In remembrance of hurts past and memorials not yet built
I have spent the last two weeks at home - in the sense of the place to which I am always drawn back.
The ostensible purpose was a book tour but like many journeys that begin in one direction, it ended in another, if it ended at all.
The mechanics of publishing dictate that you move from city to city, town to town, the smiling public man who meets and greets, signs books and poses for photographs. It is what you sign up for when you sign the deal and I do not complain. In the mornings there are flights or trains to catch and reviews to be read. Mostly the critics have been blushingly generous but I read reviews with the eye of one who has been on this carousel for many years. My first book was published back in 1994 and in the near quarter-century since I have been lionised and lambasted and lionised again. It has taught me to take praise and criticism with a large grain of salt. The relationship I treasure most is with the reader; honest feedback in a crowded bookshop is the best reward of all.