Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Book launch - writers beware
The whole day was a rush, but on the way down to our launch party, I suddenly felt a pang of – not nerves, but vulnerability, though I guess they’re closely related. But in fact the evening went off very well – I sold 25 books and Suzanne sold a fair few paintings. I was amazed at how many friends turned up (see beautiful flowers that my dear friend Emma brought, arranged beautifully from her garden), we ran out of booze twice and despite waves of exhaustion, I got second wind and suddenly it was 9.30 and I felt desperately wobbly.
I thanked god for an ecstatic welcome from Moll, and jumped into bed to cuddle her for the night. Not quite the same but better than nothing. I’ll be better by the morning I thought.
But morning came and I felt wretched, and for the first time since that wave of intense grief after Pip died, I found I couldn’t stop crying. I’d expected to feel wobbly if I’d had a novel published, but not a walks book – I’ve been writing walks for years, but I guess a book is different. For the rest of that day anything and everything made me cry - the bloke who came to clip Mollie never turned up, a friend who was going to ring, didn’t, and I had an email from a bookseller to say how much he disliked the book cover. I cried myself to sleep that night.
The next day Suzanne rang to see how I was. I was still weepy but relieved to hear that she always feels incredibly vulnerable before and after an exhibition. “It brings up all sorts of insecurities because you’re laying yourself open,” she said. So it’s not just me.
Several days on and I’m still a bit weepy but my best mates are returning soon, I’m looking forward to some good cuddles, and I see on Amazon that there’s only one copy of Discover Cornwall left.
But for anyone else about to have a book published, be careful. Publishers should supply a box of hankies and some stickers entitled FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE and, for those of us who are tactile, CUDDLES NEEDED.