Signing copies and reading a bit out loud were great experiences but – as these social outings usually go – I was sorry not to have had the time to chat more with all my old and new friends (and some complete strangers) who made the effort to turn up and to buy. I remarked at the time – and still feel – that the whole event and, indeed, marketing the thing from now on felt and feels like staging a Tupperware party. I am humbled and genuinely touched by the good will and kindness of people who are supporting this venture for no other reason than I asked them to.
I know that the only small way I can partially repay them is to have delivered a book they like, one that moves them and makes them feel it was worth the time and money they invested in it.
As hokey as this may sound, what’s a true fact for me is that the accumulation of positive comments on this book and On the Rails somehow compensates for the years I spent writing them, the years spent peddling them to every publisher and agent with a vowel in their name and the months spent prepping them for publication. Not to mention the days my bruised ego spent getting over all the Fuck Off letters I’ve received.
Frankly, I’d like nothing better than for my writing to sustain me until I undertake a bit bucket kicking, largely because it would’ve meant that an awfully large group of people read the thing. Which has become the point, after all. I didn’t set out with a “get rich slowly” plan. I was going to write these books anyway; I realize I didn’t have much choice in that matter. But, once done, I understand how much it means to me to get them into the hands of as many people as possible.
I suspect that it’ll be a months- or even years-long process to finally know how well The Sixth String does. That’s the nature of the biz.
But, in the meantime, we gots us another book. A book I’m very proud of. A book I hope its readers enjoy.