The Nymph has requested to take over the last blog of this year. Not without a smidgen of anxiety, I will let her take control of the key-board.
‘Three years ago I arrived on this rainy island, a lonely ancient Greek Nymph washed ashore. The Gods begged me not to give my lovely name to a publishing house bound to fail in this cold, ruthless climate. I defied them. I was young. Nevertheless, I had my doubts. But this year the doubts have evaporated into thin air. I now know: the British reader loves me. This miracle wouldn’t have been possible without an impressive team behind me. I like to thank them today:
Sacha Davison Lunt, my designer: I can’t even imagine how I would get out of bed in the morning, if Sacha weren’t there to help me get dressed. People love and adore me because of my good looks. But I have to admit, without Sacha I’d be nothing but black words on a page.
Maddy Pickard, marketing director: the woman who ensures that I have the audience I deserve. Maddy attracts the best wine sponsors for our events, she sets up Supper Clubs and evenings with music and drama for our subscribers. And takes our sparkling show to bookshops, cafes and gift shops. Thanks to her I can take my place in London literary society.
Jennifer Cairns, Roaming Store manager: outright hero. Whatever the weather she stands outside selling books with a smile. She spends most of her time talking to punters who have never heard of an ancient Greek Nymph before. A couple of weeks later they have read the books and subscribe for years to come. In short it’s partly because of Jennifer that I have such a devoted fan-club.’
The Nymph pauses. I look at her and wait, expecting more to follow but she seems to have finished her speech.
‘Haven’t you forgotten someone?’ I eventually ask.
She looks at me in surprise: ‘No.’
‘What about me?’ Admittedly I feel hurt by the omission.
The Nymph laughs in slight embarrassment: ‘Ah, yes.’
Then she regains her cheeky composure: ’Fair enough.’ She thinks for a moment. ‘You are the best slave driver. Even the ancient Greek world didn’t produce a better one.’ She grins at me. I lean forward and take her face between my hands and plant a kiss on her forehead. ‘Thank you, my lovely Nymph. And you are the most difficult yet rewarding non-slave I have ever worked with.’
Ladies and Gentlemen, Peirene and I bow to you. We thank you for your custom and interest and enthusiasm. Without you, our books and our show would be futile. We wish you a very Happy Christmas and einen Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr. See you all back here in 2013.