It’s lovely to be able to celebrate properly, to drink some wine with people who are actually buying your book – not only friends, but ‘real’ readers, too! I was thrilled to see so many people that I didn’t know at the event – some came because they’d seen it advertised in Waterstones, and some because they’d enjoyed the first book and had looked on my website. It’s especially nice when readers ask you to sign the book and tell you how much they’re looking forward to reading it. If you’re really lucky, they tell you how much they enjoyed your first book. Then you end up feeling very smiley!
Well, what a lovely time I had at the launch of The Secrets We Left Behind last week! Although my second novel had already been out for almost two weeks, I was pretty excited about the launch event, which was hosted by Waterstones. My previous blog post is about Publication Day, and as I say in that post, even though it’s a day that feels special in many ways, there’s still a very slight feeling of anti-climax. The novel is out, it’s in the shops, and that’s it, there’s nothing more you can do except go home and wait (and bite your nails and hope!) for it to sell.
But the launch party feels like a bit more of a landmark moment. Lots of your friends turn up, sometimes even bearing gifts, like these gorgeous flowers. It’s also a great opportunity to dress up. Yes, I bought a new dress for the occasion, and I wore pink shoes. Pink!! These pink shoes have been seen before, and I’m sure they’ll be seen again – they’re the only ‘nice’ shoes I can get my horrible fat feet into.
I know some people don’t enjoy speaking in public, but I do. And I absolutely love doing readings and then taking questions from the audience. Hopefully it then becomes more of a conversation rather than simply a Q&A session. At the launch last week, there were loads of fascinating questions, some about the book, but mostly about the writing process, and I could talk about that for hours (and probably did!). There was lots of conversation and lots of laughter, and I had a wonderful time. I absolutely can’t wait to do it all again – which means I really do need to get on with book three!