Mr Spock is dancing the Can-can

Mr Spock Mr Spock

The countdown for the launch of The Palace of Curiosities has not merely commenced, it's gone from 'this month' to 'in a fortnight'.

Friends are aware that I'm excited. Like duh! Excited seems a mundane, workaday word to describe how I feel. This is bigger than every night before Xmas to a soundtrack of The Night They Invented Champagne with added adrenalin. If I get any more excited, I think my head will explode.

Close friends know the flipside; the part which is viewing the proceedings as calmly and dispassionately as Mr Spock examining an alien life form and pronouncing it fascinating.

That doesn't mean I'm indulging in false coolness, so desperate to conceal any engagement with joy that I shrug and say 'launch? Debut novel? Oh, I suppose so'. Nor is it the equally tedious self-flagellation of telling myself that I don't deserve it. I've worked damn hard to get to this point, so there.

Yes, I'm thrilled. At the same time I'm able to watch it all going on, and function calmly. Mr Spock dancing the can-can about sums it up.

* And while we're on the subject of Star Trek, I might as well come out as Geek and Proud. Friends have started referring to the novel as TPOC. Fellow Trek fans will appreciate the felicity of the acronym which, like T'Pau and T'Pol, is a traditional name for a Vulcan woman. This tickles me greatly.