On the 20th June 2015 I released my first book Our Doris at Macclesfield Library. I arrived with my mother half an hour early to set up the room, meeting my good friend Lindsey on the way. (She crossed the country for me and proved just how good a friend she is.) Incredibly nervous, I envisaged no one arriving, and being left to share cakes and books with my family.
I had spent the best part of Friday baking in preparation. I made a Victoria sponge, a lemon sponge, a chocolate gateau and a carrot cake, mentioned only because I want bragging rights. They were rather thin sponges and I question the use of 1970’s cook books, but folk offered compliments on them.
Once we reached the library we embarked upon a quest to get the Meeting Room ready in the half hour I had before my guests arrived. There was something of a mad dash in my mind because the tables weren’t as I had envisaged and there weren’t enough chairs – I’d asked for fifty and there were only about ten but we found a caretaker and he was kind and fantastic and he took the book I was donating to the library and honestly I wish I’d found out his name because he was kind enough to help an incredibly nervous writer and not complain.
My earlier torment that folk wouldn’t arrive was non-founded when a lot of people arrived. Well thirty-seven, but since I was only allowed fifty people in the room I was happy. Rosie and Liz, my uni friends came to see me, as did more friends and family and folk from work and Weight Watchers – I count them amongst friends as well but I wanted more space to brag.
Then the launch began.
I introduced Our Doris and thanked everyone for helping me. I know that writing is a solitary pursuit but the actual act of putting a book together takes a whole host of planning and preparation and without my friends I would be nowhere. The people that I wanted to thank were there – I’ve mentioned them on the blog before, and they know that I thank them. Some people I thanked because I saw them around the room and I wanted to thank everyone individually but a lot of the time it’s just being grateful for support.
Once my rambling speech was over I chose to read the first monologue from the book ‘Slugs’. I developed a nervous dry mouth and was exceptionally glad for my glass of water. And fortunately enough I used full stops so had chance to breathe. The reading seemed to go well.
Alas, I didn’t have enough time to mingle as I sold out of books and had to sign them, but this is not a complaint. Folk managed to speak to me and being amongst friends no one wants you to fail. Questions were asked and answered – there’s a question that’s plaguing me at the moment, but I’m planning on answering it in a later blog post so that won’t be answered here.
Honestly, the launch went as well I had hoped and then some. There was this wealth and depth of support I hadn’t expected. I’ve always had this anxiety that people expect me to fail, or want me to fail in some way and I sold out of books and was able to celebrate a book that I have released myself. Our Doris is self-published and that meant having a lot of faith in my own work and my own ability as a writer.
I’m twenty-two, I have a lot more to learn about the publishing world and writing in general and it’s a world I want to be part of. Our Doris is a book I am incredibly proud of and I am prepared for bad reviews and for it not to sell but it doesn’t stop the aching hope I have in my chest that we will be successful. I want to show to the world that I can write and I can write well.
Whether I can or not is up to you, now.
Until next time, that is all.
Our Doris £6.99