There is something mythic about the date of publication, and you actually come to believe that on this one particular morning you will wake up to the phone ringing off the hook and your publisher will be so excited that they will have hired the Blue Angels precision flying team to buzz your squalid little hovel, which you will be moving out of as soon as sales of the book really take off.
Bird by Bird
With Ms. Lamott, as well as a number of published acquaintances, to disabuse me of wild notions, I didn't have overamped expectations for today. So far, though, it's been a pleasant time. Had a nice note from editor Will Atkins, some e-mails from friends and relatives, and, best of all, the first sighting ("in the wild" as he put it) of Shock and Awe.
Eagle-eyed Tim Stretton spotted it--two copies--in a Waterstones in Chichester. (He says there may have been a third, as there was a gap between me and John Irving.)
I've never been to Chichester. My travels to the UK have encompassed London and Oxford and London and Salisbury and London and London and London and London--sort of like the Monty Python Spam menu. But I'm now convinced that Chichester is a vastly civilized place, with cultivated tastes. (Plus, glancing through Wikipedia, I see that one of the Chichester city fathers was the first man to be killed by being hit by a locomotive. Now there's glory for you.)
If any of you spot my book on the shelves in the bookstores you haunt, let me know. Of necessity I'm living vicariously here.
Ooops, gotta run! I think the Blue Angels are flying over...