Thursday, 1 March 2012

Are you a serial book launcher?

The last couple of weeks have been bonkers. I don't even know where to start. It's all my own fault, of course. It happened like this.

Publisher: Will you be doing your launch in London?
Me: Erm .... Do you mind if I don't? .... You see, London isn't really me.
Publisher: What did you have in mind?
Me: Oh. How about Aberystwyth and Cirencester?
Publisher: Ok

So I did. Then fever struck! Then snow! We cleared the drive, took the paracetemol and headed for the hills. And we made it and had a ball! It was like an old school reunion. Teachers came - and old school friends - and most of the WI. And I love the fact that no-one in Aber does 'swank' - so when the vicar passed and saw us looking smart, he said: 'I thought there must have been a funeral'. As my children ran wild among the shelves, I momentarily lost my semblance of 'cool':

Me: Mum, can you look after the kids?! (I asked, drawing my umpteenth chicken).
Mum: Leave them love. It's all the more impressive if people see what you've got to cope with.

No Nanny McFee for me, then!

And then there was Cirencester. The home of Jilly Cooper, so I'm told. The launch was held in Octavia's Bookshop - and if you haven't been there - you must!

It's every child's dream - a bookshop with big jars of sweets behind the till! The Karvala sisters made me right at home, and the shop was buzzing with friends. Yes, we'd had ambulances out the night before - and yes, we had to wait for my sister (who was characteristically late test-driving a convertible (!)) - and yes, the road had been dug up because of dodgy sewer pipes - and we only just pulled it off! But it was brilliant. Sort of like getting married again! And guess what?

My little 'Hen in the Wardrobe' matched Jilly Cooper's Record Launch Party Sales. (Statistics aren't usually funny, but that one makes me smile).

But now I must stop. These launches could go to my head!

Are any of you a serial launchers too?


Lynda Waterhouse said...

Your events sound wonderful. aber is one of my fave places. I'm not a serial book launcher but I love putting on quirky events to celebrate those rare occasions when my books emerge to entertain my friends. Soul Love was a cabaret at the Africa Centre where a school choir sang David Bowie's song of same name, Cut Off was in Morley Gallery where I gave out badges, For the SandDancers I screened a film made by Venice and Hannah Shone and school choir sang Blondie's The Tide is High. I wish you success Wendy!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

looks like fun! I think whatever happens a new book needs to be celebrated! And yours seems to have been well celebrated. Good Job!

Stroppy Author said...

I'm so glad they were such a success, Wendy! I'm not a launcher at all, never mind serial. I think your mum's idea of seeing running-wild children as an advertisement for your achievement is brilliant. I don't think it would work quite as well to have a moody teen sulking in the corner, though...

Wendy Meddour said...

Thanks for the comments guys. And you've confirmed my suspicions - I've been overzealous as usual!! But it was fun! (PS: Will be able to muster my very own sulky teenager very soon)

Liz Kessler said...

All sounds wonderful. Hope you enjoyed every minute.

I'm a bit of a serial launcher too. As Di says, it's really important to celebrate every book - and especially your first!

Savita Kalhan said...

Just wanted to say congratulations and that if I could have gone to Aber for your book launch I would have! I spent several wonderful years there - most of them living on the prom. Gald you enjoyed your launches!

Wendy Meddour said...

Thanks Liz and Savita!

Super post above - community is all:) And yes Savita, I too would live on the prom if I could. (My mind spends most of its time there whilst I'm completely somewhere else).

Miriam Halahmy said...

Just catching up and seen this. Well I have ended up with 2 launches for ILLEGAL - the first one last week in Blackwells Portsmouth because of the local connection with the book and then my London one on March 13th. It is a bit overwhelming but it all helps to get the book out there so I'm just hanging on for the roller coaster ride and hoping it all works out.