Well it’s way past deadline time, of course, but the new book is, as of today, written and probably being met with grimaces and shaking heads in a big editiorial meeting as we speak. There’s always a sense of anticlimax finishing a book these days. In the Days Before E-Mail there was a certain ceremony in printing it all out, saving it to old-fashioned floppy disks, wrestling the whole shooting match into a jumbo jiffy bag and dragging it up to the post office, sending it recorded delivery and adjourning to the pub round the corner to eke out your pennies until the next bit of the advance arrives.
These days you write an e-mail to your editor, attach the chapter documents, hit send, watch it go, sit there drumming your fingers for a bit and then go and put the kettle on. A year or more of reading, planning, cursing, travelling, sleeping in strange beds, getting rained on and frantic bloodshot dawn-racing typing should really produce a bit more ceremony; more of a sense of accomplishment, but no, it just engenders a bit of aimless wandering around the house, messing about on Facebook and writing a long overdue website update.
Mind you, there’s little respite what with magazine articles to write, radio programmes to make and the small matter of moving to a different country to contend with. But first the important stuff: a clue as to how I’ll be spending the immediate future:

I was in Waterstone’s on Oxford Street the other day. Naturally, as in every bookshop, I made a beeline for the travel section to lurk nearby and whenever someone approaches pick one of my books off the shelf, open it at random and start laughing uproariously while making sure the cover is on display. Imagine my delight when I discovered that Waterstone’s now deem me worthy of my own shelf label thing. Shame they spelled my name wrong though. Ah well.