Sunday, 27 May 2012

Flowers, photos and incredible weather

Yesterday.  The garden looked fantastic - two gazebos on the lawn, plus a tent for the children's entertainer.  Croquet set out ready to play.  Beautiful bunting, zigzagging across between the trees, borrowed tables and chairs spread out in the leafy shade.  My family preparing the food in the background.  A sense of excitement.  The time had come.  My book launch celebration event.

It was a great day.  We sat in the sun and lazily chatted, drinking elderflower spritzers and even a little champagne.  Two teens from my family read from Losing Face and the local press sent a photographer.  People who said they would definitely come didn't, but others turned up who hadn't promised anything, which led to some long overdue reunions.  Flowers and cards arrived from friends.  There were no major disastors - the threatened power-cut was over before the guests arrived and I even managed to use the right names (for myself and the book buyer) when signing. 

Not everything was perfect; I have learnt not to make events so long or in such a large area that there is never a crowd, however many come.  And I really must work hard at not over-catering.  Even if everyone with an invite had come, there would still have been too much food.  Although it was good to share the party food that never left the fridge with those at church today. 

I have an interview on Radio Norfolk tomorrow and another one for the local paper later in the week.    Being in the limelight doesn't come naturally for me, but by God's grace I shall cope with this very necessary publicity.   It will be a few weeks before I can regain my writing time, especially as I am very busy with Norfolk Christian Writers too, at present, as we prepare for our first writing event, The Write Idea, on 16th June. (For details email )

Thank you to all my family and friends who worked so hard to make yesterday a success.  And thank you to all those who bought the book - I was so encouraged that people want to buy it.


Sunday, 6 May 2012

Carefully excited

I have discovered that, when recovering from a nasty bout of bronchitis, it is quite difficult to dance around with excitement without descending into a frantic coughing fit.  So I am blogging about it instead, to let you know that I am carefully excited about the enthusiasm for Losing Face from three sources - no four! What an answer to prayer.

The first is the local Waterstones.  A review copy was received very warmly and LF will now be stocked in King's Lynn, with a recommendation being written that can be accessed by other stores.  The second is the charity BAAF - some of you may remember I went with my sister Pat on a trek along the Great Wall of China (not all of it!) to support their work with children who cannot live in their birth families.  The issues for teenagers in the care system are a feature of Losing Face, so BAAF were pleased to receive a copy for review.

Then today I have had feedback from the CEO of Changing Faces.  He is so enthusiastic he is going to blog about it - but best of all he is going to recommend Losing Face to those who may benefit from it most.  Young people who have maybe had an accident that has left them with some facial scarring, or have struggled with adversity.

Finally, I coughed my way into Pilates at the end of the session on Friday, too ill to take part but just to let people know about the book.  I was really touched by the way these wonderful ladies responded, encouraging me, making suggestions about who else should know and which bookshops might put on a signing event. 

So thank you to all who are urging me on to publicise and not just hope the book will sell itself.  Especially thank you to Dominic James, my publicist who gently asks where I am sending my review copies - such a polite prod in the right direction - and to Sarah, my writing daughter-in-law, who quite firmly suggested I should go into Waterstones.  And, of course, thank you to everyone else who has encouraged me along the way. 

What have I learnt on this part of the writing journey?  Don't hide away - tell everyone even if it feels uncomfortable.  You may be surprised at the reaction.  If your book has a message that needs to be spread, follow the God-given opportunities and look-out for those that are yet to be revealed.

But then, hiding away does seem rather inviting, especially if with pen and paper or my laptop.  Mmmm . . . where can I go?   There's a problem with the heating in my study.  Airing cupboard, perhaps?  See you later.

Happy writing, reading and many blessings,