It’s weird, that time before a novel finally hits the shelves. It’s all you can think about because there are promotional things to organise, questions to answer, book launches to prepare for, but you’re also looking forward to the final moment in the evening after everyone else has gone home and you can put your feet up and sigh and say, ‘right, done!’.

Because books do take a long time to make it from the computer screen on your desk to the bookshelf. I finished Equinox and handed the first, ready to proof, draft to my editors in December last year. Yep, last year. So this year has been all about edits, and re-edits, and checks and final checks and do I like the cover and what about the acknowledgments, until finally, a package in the mail with a shiny new book. It’s an odd surreal moment opening that package.

When I got mine last week, I was in the middle of writing the third book in the Rosie series. Still am actually, with a timetable to finish the draft in the next few weeks. (Here’s hoping!) So getting Equinox as weight in the hand hard copy was like a visit from an old friend who had stayed with me for a while, made a huge mess, drank all the tea and never cleaned the bathroom, and then finally left to see other people. Yet I still remember it with fondness. I’m not quite ready to read the whole thing again, but I can flick through with some pride and nod and say, yup, that’s done.