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I always thought that I had a good level of sang froid. That I could be cool and collected under the most stressful conditions. I’ve been a first aider and dealt with injuries at events, I’ve been part of a thin line of people holding back a rowdy crowd at a music concert, I’ve stood in front of a class of children who were throwing insults at me. I’ve done all these things and never let it show that I was affected. It was once said of me that I had a limitless supply of calm (I keep it in my pocket, I have rather large pockets).

I’ve also been involved in writing for a good few years and talked to professional published writers and therefore learnt a thing or two about what it is like to be a writer – getting that first publication, seeing your book in print and all of that cool stuff.

However, talking about it and experiencing it are two entirely different things.

What scared the hell out of me recently were two things. The first was seeing the copyright and contents pages for Pirates and Swashbucklers. There it was, my name, in black and white with a little (c) next to it and later in the contents page next to the title of my story. I am not aware of any writer ever describing how that felt or even having the skill to be able to accurately describe it. A cross between joy and abject terror is the way I would put it with an added touch of relief that there was finally proof that things were happening – publication was no longer a distant pipe dream, no longer an abstract agreement between publisher and writer that someday there will be a book in print, it was here and now in the real world. However, that description can never do the feeling justice. Let me add to it that I could not help but go squee when I saw it and have since thanked all the gods I could think of that there was no one within earshot and thus my reputation is safe.

However, fate had more in store for me. Yesterday there was a request on my Facebook page for a UK release of Pirates and Swashbucklers. Understandable, I am from the UK and many of the people who might want to read it are also from the UK. However, in its present form, the book is only going out to US customers. As a result of this request, I decided to pop onto Amazon UK to see what happened if I did a search for the book. This where I got my second scary surprise: there was a listing on Amazon UK for the kindle edition! And there was a listing, again with my name on it, on the Amazon webpage where anyone can read it and buy it (and review it… *gulp*)!

So, with my reputation as a cool, no nonsense, doesn’t care what is said about him type of guy now totally in tatters due to me announcing my fanboyish squeeing on a public blog, I have to ask the question: what other scary surprises are waiting for me out there? What scary surprises have other people had? Feel free to share any here…

Oh, and by the way, apparently the international release of the anthology will happen. So, people in the UK who don’t have Kindles will be able to get hold of a real live paper edition soon. It just takes a few weeks for things to work through the system. I will announce it as soon as it appears….