Today something strange happened. I was googling myself as I do about once a week, and have been doing for approximately eight years now. It’s not an arrogance thing. I just like to check where I stand in the world’s ranking in comparison to the stripper whom I share a name with. (Unfortunately for me, not only do we share a name, but she managed to take her clothes off in The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour movie, something I’ll never do, for various reasons and so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever usurp her in google rankings. Also I think she’s dead and the deceased famous are particularly hard to bypass). Whilst googling myself it transpired that Malcolm Orange Disappears is now available on Amazon for pre-order, albeit with a pretend front cover.
I had a number of reactions upon discovering this.
First, I was overwhelmed by the realisation that this was the most best and brilliant thing I’d ever come across on google, (notwithstanding the clip of the 1950s newsreporter being splattered by an exploding whale on Cannon Beach or the Wikipedia page for toothpicks- both of which I can highly recommend).
Second, I started to panic when I realised that everyone can now buy my book and find out for themselves that I am only pretending to be a writer and sometimes, like in the fourth chapter, I am not even very good at pretending.
Thirdly I took a picture of the Amazon pre-order page and put it on Facebook and Twitter and hoped that every single person who I am friends with would buy a copy and leave glowing customer reviews on Amazon and also buy Malcolm for everyone they know as a Christmas and Birthday present next year. With the enormous amount of money generated by these sales I could retire from work at the age of 34 and stay home writing more books in my house which will no longer be cold as I will be rich enough to never turn the central heating off or require a hot water bottle just to stay thawed.
Fourthly I felt like an absolute whore as now everyone I know will feel obliged to buy my book even if they don’t want to. I almost removed the afore-mentioned photo from Facebook but it was too late, people had already shared it on their own pages with hashtags and witty little comments underneath.
Fifthly I thought I might be sick in the bin because there were very many emotions rumbling through me all at once like little bumper cars crashing into each other and everything was happening much faster and louder than I’d anticipated.
Lastly I went on the Waterstones website and they’d misspelt my name, (which let’s face it, isn’t the easiest thing to do seeing as it only has three letters in it). Always good to be brought down to earth with a humbling thud. Tonight I am one, glad and terrified and very excited Jane Carson.