Book Launch Bliss

THURSDAY 18th JULY 2013

Earlier today I walked into the Cambridge branch of Waterstones and asked to speak to the events coordinator.

‘Will she know what it’s about?’ asked the young man behind the counter.

‘She will,’ I replied, beaming my hugest smile.

Indeed she did. Within minutes we were shaking hands, then she proudly showed me the space earmarked for what promises to be the most exciting event of my life to date: the launch of my début novel, Dory’s Avengers.

Waterstones 1

I’ve been waiting for this day for weeks. When I say waiting I don’t mean I’ve sat idle. Blogging, networking, making new friends, cultivating useful contacts have kept me well occupied, but now I realise all that was just the calm before the storm. On Monday of this week I met with Book Guild’s marketing team, on Tuesday the Waterstones staff in Cambridge confirmed that they would be happy to host my book launch and on Wednesday it finally sank into my frantic brain that my dream to be a published author really is about to come true. People will soon be able to buy my beautiful book. They’ll be able to read it, talk about it, tweet about it, give it five star reviews on Amazon (please?!); and to start it all off I will be signing copies of Dory’s Avengers in a city centre bookshop! To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century; I was so delighted following my meeting with the Waterstones events coordinator that I winked (yes winked!) at a complete stranger as I left the shop.

My head is full of so many ideas at the moment I’m finding it difficult to collect my thoughts. There’s so much to do: lists to be made, blogs to be written, catering to plan, invitations to be distributed; and do you know what? I’m loving every minute!

Published!

On 15 August 2012 my life changed. I was sitting at the computer, social networking and drinking coffee, when an email popped into my inbox. Telling myself that it was almost certainly junk so there was no need to get excited, I opened my inbox to discover how wrong I was.

The email was from Book Guild Publishing of Brighton, and it read as follows:

Dear Alison

RE: DORY’S AVENGERS

With further reference to our email of 6 August we have now completed the assessment of your manuscript.

Firstly, we were impressed with Dory’s Avengers. This is a compelling novel, set in a credible alternative Britain where control of the population has reached ruthless proportions. Your characterisation is good, with a range of characters both good and evil, all convincingly portrayed. Theodore and Louis are particularly absorbing characters, and their relationship is well drawn, with excellent dialogue. Readers will certainly be satisfied by the impact Dory’s Avengers have on Lord William’s empire. We confirm that we would be pleased to work with you to publication.

I didn’t get much further than this on my initial reading of the email. They liked it! A proper, real life publisher liked my book so much that the only criticism they had to make was that it was too long. Book Guild Publishing of Brighton wanted to work with me to publish Dory’s Avengers.

I cried! Then I jumped around the living room, screamed quite a lot, cried some more, laughed, got a bit hysterical and finally phoned Andy.

Andy was delighted, I was still highly emotional. Wanda was delighted too when I texted the news to her; she phoned me back and got everyone in her office to cheer. My lovely Polish neighbours beamed at me as I skipped round our shared courtyard, talking animatedly into my phone; they obviously realised something pretty momentous had just happened in my life.

Er yes, I think momentous pretty much sums it up!

I still get a thrill thinking about 15 August 2012. It’s not not every day that a lifelong dream becomes a reality, but that is exactly what happened on that day.

I’m going to be a published author.