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Well, this is a very strange run-up to official publication!  Knowing Amazon as I do, I uploaded my paperback and Kindle files on Saturday, as last time it took them about four days to get everything listed and catalogued, and I wanted it all to be in place for this coming Friday – Publication Day.  And wouldn’t you know it, they processed everything at lightning speed, and – great excitement – copies of “Portraits of Pretence” have already sold (three paperbacks and four Kindles).  However, I am (mainly through lack of time to do anything else) sticking to my original plans to do the proper launch on Friday, with updates to websites, links on Twitter and so on.

Friday is exciting for another reason.  You remember me talking about marketing “hooks”?  Well, a couple of years ago I went on a Grand Day Out to London, and visited, for the first time, the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square.  This is a little art gallery – formerly a collection in a private house – whose most famous exhibit is Frans Hals’ “Laughing Cavalier”.  But they also have a delightful collection of miniatures…  And when I started plotting “Portraits” in earnest, and realised that I wanted those portraits to be tiddlers, I went back to the Wallace and also spent a day reading their full miniatures catalogue in the University Library here in Cambridge.  So a couple of weeks ago I emailed the Wallace curator of miniatures, explaining that my book had been inspired by her collection, and asking to call in to meet her, thank her, and present her with a book – which I am doing on Friday.  I am also hoping to persuade her that I should give an author talk on the book and its origins.  I’ll let you know.