At long last....

My debut novel, A Clockwork Apple, is now out there. I went into Waterstones today to take a peek at how my baby was doing. I went to the 'W' section but it wasn't there. I went to the counter and there, next to the till, was a stack of my books being stickered with the '3 for 2' labels, ready for the main tables. Surreal is the only apt word, and is the only word to use for last night's launch at Housmans bookshop in King's Cross. I was surrounded by friends mainly - but also quite a few people I'd never met and I got plenty of experience scrawling my name on the title page. A good friend then put the icing on the cake by whisking me and my sister to The Ivy for supper! We talked about how far we had each come from our early struggles and how we had attempted to turn some of those struggles into a new creation that others could also share. I have to say that it was the best evening of my life to date and the memory of it will keep me warm for many a hard time to come!! I also did an interview with the Manchester Evening News on Monday. The journalist asked me about growing up in Moss-Side and I pulled no punches but I also hope I did't say too much as my family still live in Manchester! It is also where I will be doing my PhD this year, all going well. Yet despite the surreal yet lovely nature of the launch and seeing it in the bookshops the past week was very dark. Last Thursday a doctor from the Manchester Royal Infirmary told my brother to get the family together as our mum had suffered 'numerous' strokes and may only have hours to live. I raced up there, frantic. On Thursday evening there were twelve people around her bed! It must have worked because she is seeming to pull through and has gone from a comatose state to demanding a cigarette, despite the fact she doesn't yet have use of her arms!! We'll see. More experience to draw on. is now live.

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