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(written during the Launch of Turning the Hiram Key

The excitement has been growing as the launch date for Turning the Hiram Key gets nearer and nearer. First the proof copies appeared from Fair Winds in the United States and from Lewis Masonic in the UK. I had the excitement of handling the books for the first time. It's a great moment to handle the first copy of the brand new book. All the work of researching, writing, editing and proofing is over and now the fun begins. I must admit that for the first couple of days I kept carrying the new book about with me and putting it down where I could look at it, pick it up and just skim through it. I suppose it's rather like having a new baby. But soon that baby started to grow and then it blossomed into a great truck load of books.

Lewis Masonic have traditionally sold ritual books through a whole string of local regalia dealers who are based in the many Masonic halls throughout Britain. Traditionally in the book trade, authors go out and do signings and talks in High Street bookshops (And if you look in the Events section of you'll see I'm doing quite a few of those and If I'll visiting a place near you I look forward to getting a chance to meet). But there are too many small regalia suppliers throughout Britain for me to visit them all. I am doing talks and signings for some of the larger ones such Toye, Kenning and Spencer (in London), The ( in the West Midlands), Belpher Masonic Regalia (in Derbyshire) and Crest Regalia (in Rotherham). But Lewis Masonic wanted to do something to support their network of loyal distributors, so they came up with the idea of supplying signed copies from their central distribution point. The end result was that I went along and met all the people who pack and ship my books at Midland Counties. Lucy and Nick sat me down at big table with a whole heap of books and I signed them before they went into the warehouse, to be supplied in small quantities to the local regalia suppliers.

I'm looking forward to seeing the book in WH Smiths, and the other big bookstores and won't be able to resist popping into my local stores just to see it on the shelf. The magic of seeing a new book out on the High Street for the first time never loses its appeal.

My websmaster has put lots of new stuff on the Turning the Hiram Key website. There are downloadable mp3 files for me reading from the early part of the book, and pdf files of the index and bibliography to help those of you who do your own research. There's also a growing list of events, beginning with a launch at Foyles in London, followed by an interview and phone in on the James Whale show at Talksport radio. I'll be speaking in Norwich, Manchester, York and Cambridge over the next month or so and there are lots of other events in the pipeline including some Welsh and Scottish ones. As soon as the dates are set they'll be added to the list. And I've been invited to attend this year's Orkney Science Festival as well.

It will be fun to get out to meet and talk with readers.