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Well, here they are, at long last: my first batch of copies of “Susan in the City” – a collection of eighty of the 510 columns that I wrote for my local newspaper over the last decade:


I ordered these from CreateSpace waaaaaaay back on 17 March 2017 and (thinking to save the pennies) chose the slowest and cheapest of the three delivery speeds, being quoted an arrival date of 9 May.  I will never do this again: with the budget delivery option there is no tracking, and so – from the moment I had the dispatch notification on 26 March – I was looking out for the books.  And they never arrived.  The ones you are looking at are the replacement order that CreateSpace put together when I complained on 11 May and sent by super-über-speedy delivery to arrive on 15 May.  I cannot tell you the hours of angst I have had over this delivery, and so my lesson for today is: never order books without a tracking option.

As for the books themselves, I am delighted with them and their lovely, sunny yellow covers.  The interior is good as well: cream paper, clear font and plenty of space (I do loathe books that use every inch of paper and force their text to the edges, so that you have to practically break the spine to read to the end of the lines).

So what is their fate?  Five were donated to the local newspaper, the Cambridge News – where the columns originally appeared – to serve as prizes in a reader competition.  I don’t know whether this will lead to further sales (I never know whether anything leads to further sales!) but I did slip a Plank bookmark inside each, just in case.

And five were delivered yesterday to Heffers, the bookshop in Cambridge that has always been so supportive and encouraging of my Plankish efforts.  They hinted that “Susan in the City” – having local interest – might even make it onto the oak table.  The oak table is, as you might imagine, a large oak table and it is right at the front of the shop – in pole position, as Hamilton and Vettel might say.  Nothing I have written has ever appeared on the oak table, so I have everything crossed that the sunshine yellow might seal the deal.  If it does, rest assured that photos will appear.