I am making my high street debut this month with the hardback release of THE CLEANER hitting the shelves. I’m feeling a real mixture of emotions. I’ll try and explain.
Firstly, I am hugely grateful to the many readers who have enjoyed my books with their ereaders. It’s not an understatement to say that those readers have been the reason for the success that I’ve had, especially as I did my best to surf the wave of the (then) new technology, doing my best to be a first mover. I’ve never subscribed to the idea that ebooks were in any way inferior, and, quite the contrary, I believe that their flexibility and ease of use has given authors so many more writers opportunities than they’ve ever had.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a great feeling in holding a physical copy of your book, and enjoying the act of turning pages. My career has constantly surprised me, with me often having to work out how to proceed on my own terms, especially after my hugely disappointing experience with traditional routes at the very start of my career. I appreciate there is a certain sweet irony after releasing a couple of dozen books that only now do I get to hold a hardback of one of my stories in my hands. But it is a real thrill, nonetheless.
It’s been a nerve-wracking experience, too. The virus threatened to make this the dampest of damp squibs, but I hope we’ve navigated our way to something resembling a safe enough environment that enables booksellers to be able to open their doors again, just as THE CLEANER is launched, in the nick of time.
There is no right way to read a book. Just because something has been around for decades, it doesn’t mean that it has no value any more. So, I will never ever put one format above another – I’m grateful for every reader, however they may come to one of my stories. What does appear to be undeniable is that our passion for reading shows absolutely no sign of wavering, however we do it. But I hope you forgive me for being beside myself with excitement to find myself on store shelves for the first time in a couple of decades, maybe introducing John Milton to an entirely different audience, or even just having the opportunity to put myself in a (literal) shop window.
All I want is as many people as possible to be given the opportunity to find my books, and then, all being well, to enjoy them enough to consider reading another. Just knowing that there is an audience out there who are enjoying the stories gives me huge motivation to sit down and work on more, and more, and more.