Friday, 11 January 2008

The Launch Party

So, the launch party. It was amazing. I shall be processing it all for weeks because there wasn’t time during it to stop and think about what was happening, it was just necessary to react.
As predicted I did weep – not just once but several times – during the speech I made but nobody seemed to mind. It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to and all that. One of my friends made a short, wholly unexpected and very moving speech about what being involved with the evolution of Testament had meant to him and his wife and I cried some more. Ho hum.

But millions of thanks to all the friends and family who turned out on a horrible evening to make it one of the most memorable occasions of my life. I felt entirely surrounded by love and good wishes and that is a wonderful place to be.

Thanks also to Will, my editor and Sophie, Macmillan New Writing's publicist, for all their hard work and willingness to talk all evening to people they’ve never met before and, in all likelihood, will never meet again. I really appreciated your help and support guys. Thank you.

Thanks also to Simon of the Big Green Bookshop and his other half, Katie, for coming and proving that bloggers can meet in real life and not explode in a puff of html code!

But the biggest thanks must go to David and Daniel at Goldsboro Books who put on such a fantastic party and made me and all my guests so welcome. If you love books and can get on a train (or if you live in London) you have to go to Goldsboro – it’s like a jeweller’s shop where all the jewels are books. And where the people selling the books aren't snooty like expensive jewellers can be but, instead, share your enthusiasm for books and want you to have them not just to make them some more money but because they know how these books will enrich your life.
Each book at Goldsboro is wrapped in protective plastic film to keep it pristine and this has the effect of making each book shine slightly just like a jewel or semi-precious stone. I arrived early so that, before I started signing stock, I could just browse (we don’t have an independent bookshop in Canterbury and I needed a fix). This was nearly extremely bad for our bank balance but I tried to keep my hands in my pockets and just look. In the event, I confined myself to buying books by my fellow MNW authors Faye L Booth and David Isaak. Going to need yet another bookshelf soon to join the one we put up recently, I can tell…

I was probably still high on adrenalin and excitement when I did an interview with BBC Radio Kent this lunchtime. It all seemed to go amazingly well considering that I’ve never been on the radio before, and that it’s a rather strange experience sitting in a little soundproof room on the local university campus talking into a microphone to somebody you can’t see and hearing what they’re saying to you (and that section of the people of Kent who listen to the station) via headphones. A slightly surreal way to conduct a conversation which is being overheard by thousands but peculiarly enjoyable, none the less.
[If, improbably as it may seem, you are interested in hearing this effort, go to the link above, click on the listen again button and go to the Dominic King show for 11th Jan. I was on either side of 12 noon.]

Anyway, huge thanks to all who made the launch such a success and who bought the book in such quantities that I’m going to have to go back to Goldsboro and sign some more to fill their existing orders!


Tim Stretton said...

Glad to hear it all went so well, Alis.

Incidentally, it's only just twigged that you live in Canterbury--where I read English for three years in the 1980s. A beautiful place to live!

Akasha Savage said...

well did it. I am so so pleased for you. I thoroughly enjoyed Thursday evening, it all went so well...and yes, I loved the bookshop too, in fact I liked the whole street. It was like walking through a little bit of heaven on earth. I must go again sometime just to browse. I am now going to listen to your Radio Kent interview. xx

Faye L. said...

Glad it went so well, and thank you so much for buying CTM! Looking forward to meeting you next week, and to reading Testament when I get my grubby mitts on a copy.

F x