Friday was a momentous day. I got home from work to the news that a delivery of some boxes had been left with my neighbour. This could mean only one thing: my latest book, Gloucester Then & Now, had finally hit the streets!
It is always a great moment to open that box and get your first sight of the book that you have slaved over for many months. For me, the process for each of my books has been much the same. First the idea is agreed with a publisher and a deadline is set. This deadline seems so far into the future that there is really no hurry: a period of light writing and heavy procrastination ensues.
Suddenly the deadline begins to look alarmingly close and the pace of writing – or mainly in this case, photography – has to step up considerably. Long nights are spent writing and slaving over Photoshop. Those last photos have to be taken but it just won’t stop bloody raining! Luckily, for the first time, I had a collaborator on this book: Ken Jacques is probably the most dedicated photographer of all things Gloucester that you are ever likely to meet and he definitely saved my skin on a number of pictures and greatly improved several others.
Finally, the initial draft is submitted. There then follows a round of edits, then it all goes quiet as it heads off to the printers. Weeks turn into months. Then, suddenly, there they are; shrouded in non-descript cardboard boxes sitting in the hallway.
The box is opened and finally you get to actually take in your hands what, up until now, was just a concept in your head and words on a computer screen. To riffle through the crisp new pages and smell that unmistakable aroma of a new book. Whatever the pros and cons of digital books, this experience just cannot be replicated in the virtual world.
So that’s it then; job done.
Well, not quite. Now I need to let people know it is out there and hope that some of them may want to buy a copy. If you are one of those people, or if you’d just like to come and say hello, come along to one of the informal launch events:
Tuesday 26 June 2012, 7:30pm – The Old Bell, 9a Southgate Street, Gloucester
Saturday 21 July 2012, 11:00am and 2:00pm – St Michaels’ Tower, The Cross, Gloucester