Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Book launch - writers beware

Saturday morning I woke at 4am with my stomach griping and thought, oh no, not another tummy bug. Then I realised it was nerves. They continued all morning but I’m glad to report the presentation went really well – a very appreciative audience who all asked lots of intelligent questions, and the slides went without a hitch. Furthermore, once I got going, I really enjoyed it!

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.
Suzanne and I cleared up and went over to the pub over the road with some of her friends, but I was too tired to make a session of it, so decided to have a reasonably early night. I wasn’t looking forward to going home on my own – several of my best friends were all away, or we would have ended the evening together – but I headed back through town and by the time I got home I was feeling badly in need of a cuddle. Again, of course, if my other mates had been here I would have got lots of cuddles, but twas not to be.

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.

22 comments:

Paula R C Readman said...

I'm sending you this (((Hug))) I know it's not the same and we are strangers, but it comes with lots of best wishes. I hope you have lots of success with your book. Thank you for sharing your launch with us.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Paula! All hugs much appreciated.

Vermont Designs said...

Love that photo! Sounds like everything went extremely well. Hugs, SIL.

Chris Stovell said...

What a lovely, lovely photo of you, Sue - and many congratulations on your successful book launch; twenty-five copies! Well done!

I think having a book 'out there' does open you up in unexpected ways, (especially if it includes some harsh criticism about the cover - really!)but all of us who know you from your blog are with you and wishing you every success.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, SIL!

Flowerpot said...

Oh, thanks so much Chris! Well you know all about having a book out there..... thanks for your encouragement x

ADDY said...

Cyber ((((((cuddles))))))winging their way to you. It was probably a combination of nerves, vulnerability and a surge of grief over Pip. Hope you are feeling better soon. x

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Addy - what a lovely lot you are! It was actually stuff from pre-Pip which surprised me, but as Chris says, having a book does open up unexpected Stuff....

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Well first of all, congratulations on your book success and so lovely to hear you sold so many.

I can understand it must have been hard not to have Pip there with you - but you know me, and I'm going to tell you he was most definitely there in spirit. Good ole Moll, forever loyal companion.

Take care, CJ x

Talli Roland said...

Sue, I'm so pleased the book launch went well, and I completely agree about the emotional tide following a launch! It's a strange feeling that it's all over . . . and all out there!

Melissa Marsh said...

So sorry you had a weepy day. I think your friend was right in that having your book out there for all to see opens up a lot of insecurities. And I'm sure you wanted to celebrate this achievement with Pip by your side, and that probably made it harder (though I know he was with you in spirit!). I think it's perfectly ok to have crying spells - it gets the emotions out. :-) Thinking of you...

Flowerpot said...

CJ - thanks on the congratulations, I was glad ot have sold that many too!

Flowerpot said...

Melissa - it's a curious world this creative lark isn't it? My weepiness was more due to very old stuff actually which really surprised me. Butnothing wrong witha good cry, no. Thanks.

Flowerpot said...

Talli - well you know all about book launches, too! x

Akelamalu said...

You just sound thoroughly overwhelmed. Here have a ((HUG)) Sue and please accept some Reiki. I'm sure you'll feel back to normal in a few days and enjoy your success. xx

Flowerpot said...

Ak - this whole process is overwhelming! Thanks for the hugs and the Reiki - much appreciated xx

SARINA said...

Congrats and many huggs! You should be proud of yourself! What an achievement! Take it easy and learn to enjoy that success!!!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Sarina! I'm trying.... xx

Sally said...

Dear Sue, I'm so sorry I couldn't be there. I'd have hung out with you afterwards though I know that's not the same. I'm glad to read elsewhere that you are getting back to 'normal' and send you lots of love.
:)

Flowerpot said...

Thanks so much Sally! And for my hugs yesterday. It's always good to know that our friends are around...xxx

Cally Taylor said...

Oh absolutely. When HOME FOR CHRISTMAS came out last year it was six weeks after the birth of my son and I spent most of the day in tears. I didn't receive any flowers from my publishers and I was convinced it was because they hated my book amd hated me (despite sending me flowers to congratulate me on the birth of my son!). Mostly I blame my hormones but, as writers, we invest so much of ourselves in our work that it's impossible not to take reaction (or lack of reaction) to published work personally.

Flowerpot said...

Oh thanks Cally! That makes me feel much better!