We fly in pre-dawn. The sun is yet to break. No orange glints off the silver wings of the plane. No gliding over the majestic skyscrapers and bearing left over a sparkling blue shoreline. Instead, we're met with a bitterly cold wind and darkness, but glad to have arrived in one piece, dragging a cabin-fever toddler behind us, and mentally preparing myself for the fog of jet lag that will descend for the next two days.
It's this fog that befuddles my brain when later that day, I walk into Mosman's Pages and Pages and see RG piled high next to The Miniaturist, Little Lies, The Paying Guests, among others. My mother-in-law urges me to say something. So I pick up a copy and, (forgetting that I look like a 'before photo' in a makeover segment), say, Excuse me, I've just flown in from London and this is my book. I'm not sure what I expected, but I'm sure I went bright red. The staff were lovely and immediately asked me to sign a bunch. They even took a photo and tweeted. It wasn't until I walked out that I realised I'd signed with the bank signature I've had since I was twelve: acameron in running writing with a ballpoint pen...
There are a few defining moments for a debut author and this is one of them.
Then we took a stroll down Balmoral.