I've never actually been on a real rollercoaster.
Some years ago we took our children to an Imax where the screen showed the view from the perspective of someone riding on a rollercoaster. In sync with the visuals, the seats tipped and swayed, to support the illusion. The children loved it. (They were very young at the time). It was wasted on me. I kept my eyes tightly shut throughout the excruciating experience, and I was still petrified. Not in a fun way. 'That was some rollercoaster,' I thought as I left my seat, trembling and faintly nauseous, ignoring the children's pleas to 'have another go.'
After Cut Short launched, I naively started watching the sales ratings on amazon.co.uk. I'd been warned how the figures fluctuate. 'It's a rollercoaster,' someone said. I should have heeded the warning. 'I'll just take a peek,' I thought, unaware how compulsive it can become. I soon became addicted, like a gambler with nothing riding on the race except that burst of adrenaline fuelled pride when my little book shot up the sales ratings. (You can see where we're heading now, can't you, and where the comparison to a rollercoaster comes in... We'll be there very soon now... we're nearing the top of the slope... )
Cut Short reached the dizzy heights of 5,000 in the sales ratings. It wasn't exactly in the top 10 but there are millions of books on amazon, so I was pleased. I never claimed to be Dan Brown. Cut Short came in at number 2 in the Female Sleuths category, second only to Alexander McCall Smith. 'This is it,' I thought. 'Success.'
At which point, amazon.co.uk ran out of stock and sales of Cut Short plummeted. No books to sell = no sales. In less than 24 hours Cut Short had zoomed down from 2 to 83 in Female Sleuths, and was still falling... By the following day, books were back in stock and Cut Short moved up the ratings again. Where is it now? I've no idea. I don't look any more. (Oh, all right, it's around 6,000 on the ratings and number 3 in Female Sleuths. At least it was when I last looked, five minutes ago.)
Perhaps I'll try riding a real rollercoaster one day; it might seem quite tame compared to the virtual ones I've tried so far.
(Sorry - I have to dash now - must go and check my sales ratings on amazon.co.uk...)