‘Frederic’ is out today.

I’d like to be all cool about it, but I’m not. It’s a different sort of feeling to last time, as it’s a completely different sort of book; a little more ‘personal,’ which is a bit odd. So I’m both excited and nervous, which I’m guessing doesn’t make me unique amongst the 50 grillion people who also have books out today.

But it’s already prompted something slightly flabbergasting to happen, which I hope to write about at some point.

If you will indulge me, I’d like to point you towards three people who have been incredibly generous with their good nature and reputation: the trio quoted on the front and back covers. It is impossible to convey the anxiety I felt when I made initial contact with them in a sort of fumbling fan-boy type way. (I know people think that publishing is all corrupt and cynical, but I – perhaps naively – wanted to ask writers who I genuinely admired and whose affirmation would mean something to me personally.) So thanks to, in no particular order:

Saul Wordsworth. Saul had written one of the best bits of outright comic fiction that I’ve read in recent years: Alan Stoob, Nazi Hunter. I truly don’t say that lightly; it was masterful, made all the more so because in different hands it so easily could have been a one-dimensional, one-joke novelty.

Neil Forsyth. Amongst other achievements, creator of Bob Servant: the books, the radio shows and the BBC4 series. I’ve loved Neil’s stuff for years; he gets his characters to inspire such affection amidst the comedy, and seriously knows his way around plotting and dialogue.

Jill Twiss. Very-longer-term readers may recall Jill once writing a couple of little blog pieces on here, to keep things going when I was away on holiday. Now she writes for one of the top TV shows on the bloody planet. To say that I was shy about metaphorically turning up at her apartment after ten years and mumbling ‘mmphjillwouldyoureadthismmph’ is somewhat of an understatement. Thanks to Jill, and to John Oliver’s office for clearing the use of his name.

You guys are the best.

That’s it for now. Wish me luck.