Some might complain about the British postal service being not quite the efficient animal it was twenty years ago, thanks to successive governments trying their level best to destroy it through privatisation (as far as I can tell), but I have to say I am currently delighted with their service.
You see, I posted copies of the paperback of Love... From Both Sides to my mother yesterday, thinking the parcel would take at least three or four days to reach her. Colour me all shades of surprised then when I get a phone call from her today telling me the books had arrived less than twenty four hours after posting.
Kudos to you Royal Mail.
You may be wondering what the hell this has to do with Stephen King, but bear with me, I'm getting to the point, I assure you.
On the first page of a copy of the book I wrote my mum a little note. I won't go into the details, but it basically thanked her for bringing me up the way she did - and making me the type of man capable of writing a popular novel like Love... From Both Sides.
Needless to say, the phone call with her today was a little emotional.
And here's where Stephen King comes in...
He's always been my favourite author. Partly because I love scary stories, epic tales and novels featuring talking mutant raccoons (one for you Tower folk, there) - and partly because there are some parallels between his early life and mine.
...most notably that we were both brought up by single mothers after our useless 'fathers' did a runner when we were both two years old.
When I found this out about King, it only helped to strengthen my love of his work. In a weird way I also felt like to brought me closer to him as a person, given that we shared an unlovely aspect of our pasts.
When I read King's biography one thing that made me sad was that his mother Nellie died just as his writing career was taking off. She knew that Carrie had been accepted by a publisher, but she lost her battle with cancer before the book was actually published.
This unhappy fact always kinda stuck with me. Therefore, I always hoped that if I ever managed to get a book published I would be able to celebrate it properly with my mum - and write a note at the front of the paperback telling her how I couldn't have done it without her.
And now I have. Which gives me an extremely content feeling inside.
The icing on the cake?
I'm published in the UK by the same company that publishes Stephen King: Hodder & Stoughton. Funny how these things work out, isn't it?
I'm hoping that one day I might get to meet Mr King. If I ever do, I will relay this story to him just as I have to you in this blog post.
Because stories matter. My mum taught me that.