A surprise call from my old neighbour, 'A large box has arrived for you'.

Luckily we were still in touch. I'd forgotten to tell the publishers we had moved... oops. I had imagined  this moment - seen it dramatised in films, and thought it would be quite a defining one. An entire box of your very own first published book. Wow! Indeed, after seven years of labour, I thought we would have been popping the cork, but the birth was much more understated: a simple glass of red, a quiet night in watching a film I have already forgotten, drifting off to sleep on my husband's lap... the spine of Rachael's Gift standing tall on the mantelpiece. A few days later, RG remains in pride of place and I catch myself snatching a glimpse - yes, still there - guilty, as if I am looking in the mirror.