So in my last post I was gleeful over reader letters that had arrived in the mail. Today, there is more postal goodness, though of a different kind.
This morning, the white van roared up my driveway (FedEx – it always feels American somehow when it’s FedEx, doesn’t it?) to disgorge this:
Audio books! I have audio books! Unabridged. 4 Compact Disks. Approx. 4 Hours, 10 Minutes. The school run will never be the same.
This version is released by Candlewick on BrillianceAudio, and is performed by Tara Sands. And if you are interested, you can listen to an excerpt here. It’s such an odd experience hearing my story, my characters, with an American accent. When I get a spare 4 hours and 10 minutes I’m going to listen to the whole thing. I can’t wait to hear how Tara does good old Finkle.
Then, just as I was getting over that excitement, another white van roared up my driveway. This time, there was a box. I do love a box. I like the way you can open the flaps and stare down at the contents and say ahh.
Hardbacks! I have hardbacks! There is something about the heft of them that pleases the soul.
Eventually, of course, I took one out of the box, and then I discovered something unexpected. My ripple has texture! I’ve always loved the way the designer has the ‘O’ of the title rippling out into the surrounding water but I didn’t realise the ripples were going to actually ripple under the fingers. I may have spent some time stroking the cover. I think that is perhaps allowed at this point.
And last of all, was not a van but a motorbike. It was my everyday trusty postie (will US blog-readers understand that, do you think?). I have come to know this man well. We often stand and chat in the driveway. He says things like, “How’s the writing going?” and we both try and pretend I’m not standing there in my socks with my hair unbrushed at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, even though that is in fact the answer to his question.
But I digress. The point is – my trusty postie brought me this, about which I am extremely pleased.
It’s a letter, and a certificate and what seems to be a small tie-pin, all of it from the Junior Library Guild. They have written to tell me that ‘in keeping with [their] goal of providing extraordinary reading experiences for children and young adults’ they have awarded Below the designation of “A Junior Library Guild selection” for Spring 2013.
They tell me that this designation is ‘often viewed as a bellwether of future success’, and I am extremely pleased all over again, not only because I am in favour of future success, but because I am delighted to see the word ‘bellwether’ slipped so easily into a sentence.
Thank you, Junior Library Guild. And Candlewick and Brilliance and Tara Sands and all the many delivery folk who make the trek up my driveway to deliver me such lovely stuff. I swear that one day soon I will afford you the respect you deserve. Shoes, a hairbrush. I promise.