I'm at the Barn - our place in the Wairarapa - and out of internet contact. But sometimes I creep to the small library with painted brick walls and a small, dynamic Scottish librarian and use the free WiFi. At the moment, the small dynamic Scottish librarian is selling Girl Guide biscuits to two German back-packers, so I'm guessing she's also involved with Girl Guides.
After coming here on and off since Xmas to use the WiFi [I'd deliberately not activated the wireless connection on this laptop until then], I finally introduced myself today. She knew the name and The Blue and explained it wasn't the sort of novel people took to easily at first, something to do with the whale on the cover and people not being sure about the whaling ... but once persuaded, the locals have been enjoying The Blue and told their friends etc and now, apparently, it rarely makes it back to the NZ Fiction shelves. Once it's returned, and is waiting to be shelved, it goes straight out again. Yippee.
My library readers have been wonderfully supportive of The Blue. It is still requested around the country and people tell me of waiting lists. Shortly after The Blue was published, and when I was worried about sales, I'd go to library websites and get such a buzz to see the books were out, and even more of a buzz later to see it was requested by people.
I think my excitement is added to by being the daughter of a librarian. One who could never believe the problems I had getting books back to libraries on time - the fines - the lost books - the way I nearly didn't get my undergraduate degree conferred because I had logged up such a huge fine at the university library.
The Blue seems like a way of redeeming myself. Instead of shaking their heads and giving me chilly smiles, librarians welcome me with open arms now. I've spoken at a number of library events, and one wonderful library at Palmerston North bought something like 28 copies of The Blue and encouraged all its readers to read it.
My Mum seems very happy about that.