Right. So that's that then
(dusts off hands).
(shrugs into lapels)
And, of course,
(flicks imaginary dust from "suit")
How mint was I?
Well... Not that mint, actually. In fact I was quite nearly crap. More.... hmm... Tictac than Trebor Extra Strong. I did, indeed, need a little lift.
Launch day launch day give me a pint or two,
I'm still shaking, and desperate to go to the loo...
I'm in the car park. A basement one of course, for added tension and drama. Dim, damp, one flickering overhead strip light buzzing furiously. The lovely Vix holding my hand. I am not coping. Most geet lushious V is talking me through it. She has her hand in my hair and slowly, slowly, I am relaxing.
So yeah, ok, I've already posted my lecturey thingy - that was 180 peoples and me dancing. I know. But, see, I wasn't expecting 180 people. I was expecting around 20. It was a shock and I just had to panic through it.
I am expecting a larger number tonight. I am hoping for a larger number tonight. I am simply terrified it'll all go wrong. All day friends and family text me to cancel. My dad can't make it. This makes it harder getting out of the car.
Once there, once with a pint in hand and stood next to a pile of my books, next to some "I *heart* Lesbian Nurses T-Shirts and mugs, next to V, I wasn't doing too badly. Even managed to meet and greet people. Things began to run smoother.
My Most Creative and Crafty PR Guru had come up with good plans: the coffee mugs (if you've read 9987 the coffee will make sense), the T-shirts (always fun, and thankyouthankyou V for being the Only Person Wearing One). The true brilliance however lay in the membership cards.
Raffle tickets are boring, you get it, lose, chuck it away.
But Membership Cards to Total Rental... These you might keep, these you may show people. These, I think, were genius. My PR Guru is Mint. How.
Anyway, Sarah Shaw said her bit, did her reading, vacated the stage. I finished my pint, balanced myself between piano, microphone and the edge of the stage.
Thing is, is the night before V had me standing in my living room praticing my speechy bit. And heckling me, in the nicest possible way. I was mumbling, gabbling, peppering my speech with bizarre inflections. V was shaking her head and explaining patiently why it sounded crap. She was right. So we practiced and practiced. And soon it sounded ok.
So when I stood up, ready to start talking, holding my speech in sweaty palms, I knew exactly what to do.
For about a second.
The speech didn't quite get read out. It went a bit sideways. I got out my general ideas, but not in any logical order. I did not dance.
Luckily I had hired the very talented Alex Kinsey (I hope that's spelt right Alex, sorry if not...) to do a reading for me. He had three sections to read across the course of my speech. This gave me time to regroup, to check the speech.
I stood nervously in a corner while Alex read my words to (mostly) rapt audience. I thought about running away. I got a text.
V was sat, on the floor in front of the stage, grinning at me. I grinned back. I finished my speech.
So it went well, I think. Certainly people seemed to enjoy it.
I am aware that some people frowned at my 'blatent advertising'. But I don't care. I love Tonto, I do, and they work hard for me - Stu and Paul have done geet loads. But they aren't Bloomsbury. They're not minted. They need my help to advertise the book. And, shameless it may be, but I'm very proud of my twisted little story, and I want it to do well. So All Praise My PR Guru, cos she be kick ass cool, like.
So then I did a signing. At a shop.
A big shop...
And, due largely to the influence of point sticks and pokings, I did ok.
I stalked people in the aisles.
I hassled people at the 3 for 2 tables (oh yes, 3 for 2. I have truely arrived!)
Things are going ok.
And amongst the thanks I want to give to Caroline for ... well, everything, and to Tonto for of course throwing the launch, arranging the signings and, you know, publishing me. I want to offer one more huge thanks.
To the lovely Vix: without you there is no way I'd have managed to stand up and actually talk to people. There is no way my launch would have been half as successful. There is no way I would manage to assault people in the aisles of bookshops. There is no way I would be enjopying myself as muchg as I am.
Why I wrote Disraeli Avenue for charity - The houses on Disraeli Avenue all looked the same, the same shape, the same size but behind each coloured front door there was a story, a secret, a need....
3 years ago