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Years ago, I worked as a manager in a chain of bookstores. I started when I was in my early twenties, in what was my first 'proper' job - salaried, permanent and managerial.

I have happy memories of my time there and, despite not working as a book manager during my tenure - even though I applied because of my love of reading - a lot of my fondest memories are of signing sessions.

I'm a back-room kind of gal. I do organisation and I'm not so good at the front of house stuff. Still am't, so the book launch is a huge learning curve for me. Mostly, I looked after the shop and staff and allowed the store manager and book manager to be free to look after the authors. And I used to watch the authors sign and think one day...

Life happened, I didn't write the book, kids happened, priorities changed and I moved into a more child-friendly role (retail covers a lot of hours.) Finally, about a decade later, I wrote the darn book.

Yesterday the paperbacks arrived. They look great. I keep dipping into it, amazed that the story I'm used to seeing on the screen actually is a book. I'm amazed how long it is - it didn't feel like that as I skipped from scene to scene, tightening, editing, deepening.

Next week, my book goes into some shops. Real shops. On real bookshelves. And one of those shops is my old shop (well, slightly relocated but many of the staff are people I've known for years.) There are launches and signing sessions and all the stuff I daydreamed about - Comic con, for heaven's sake, with my book. There are, on the horizon, things I didn't even dare to daydream about (but that's for another blog, on another day.)

And this is just a quick call out to those shops who have supported me - to the Eason managers across the board who've helped, and to Waterstones, who are seeking some stormtroopers for me - to say thanks, and to give a little insight into what it all means.


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