Can you do us a little biography to go in the book? And did you want a dedication?
So says the email. The biography is no bother: I will take the usual bee-keeping-and-yoga-thrice-weekly route beloved of the committed CV-writer (ie resort to fiction). The dedication involves a fraction more angst. Tim Dowling was memorable enough on the point back in June for me to go hunting for his article (worth reading in full, for the copy ed’s rather sweet accidental rendering): A dedication remains…the first thing the reader sees after the title. As an author, one wants it to be reflective of the contents, or at least reassuring and inviting. The perfect dedication would also be immediately moving, or funny, or both; timely but also timeless. No pressure, then.
My first book was dedicated to my nephews and nieces (all doted upon to an embarrassing degree, given that they are now aged from 19 to 13 and, really, doting bookish auntienerds are not the ultimate teenage accessory). Since then, I’ve acquired a new niece. Clearly she deserves a dedication so she can catch up (and because she is AWESOME) – but, then, is it unfair to give her a whole book all to herself, when the others had to share? What about my sisters, who have nurtured this book along far more than the last? And my parents, who have throughout, and with extraordinary restraint, refrained from gently suggesting I should get a proper job? Then there are the friends, the editors, the virtual folks who’ve contributed just by being online. I am Halle Berry, and I would like to thank my lawyers.
I think I’ve decided what I would like to do. (Probably.) And I wrote the book, so it’s sort of up to me. But, you know, actually it’s dedicated to YOU, yes YOU, no, really, YOU THAT’S READING THIS RIGHT NOW, YOU SPECIAL LITTLE PUPPY. And that bloke next to you. Him too. And his nan. So if you should feel a mite neglected by the dedication, you are a silly, because PUPPY YOU is totally included within it really.
Too many emails. Nice emails about festive shopping and unicorns, as well as the tedious work ones, but still: lots.
See above. Plus I’m playing Name That Character! which is always a bit of a laugh. (I called someone Tallulah once because it took a while to type, and thus gave me time to think what came next. Expect Biscuits & Lies‘ cast list to contain Geldof-esque levels of absurdity.)
Pretending that Monday and Tuesday are still the weekend, faffing in London, watching old Wire in the Blood, eating crumpets.