Saturday, 18 June 2022

What happens when you press the panic button - by Lu Hersey

 A problem (admittedly a luxury one) came up this week because I have a book coming out.  On 21 June, to be precise. 

Not having had a book out in a while, I swanned about, thinking I had plenty of time to get all my book promotion ducks in a row. (Which simply meant arranging a couple of events where I could blow my own trumpet - invite a load of people to a launch and a book signing maybe, and hope a few of them might show up.) Easy enough, you'd think.

But sometimes things don't work out smoothly, the way you imagined. Stuff gets in the way.  And you start to panic.

Firstly, a holiday. Yes, I know. Another luxury problem. But not having had one for a couple of years, thanks to the pandemic, I hadn't remembered the dates. So a holiday in Cornwall, booked long ago, happened to coincide with the week immediately before the book launch. 

Also, I'd somehow forgotten about the Glastonbury festival - again because there hasn't been one for the last couple of years. I live in Glastonbury. The festival means a couple of weeks a year when trying to get in and out of town is a pigging nightmare. Just when my event books were due to arrive.  At my house. While I was in Cornwall.

Meanwhile, my 95 year old father needed a cataract operation, which had been postponed from January and rescheduled, so I abandoned everything to look after him for a few days. Which would have been fine, except that immediately after his op, he tripped over a kerb, fell flat on the pavement, and managed to pump out more than enough blood for a slasher horror movie over Plymouth city centre. Obviously I ended up looking after him for a few days more. And still not sorting the problem. 

I was starting to lose sleep. After a few nights of waking at 5am, wondering if it was too early or too late for a cup of tea, I thought maybe taking up smoking might help. 

Throughout this time, social media and all the junk emails I get from writing organisations, the bookseller etc., were busy shouting about the millions of books being published right now. Book awards, book launches - books, books and more books. 

Light dawned. 

What on earth I was worrying about? There are more new books out every week than anyone could possibly read in a blooming lifetime. So who would give a flying squirrel about mine? I hadn't even told anyone about the launch or the book signing, because I hadn't had time. In fact I hadn't said much about the book at all. So despite thinking the bookshop would probably never speak to me again....

I cancelled.  

I held my breath for a second in case the world exploded. Of course it didn't. What actually happened was the bookshop simply offered sympathy and asked if I wanted to reschedule. Because basically all bookshop people, librarians and writers are the best type of human beings.

However, there's one event I haven't cancelled. I'd actually arranged it at a sensible time, and organised it before anything else. I'm doing a book signing at the Henge Shop in Avebury on July 30th, the Saturday immediately before Lughnasadh or Lammas. It's the area where the book is set - and around the right date.  I'll be there all day, so if you happen to fancy a visit to Avebury and Silbury Hill, do come and say hello. It's an inspirational landscape, regardless of whether you want to buy a book or not.

And despite blowing out the book launch, Broken Ground is out 21 June, available to order from the publisher, via a bookshop or library, or even Amazon. It has a really nice cover, thanks to Rhi Wynter, and hopefully it's an exciting read, if a little dark. After all, Lughnasadh is grain harvest time, and the story is loosely based on the John Barleycorn myth - and we all know what fate held in store for him...

So that's what happened when I pressed the panic button. I didn't need to take up smoking. The world didn't end. And like I said, no one but me gave a flying squirrel anyway...

Lu Hersey


Anonymous said...

I share your anxiety Lu. Glad squirrels fly and survive.

Alex Cotter said...

Ah I share that angst too! Congratulations, and v much looking forward to reading! x

Anonymous said...

Good decision Lu, looking forward to reading Broken Ground. 🤗 🐿

LuWrites said...

Thanks Alex - and Anonymous, whoever you may be!