To my amazement, and some four years after I started work on it, The Inside Story of Bernice Summerfield exists. For those who've not been paying attention, it's a 320-page, 300,000 word history of the character created by Paul Cornell in 1991 as a friend for Doctor Who in some books, who's been having adventures in novels, audio plays, short stories and comic strips ever since.
Benny herself - Lisa Bowerman - and I spent the day in a top secret location in darkest Maidenhead signing hundreds of pre-ordered copies, which people ought to receive next week.
It's just so thrilling to actually see the thing real, after all the false starts and delays. It looks absolutely gorgeous - thanks to the amazing work of designer Alex Mallinson, whom every one of you reading this should buy some Lego. It's huge, it's heavy and the writing is sort of okay.
I'd not been to the Big Finish warehouse before, and it's sort of like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only with cardboard boxes not crates. They're stacked tight and to the ceiling, crammed into every nook, every available inch filled with books and CDs. My face ached from gleeful grinning. Just so much lovely *stuff*. I wanted to build a nest and live there.
Guardian of this treasure trove was Gary Atterton, who showed us round, gave us our contributor copies and generally looked after us, while also running round fulfilling orders, answering queries and making it all work. The team have been run off his feet recently 'cos of the various offers and deals, and we watched the system working in awe. Though the only coffee they had was de-caff.
To celebrate the launch of the book, I bribed the astoundingly clever Red Scharlach with CDs and pancake, and she's created a world of Benny icons.
Hmm... Now having thoughts of badges...