Ask any author, researching is lonely, writing is tortuous, the publicity round exhausting. So why do it?
Because I love it, perhaps? Not always, but this, the final two weeks before publication, is the best moment. This is the window when my book is still my own, inside me, before the world has had a chance to read it – or judge it.
But it’s a strange time too. Nothing I can change now … however often I wake in the night wishing I could add this or say that better. And in this case it’s not just a book but a Channel 4 film based on my quest to find Wallis. And the film even more than the book is totally out of my hands and into those of the director and producers … I have done the interviews but don’t yet know the title or the transmission date. Watch this space. As soon as I know, you’ll know.
Talking of judging… just as I thought I had time to read all those novels piling up on the floor by the side of my bed the biographies start arriving: serious reading this as I am a judge for the HW Fisher Best First Biography prize. What a treat, and what a responsibility! But please won’t someone ask me to judge a fiction prize? Historians read novels too – Hey, some of us even write them!