Saturday was sweltering, and as we drove to the location I’d booked for my launch party for my stomach churned with nerves. Would the room be too small? Too hot? Would I be expected to do a speech? Would I faint?
‘Not Just Words’ is a quirky bookstore in Kettering, Northants. It’s packed full of books, as you’d expect but also instruments, games and is such a great place to hang out. Jacob, the super talented pianist I’d hired, arrived alittle after us and the shop was soon filled with music as we set up the room.
It was a frantic hour pumping up balloons, trying to arrange the alcohol without drinking it all, and once again, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband, Tim.
I was overwhelmed by the love and support I received. Being a mum has always been so rewarding and I’m immensely proud of my three boys. To hear my 21 year old son, who never reads fiction, declare he’d finished my book the night before and it was ‘better than the TV’ was one of the greatest moments of my life.
Kim Nash, Marketing and Social Media Manager from Bookouture, and now a very dear friend, travelled to support me and gave a lovely speech written by my editor Lydia. It was super exciting to hear Kim read out snippets of reviews and chart positions. It’s phenomenal The Sister reached the top ten in the UK, US and Canada within days of its release and so nice to have made my mum and sister proud.
I was so pleased to be able to share my evening with Louise Walters and Jane Isaac. Louise was my mentor via the WoMentoring Project. I really do feel incredibly grateful to her and don’t think I’d be published today without her guidance at the beginning of my writing process. Jane was always at the end of the phone to answer my many, many questions about publishing.
Having the two best friends a girl could ever have by my side (Natalie Brewin and Sarah Wade I’m looking at you) was the icing on what was an extremely tasty cake.
The evening was fabulous, and one I’ll always remember. I even summoned up the courage to make a speech.
Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me during the journey of publishing my debut novel – friends, family, readers, writers and reviewers – tt means such a lot xx