Bringing ‘The Wicked Wood’ back to Shropshire

22nd May 2012
Bringing ‘The Wicked Wood’ back to Shropshire

Well, they must have liked us at Gomer because they're letting us return to see the book being glued together, bound, and dust-jacketed. After a glorious drive in bright sunshine we arrive in time for breakfast at Buon Appetito in Llandysul for the hottest (literally and metaphorically) coffee and bacon rolls around.

At Gomer Press Pît Dafis greets us like one of the family - a lovely feeling - and we sit patiently waiting to see the silver foil applied to the spine on the casing: that wonderful black wibalin that caused us so much mirth. It seems the suppliers have sent the wrong sized foil for the machine, so it's not going to be a quick job. After making adjustments, finally the foil is applied and we have the title and our names immortalised in silver along the spine.

The hard cover is then trundled across to the next machine where a stack of inners await, encased in striking red endpapers. Magically (Tracey says it's not magic, but it looks that way to my uninitiated eye!) once all the components of the book are inserted into the right bit of the machine it whizzes it along on a conveyor belt, heats it, glues it, binds it, fits the cover ....... and my oh my, it spits out our book! Yes, it's really there. One of the lovely ladies inspects it, wraps it in its dust jacket, and hands me the very first copy.

Do I feel like crying - of course not! Can't look at Tracey because I know we'll set each other off, so I give it a little hug and sit it on top of the pile of books waiting their turn to be machined and Tracey takes a photo.

Andy, who printed off the pages on our previous visit, asks us if we'll sign a copy for him, which we gladly do - and another for Pît (who has been so helpful from the start) and "Jonny Tango" (don't ask: it's to do with the colour of his car and our likening it to a certain orange drink!!) who made sure it all printed out in the correct configuration.

Wicked Wood team at Gomer have gone out of their way to enable us to walk away with the first 5 boxes of the book. Tracey's car groans and sinks on its springs as we load them into the boot, and we set off for home along the sun-soaked coast with red kites circling on the thermals over a sparkling sea.

After a quick bucks fizz toast to the books, hubby Bob take us to the Green Dragon in Little Stretton for a meal. As soon as we walk in we are greeted by Alison behind the bar who had read Tracey's status update on Facebook this morning and asks "Did you go to Wales? Did you get the books?" We show her a copy and she asks if she can buy it. Our first real customer. A lovely moment - I mellow a little in my dislike of Facebook.

Just need to get ready for the launch now on Saturday: can't wait!

Hilary x

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