Today I had one of the best, and possibly the most important, reactions to Caligula so far. The proof copies have been out with literary editors for about a week and obviously their reaction is hugely important to what happens from now on in.
It's impossible not to be a little nervous about what's happening. Have they all been shoved in corners? Picked up and thrown down again in disgust?
Well I found out where one of them has been.
David Robinson, the books editor at The Scotsman, marched up the office and shook me by the hand. He'd started reading Caligula at the weekend and hadn't been able to put it down. "It's a real page turner. I thought it was brilliant. How did you do it?" And there was a lot more of the same. This from a guy who reads books for a living? It was an incredible confidence booster. David probably has more insight into what makes a book worth reading than anyone else I know and is hugely respected in the newspaper and publishing worlds. He congratulated me on achieving things in the book I hadn't even realised I'd attempted to do.
We had a long chat. He's keen to do a feature on Caligula and author, which will be great publicity. When he left I was grinning from ear to ear.
But it made me a little nervous, too. Just what is this thing I've created? Where is it going to take me? There's a sense of a great opportunity just over the horizon, but what do I have to do to grasp it?
Seven weeks today and Caligula will be in the shops.