Thursday, 20 December 2007

It's here!

Wild excitement chez moi today as my very own pre-publication copies of Testament have arrived! Here’s the box they came in.

Here they are in a fat pile, looking v. smart. (I do like the way all MNW books have the striking black spine with the title in white.)

And here’s one I prepared earlier. Much earlier and several times. The book itself. Testament. Toby to its friends (you’ll see why if you read it) and oh, so nearly
The Master Mason’s Son.

I was so excited when they came that I couldn’t sit still so I gave up writing for a couple of hours and baked shortbread and flapjacks for Christmas pressies! I do like to pretend to be a domestic goddess occasionally!

The arrival of my copies of Testament represents, as I said to an old friend on the phone ‘the triumph of sheer bloody minded determination over any kind of realism’. Thank goodness for Mike Barnard and his brainchild, Macmillan New Writing – as those of you whose Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook falls open at ‘Publishers UK’ will know, there are fewer and fewer publishers who will look at unagented fiction or anything ‘without prior agreement’. In such a chilly climate, the welcome at MNW is warm.

And now, just because I can, I’m going to quote the whole of the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, because… well, when you read it, you’ll know why.

In acknowledging those who have helped in the writing of a book there’s a tendency to thank everybody or nobody. But there are a few people without whom this book would, quite literally, not have been written. My family, Edwina, Sam and Rob have watched our income go down and down as I have worked less and written more – I would not have been able to dedicate time to writing if they had once mentioned that they might like a foreign holiday or a designer… anything. Their emotional, financial and moral support and unswerving belief that one day I would ‘make it’ have enabled me to produce the book Testament has become.
Years ago, when Testament was an idea, then a tentative draft, my ex-husband, John, gave me enormous support of every kind for which I am truly and enduringly grateful.
And finally, very much in the here and now, I must thank my editor, Will Atkins, who has enabled me to make Testament the book I always wanted it to be.

That's more than enough for today, I think.


David Isaak said...

Shiny things! It's gorgeous.

Tim Stretton said...


It looks great, Alis. I'll be buying mine as soon as it's in the shops.

Alis said...

Thanks guys!

Matt Curran said...

Congrats Alis

That should make up for the publishing delay! The MNW titles really are smart, aren't they? I have a small tidy stack of them at home, but you should see David's troupe of MNW titles... Bloody impressive, I can tell you!