I can’t believe my eyes – I must be dreaming… — Jack Skellington

What's this parcel, then?A parcel just arrived here at Cooper Towers. A thick, heavy parcel, bound in sticky tape and bearing the blazon of none other than Orion Books.

So, naturally, I opened it – or tried to. Application of fingernails, scissors and finally brute strength was required (I don’t know where Orion gets their Sellotape, but this is definitely not regulation Sellotape, being fiendishly sticky and stubbornly durable).

Eventually, the ungodly stuff was overcome, and the parcel disgorged this:

Yup, the page proofs for Songs of the Earth just thudded onto my desk. Ooh. Exciting.

Now I get to read my book for the umpteenth time, looking for errors, misspellings, infelicitous word-choices etc – though hopefully I’ve already eliminated most of the outright clunkers by now, leaving only my prose, to stand or fall on its own merits.

It looks lovely, by the way. Absolutely lovely, like a child in its christening robes, all white and perfect. Sniffle.

Sorry, I seem to have got something in my eye.

There’s white things in the air — Jack Skellington