If you've read my new paperback ( Gods and Conquerors ) , or if you follow me on Instagram, or if you can just read the picture abov...

About The Proposal

If you've read my new paperback (Gods and Conquerors), or if you follow me on Instagram, or if you can just read the picture above, you'll know that I used the dedication page to propose to my girlfriend.

And before I go on: she said yes. We're happier than we've ever been. Thanks for asking.

I've had a lot of questions since then, so I thought I'd answer them in a little blog post. Saves me repeating myself, over and over and over (though I'm sure I still will anyway).

What made you think of it?

We've always bonded over our love of books - in fact, one of the (many, many) reasons Eleanor went out with me in the first place was that I got my phone out and showed her my first book on Amazon while I was doing a terrible drunken job of chatting her up - so my proposal had to be bookish. I thought about trying to get myself published the traditional way, but that would have been years away, if it ever happened at all; so I self-published, and I did it right now, because there's no better time.

How did it happen?

We've had a stressful few months with trying to move house and stuff, so it was a good excuse for me to say we needed some alone time to just have fun together. So I organised a date day, and we went up to London to see a show and eat loads of food. At one point in the day, in private in a dimly lit bar, I asked Eleanor why she hadn't asked to see the paperback yet, when she knew it had been published; and I got one out of my backpack to show her.

She definitely thought it was weird that I had brought it up out of the blue and that I'd brought one out with me, but she flicked through it anyway, saying kind things about how well it had turned out. Then she turned to the dedication page, and her jaw dropped, and there was crying and hugging and all that nice stuff. It was beautiful, I wish I'd recorded it on the sly.

I notice the dedication is only in the paperback version of the book. Is that because it's twice the price?

No! In fact, I make a lot less money from each sale of the paperback because of the cost of printing them on demand, so it would work out better for me if everyone bought the Kindle version. No, I did that because I don't have a Kindle, so the only one on which I could test the Kindle version of my book was Eleanor's. So, obviously, I had to leave it out in case she saw.

That stone is huge! How much did that cost and why are you shoving your excessive riches in all our faces you disgusting piece of shit?

Whoa, chill out, there. The engagement ring pictured is a cubic zirconia placeholder ring, because I had no hope of choosing the perfect ring for her myself. It's not a diamond, it didn't even have a three-figure price tag, and she says it's too big for her tastes anyway. So sorry everyone, but you'll have to get your outrage fix elsewhere.

Did you do it for publicity?

Well I hadn't really thought about that until I did it, and then it seemed like it might cheapen the whole thing to use it to my advantage. But Eleanor told me I should, so I gave it a go; but I'm not very good at the whole Internet fame thing. Even when I get a few more Likes than I expected, it makes me more paranoid than happy. Why are so many strangers paying attention to me? What if one of them hates me? What if...

...So yeah, I'm struggling with that. I'll try again soon, but till then, I'm fine with the attention it's brought me so far. It did the job, and got me the girl. I don't need much more than that.

On the off chance that you're reading this and you are interested, you can find out more about the book here and you can read the first chapter here

How are you going to top a gesture like that?

Sigh. I've no idea. I'm out of over-the-top romantic ideas.

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