The launch of The Death of Bees is nigh and Harper Collins have gone out on a limb for me and supported the book in every conceivable way, as have Windmill books. I should only know joy and excitement, but the truth is I worry I’m going to let everyone down and frankly it’s keeping me awake at night. I am touring Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area, doing readings mostly and signings. It’s the readings however that have me quaking in my size 10 boots. I remember when I was President of my Student Union and I had to give a speech to a graduating class of around 400 people and I lost the speech about five minutes before I got on stage. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to tell them the truth, but my mouth started to move and before I could stop myself I had launched myself into an incoherent babble worthy of a TeleTubby. They looked confused. They were looking at one another and shaking their heads. They were expecting wise words and after 4 years of University they deserved them. I had none. I was on television recently on Connie Martinson Talks Books and again jelly took over my body and I trembled myself into a cold blood fear. Connie reminded me we were just two people having a conversation and she was right. I still think I chattered on like a budgie. I have done several interviews since then and find myself nervously pacing from room to room during them. There will be a couple of live radio interviews in January and you can only guess at how frayed my old nerves are. I should be able to talk with confidence about a book I’ve written and hope to. It’s not like The Kings Speech, I have the words right in front of me, they’re my words and I know them better than anyone else and I don’t have a stutter. What the hell is wrong with me people? I’m hoping for kindness at readings. I’m hoping for an audience that understands writing a book is only half the challenge. I’m not a shy person by any stretch of the imagination and I know I have things to say to anyone who wishes to hear them. I just hope I don’t fall over in a swooning state of anxiety trying to, but if I do, be sure to catch me. I came for you after all.