Caligula is now out there. David Robinson, the literary editor at The Scotsman, got his proof copy yesterday, which means that so has every other literary editor in the country. When he first told me, I was elated, but then the reality of all those enormously intelligent, highly educated people poring over my book with critical eyes hit me and I came over all nervous. I've read it a hundred times. I think it's good, but it's what they think that matters.
But what would be much worse than the critics not praising it, would be them ignoring it. I've worked in newspaper offices for long enough to know how many books pass over their desks every day. David has big sacks lying beside his desk, all chock full of books. I know how much effort has gone into each and every one of them, but I sometimes look at them and wonder how some ever got published. It's all too easy for someone's pride and joy to disappear into the void.
Let's hope it doesn't happen to Caligula, but only time will tell.