping that new literary agent hip-deep in work!

  3. james roy says:

    It’s a brilliant feeling, getting that first copy, and it never stops being exciting. Congratulations – you should be very proud.

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Glad to hear it, James – because I’d like to be like you and keep them coming 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    Hi Chris – I’m so pleased for you! I was going to say exactly what James said about the feeling never changing but he beat me to it. He’s a very wise man except perhaps when it comes to football …

  6. chrisbongers says:

    Tread carefully Michael, for you tread on his dreams (and he’ll come back swinging…)
    But thanks 🙂

  7. Hi Chris,

    Many congratulations for your new baby’s birth. It must feel fantastic to hold it at last in your hands. May it cry loud and long, turn heads and attract the attention of all and sundry.

    Here’s to many a fingerprint smear on the cover – God knows if it were mine, I’d be mauling it to bits…

    Beautiful cover, too – am looking forward to reading the in-between bits and to the official unveiling!

  8. Lynne Green says:

    Whooooohooooo! Hang onto that ‘new baby’ glow.

  9. chrisbongers says:

    Thank you Lynn and Lynne, it’s always lovely to hear from your enthusiastic selves 🙂

  10. Congratulations, Chris.
    Sign on the title page – that way your signature and the name of the book go hand in hand forever.

  11. Sarah says:


    I’m delighted with how it’s turned out! There was dancing in the office when Production opened the box.

    I’ve forgotten to add my website to my author bio.
    Consider it done. 🙂

  12. katherinelw says:

    Whoo hoo!
    Fantastic news, Christine.
    I hope your signature swirls beautifully and that your hand gets tired from all the copies you’ll need to sign.
    All the best,

  13. belindajeffrey says:

    Go you!! How damn exciting!!!!!

  14. chrisbongers says:

    Not as exciting as your week, B – can’t wait til Thursday for the launch of Brown Skin Blue, go you!

  15. Angela Sunde says:

    I am over the moon excited for you! I’m sure there were tears of joy on the ‘dust’ jacket, not just fingerprints. Congratulations on your new arrival:)

  16. Sue Whiting says:

    Hey, Christine – huge congratulations! It doesn’t get much better, does it? Enjoy every minute of it.

  17. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Angela and Sue – it’s great to be part of such a warm and vibrant writing community. 🙂

  18. You’ll fly, girl – this is just the start. Enjoy 😉
    See you at the launch
    S 🙂

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