So I tore open the box like a kid on Christmas morning and this is what I saw:
I went into a delirium for a few minutes. Caught myself stroking it Gollum-like, whispering My Precious, my Precious... The colors on the cover, especially on the edges, were a little darker than expected, which I liked: it captured the sense of ominous and impending danger well.
I showed it to my oldest son who asked if there were any pictures inside. Hiding his disappoint when I told him there were none, he took the book into his hands. What impressed him the most wasn't the cover design, or even my author photo inside, but was - strangely - how it smelled. He kept rubbing his nose on the cover, inside the book, sniffing hard. He liked the smell. Now I know why I wrote the book.
But what a feeling to be finally holding the book in my hands! The visceral physicality of it. So I did what came most natural. I turned to the first page and started reading. Hours later, I was still at it.