It happened. Ideas, plans, research, walks, train journeys, buildings, cafés, flowers, swims, shops, stained glass, bookshops, stations, stories, pies and parched peas have been turned into books. All the words and all the photos are mine, not to mention all the other decisions and stuff that have to go into the making of a book and, I can tell you, there's a lot. It's been an amazing education to go from start to finish on my own, with just Sarah Rock, a wonderful, patient book designer to create a lovely layout and look, and Lavenham Press a helpful, patient printer to do the paper bit.
Only it's not all finished, of course. It's just the start now, the start of making sure the books find their way into the shops and the places where people can find them. As well as everything else, I'm also my own sales rep, and I'm having to do something I've never done before: selling. So I'm very pleased to say that by the end of this week, the Preston guide will be in the Harris and in Preston Waterstones, and the Shoreditch guide will be in Camden Lock Books, Material, Present and Brick Lane Bookshop. (Both are in the Persephone Books shop.) I'm thrilled to bits because these are all amazing places.
When the students left home, I realised I could let myself drift gently into post-children life and allow myself to feel my age, or I could take on scary, new, wild challenges like writing and publishing my own books, and ignore my age. I'm glad I took the second option and made all this happen.