It's funny the old book business; for weeks on end nothing happens and you wonder if it's all gone away and then suddenly things start getting exciting again. Today I'm ready to hit the button on Claudius for the last time. The typeset manuscript has been read and read again, corrected and then recorrected, but I know that when it goes I'm going to be hit by that feeling of regret and the knowledge that there are things I could/should have done better. The upside is I've read it four times in the last two weeks and I think it's great. A different type of book from Caligula, but with real heart and a blockbuster centrepiece.
I've just come back from Glasgow where I was doing an interview with Alex Dickson on Smooth Radio. I'm familiar with Alex's work, he did a similar half hour show on Radio Clyde that I was able to listen to occassionally and I was always struck by his easy manner with the writers he was talking to. Today he excelled himself. It was like meeting and old friend and having a blether about things that interested us both. I'm also learning all the time. When I did my first interview with BBC Scotland, I took along information written down to refer to, but I realise now that, having lived with Caligula for about four years in one form or another, the information's all in my head and it's just a question of letting it come out. The only strangeness might have been in talking about something that is, for me, a whole book ago, but I found that I still retained my old enthusiasm for the whole Caligula experience.
With Claudius gone, my thoughts naturally will turn to book 3, and that's where the real excitement comes in. Changes are afoot, which I'll keep to myself, but they are really positive changes and a whole new interesting challenge that I can't wait to get started on.