A Happy New Year to everyone.
It's been pretty quiet on the book front over the past couple of weeks and I've been heavily involved in a project at The Scotsman so I haven't been able to give the blog my usual attention. I'm still waiting for the return of the copy-edited manuscript of book two in the Rufus series, Claudius, which should arrive some time next week. It's been with the copy editor for slightly longer than Caligula was, which I suspect means there'll be more work to do on this one, but we'll see.
The next thing to look forward to is the publication of Caligula in the US on January 27, which will be quickly followed by the paperback launch in the UK on February 12. I should also, over the next month or so, get the first official count of how many books have been sold so far, which is interesting and scary in equal measure. I've always known that the big challenge is to build on what's been achieved so far and the mass market paperback is a key factor in that.
2008 was a year of contrasts, with the excitement of having my first book published offset by my son's battle with the auto-immune disease ITP (immune thrombocytopenic purpura). At one point he faced the possibility of a splenectomy and we went through a lot of soul-searching and sought a second opinion from experts at the Royal London Hospital before deciding against it. At the time, he was on steroid treatment, with all the horrible side-effects that accompany it. When we came back from London he came off the steroids, kept his spleen, and apart from one pretty frightening incident has resumed a more or less normal life. Seeing the way he faced that challenge and dealt with it were undoubtedly my proudest moments of the year!
2009 will undoubtedly be a year of new challenges for everybody. I wish you all the best in the months ahead.