Well now, what a time I’ve been having! First, I suffered shame! I, who have often warned of the many perils of the internet, got caught out! I’m on LinkedIn, where I have spent a great deal of effort increasing my network of fellow authors, and others involved in the book business. When I received a message from a contact asking me to rate them on their ‘online business card’, I naturally obliged. More, I participated in the scheme. It was an apparently buggy site, but I thought nothing of that – there are, after all, plenty of those around! Part of the process is for the site to send a message to all your LinkedIn contacts, which it did. That was about eleven or twelve days ago. It was with considerable surprise, therefore, that I was alerted to the fact that the whole thing was a Spam/Phishing site, through a friend. It seems that she received an invitation to rate me – on 1st May! That was well after the original day. Naturally, I immediately changed my password and scanned my computer. Fortunately, nothing nasty got through my security! Still, I’m ashamed that I was not more careful, as I normally am.
This morning, around noon, there was a considerable clatter at our letterbox, followed by an enormous thump of something hitting the floor. Upon investigation, I discovered a brown card mailing package. Sitting down, I opened the package with some anticipation. In the process, I discovered that the sealant used is rather unpleasant – adhering to the fingers with tenacity, coated in thin layers of the card. Well, once I had successfully penetrated this sticky seal and the card unfolded, I revealed one of those things I’ve been waiting for with excitement: a paperback copy of my novelette Shade of Evil.
It may be difficult for some to understand, but this was a very special moment in my life. Here, after many decades of desiring it, was one of my very own books – in real life! The glossy cover, the beautifully printed text, the texture of the cream coloured paper. It was almost overwhelming! I’ve got the ebook copies, of course, but this was entirely different. I read a few passages and made a discovery: somehow, the words no longer seemed to belong to me! It seemed, to me, as if I had cut the final binds between myself and my work. This book represents the fact that it now belongs to the world!
I didn’t retain possession of it for long. In fact, I was only able to fondle it for about an hour. Jenny took it with her, back to work, to show her colleague!