It was a Thursday - August the 6th. The sun shone and it felt like a good day. I think the launch went well. Everyone said so. It's hard to be certain when it's all about you.
It was held in The Suffolk Anthology - a beautiful indie bookshop close to where I live. The owner, Helene Hewett, had ordered a whole box of Darkmeres and decorated the window with props. I spotted Doc Marten boots, an elaborate branched candlestick and a picnic hamper - along with plenty of other spooky books.
I spent the day making cupcakes with glittery icing and tiny Darkmere toppers, my husband ordered drinks and glasses, and the boys blew up about a hundred pink and blue balloons. It was really good fun.
Dwindling cake mountain (above)
And (below) pink heart-shaped balloons that looked far too
much like testicles to be hung from their points in the window!
My (slightly younger) brother and his wife sent me a little box full of Darkmere key-rings, clips and magnets which they'd had made. I was incredibly touched. Before I'd finished wiping my eyes and blowing my nose, the house began to fill up with cards and flowers too. My agent sent flowers; my favourite book reviewer sent more flowers, both my parents and a few of my friends gave me bunches too. There's something unbelievably luxurious about walking through room after room of fresh flowers - it's been wonderful!
There was a little rush of last minute cancellations - which made me panic that no one would turn up and eat all the cake and drink all the wine. So I was extra glad to see the friends and family who came. It wasn't too crowded, but there weren't too many empty spaces either. One of my friends, blogger Michelle Toy, drove miles to be there - and couldn't find the bookshop when she reached Cheltenham. She was late and flustered, but still found time to say Hi to everyone and rec books! Honestly, the whole day was full of moments that made me want to cry and hug people.
I signed a lot of books and everyone said very nice things. A few of my friends brought their children, who biffed each other with the testicle balloons. My dentist turned up with a bottle of champagne for me! I wore my highest, shiniest red shoes. My friend Sally took some photographs.Two German friends both demanded to know why they hadn't been approached to do the German translation...
Ich weiß es nicht!
Anyway, his offer turned out to be a good thing as Charlie reads incredibly well. He did an improvised intro and lots of impassioned dialogue with dramatic pauses and cliff-hanger ending. Lots of people complimented me on him. I heart brothers!
Now it's more than two weeks later. I haven't been busy and I've been meaning to type up my launch post every day since the 6th. Yet...I haven't.
I think the launch seems too much like a full-stop and I'm not quite ready for this whole book-thing to be over yet. I've been working towards being a published author for so long! And now it feels like the day after Christmas. I suppose the only solution is to stop looking at these photos and write another book...