Book launches are nerve-racking events. Will anyone turn up, you wonder, or will you be left standing there crying into the back page because it’s all gone belly-up?
Thankfully the launch of Deny Me Not wasn’t like that! Instead, 300 people packed the hotel room and there was music, laughter, chat and celebration – definitely a night to have an inside smile about for a long time to come.
Yes, launching Deny Me Not is up there with all my personal great experiences including having my children because – don’t laugh – writing a book is a bit like having a child – long gestation, hard labour but oh the relief and joy of delivery! Makes it all worthwhile.
And feedback has been great so far with the record going to one reader, M, who sat up all night to finish it. Every writer dreams of writing a page-turner so it’s an absolute thrill to get that kind of response.
As a book lover myself I remember that pleasure, sitting up all night on the bathroom floor (because it was the only room in the house where there was a light on) reading Maeve Binchy’s first book Light a Penny Candle. Dawn was breaking and there I still was, rubber duck for company, my eyes rapidly devouring the lines – pure joy! If I was bleary-eyed the next day I have no recollection of it . . .
LAUNCH NIGHT GOAL
The launch of Deny Me Not was about two things besides casting the book upon the readership waters – celebrating the completion of a B-I-G project and also gratitude for having a hobby that I’m passionate about.
Writing a novel is a marathon experience. Forget the sprints of articles or short stories or even the cross-country trials of writing a non-fiction book – writing a 400-page novel calls upon all your resources. Yep, it means dredging up every gram of creativity you can muster and lacing it heavily with s, s and d
- stickability and
- determination with a capital D.
And not thinking too far ahead – that’s a good idea, too. Every journey begins with a single step. Whoever said that deserves golden brogues.
I hit the wall a few times, of course, but something keeps you chipping away, page by page, scene by scene. Eventually, after many, many steps – forward and reverse – you get to the point where the script is fit to show someone – another milestone.
Later on, when you’ve proof read within an inch of your sanity, all ‘walls’ and other torments are forgotten when the big day arrives. I remember it well – the time I held the first copy of Deny Me Not in my hands this February. I had missed the courier’s first phone call and had to bomb it up the road to ambush him in the village to retrieve my package.
“Are you excited?” he said, when I explained what I was expecting. “Am I what?” I said. What was the moment like? A cloud nine experience – nothing less.
The gratitude bit was important to mention at the launch too. There was a time glasses in my world tended to be half empty but now I’m a ‘half-full’ kind of person and having a hobby that I’m passionate about – writing – is something to be thankful for.
Absorption, thy name is hobby! Pick up pen, ten o’clock, look at clock again when the juices are flowing and two hours have passed and you didn’t even notice – utterly priceless feeling.
Everyone who has a hobby they enjoy should be grateful for it, I think. It doesn’t matter if it’s writing or diving or cooking or restoring a tractor engine – time spent on doing something you enjoy gives you something to look forward to and look back on with pleasure – soul food, I call it, and we all need plenty of that these days.
A big thanks to author, Suzanne Power, for launching Deny Me Not on the night. I still think I’d die happy if I’d written her wonderful book The Lost Souls Reunion!
Note: The champagne pic is important. In 2006, at the launch of Restless Spirit:The Story of Rose Quinn a friend gave me a bottle of champagne. I didn’t open it. ‘No, I’ll keep this for when I’ve finished the next book’, I said to myself. So I did. It sat there on my desk, gathering dust at times, waiting to be opened. And it finally was a short while ago. Yep, a fizz day to remember – M