I’ve been to a pudding factory (excellent, smells of vanilla) – but I’ve never been to a book factory before, and it was amazing! (doesn’t smell of vanilla though.) A lovely lady called Tanya showed us around and made us feel like we were as important as J K Rowling and E L James put together. (Note to self: would I sell more books if I wrote under initials? Maybe the more initials the better – J K E L Newman? Must source more middle names immediately.)
It was all a bit of a blur as I was just so happy to be there. (My dad was not well for most of last year and so to be there with him and my mum felt extra-special.) Things I remember as follows:
Piles of book covers to be wrapped round their contents:
Books are printed in sections a bit like lasagne. (For my latest lasagne mishaps click here.)
Books are printed in pairs, one up one down, and then chopped in half:
The glue used to bind them looks like jewels, and cries out to be played with:
The process is huge and fast and brilliant, and seems to be run by a bunch of 6 foot hotties. (Note 2 to self – bring wing women to printing of next book.)
Seeing a book you’ve written whizz down a production line suddenly makes it all feel very, very real, and you start panicking about not being Nabokov…
Oh well, too late for that now, though maybe I could make that one of my new middle names? Stella Nabokov Rowling Jenny (I always liked the name Jenny) Newman. S N R J Newman. Hmm, looks like my fingers fell asleep on the typewriter.
Anyway, at the end of all those conveyor belts, out comes a book, or a few books. Magic!
Afterwards we went for lunch in the terribly pretty medieval town of Lavenham,
where we ate at Marco Pierre White’s The Angel. We had a Taste discount card which meant the food was half price – or in my family’s case meant you order double the amount of food. Prawn cocktail, lamb boulangere with triple cooked chips, creamed spinach, broccoli hollandaise, and finally a light-as-air-and-just-as-well chocolate and coffee mousse. All super delicious, and I needed to build some muscle anyway for an epic book signing session today at Harper Collins!