I have just opened an express post envelope containing the finished copy of my novel, Nights In The Asylum. At last, a book in my hands!

It was a very special moment, one of life's great highs. I really should have had a bottle of champagne on hand, but the package was delivered at a little after seven in the morning and I had to scramble from the shower to take delivery. There will be no photographs of the unveiling.

It is at this point, I suppose, that my not-so-slight fetish for new books will become obvious. Ah, but they are all, in their own ways, beautiful, with their pristine pages and fresh ink scent, their back cover blurbs that entice and epigraphs that intrigue, their acknowledgements that offer clues to the writer's journey, and, of course, their gorgeous covers.

I may be biased, but after handling the manuscript for so long, Nights In The Asylum, the book, looks, feels and smells wonderful. Not only that, but the UK and Australian editions have different and equally beautiful covers.