I managed to dig out the earliest draft of my opening chapters recently, dated February 2010, a little over 3,000 days ago. It reads now, like somebody else wrote it, but countless redrafts later, it’s actually out there. The build up to publication day seemed to take an eternity, but it’s been and gone in a flash, so thought I’d capture, as much for me as to share with you folks, what the day itself felt like.

5:30 a.m. – My son, Jake, (10 weeks old at the time) decided I should make the most of the day, and kindly woke me up bright and early, so we got up and watched some UFC over breakfast.

6:30 a.m. – My wife, Nic, is putting me to shame these days, and was up doing her Insanity workout while I slouched on the couch, cheering her along.

6:45 a.m. – Seeing as it took over 3,000 days to get this far, I’m trying to shorten that a little for book 2, and bashed out a few pages of book 4, blocking out the cries of “dig deeper” from the TV, as my wife lunges around the living room,

8:30 a.m. – Family trip to the beach followed by breakfast in the Surf Cafe at Tynemouth. It’s around this time I wished I’d done the workout with my wife so I wouldn’t feel quite so guilty about eating my own bodyweight in bacon and sausage, especially as I’m dong the Yorkshire Three Peaks in 8 weeks time. The rest of the morning is spent on Twitter & Facebook, and getting RSI in my finger from refreshing Amazon to see if my sales rank has changed. Spoiler alert, most of you, like me, won’t rocket to the top of the charts within hours of book one coming out. Try not to obsess

12:00 – lunch with the lads. It says something when I lower the average age by a few decades, but my regular Thursday lunch slot is with my dad, my uncle and a few others. I’m the only one not in my seventies, but they’re all good craic and I’m really glad publication fell on a Thursday so I could share it with them. The rest of the afternoon is downtime, with a few more pages written for good measure, and more time answering messages and posts on Facebook & Twitter.

19:30 – the official launch isn’t until Monday, so was really pleased to find a local event that asked me to come along and do a reading. Some of my hardcore fans, namely Nic & Jake plus my Mam & Dad, came along too, so a perfect way to end the day.

I’ve had a few events since publication day – a book club talk in Durham, my launch in Newcastle, and a library event in Wallsend, but as much as I love doing them, I’m kind of glad that the day itself went like it did, and didn’t have anything like that booked in. I got to spend it with my nearest and dearest, who’ve supported me throughout the last few years I’ve been trying to get this far, and to me, that felt pretty much perfect. Roll on book two in March 2019!