Book Launch Jitters and a Brilliant Idea!

I’ve been selected to appear at One Big Book Launch – and frankly I’m terrified! But I have a crazy plan to get over my nerves – only I need your help!

One Big Book Launch will see 10 authors (including me!) brought together to celebrate the publication of their books at a highly promoted launch party with friends, family, members of the press, publishing professionals and readers. Tickets are still available from the Free Word Centre, here. So please, please come along and support me because I am in a blind, blank, all consuming panic about it.

Don’t get me wrong: I am very excited to have been chosen and the event is going to be brilliant. Ten outstanding and very different authors from across the industry plus loads of press and media types all hobnobbing in a gorgeous glam venue, the Free Word Centre in North London – what’s not to like? To be honest, I’m pretty excited about a night out in the big city (I’m a country bumpkin-mum of two, I don’t get out much) Ooh – and the wine and nibbles … I even get my own assistant for the evening (which I am possibly more excited about than anything else – if I won the lottery, the first thing I’d get would be a PA to sort out my chaotic Hannah Montana existence).

But I must admit that I’ve also been having a few teensy weensy Bridget Jones style nightmares about it. I have to do this five minute speech, you see. Not just me – all the authors do – but I have to go last, which people keep telling me is a good thing because everyone will remember me. But what if all they remember is me going green, stammering incomprehensible jibberish and then throwing up on somebody’s shoes? My friend Martin threw up on Iris Murdoch’s shoes – it was our first night at Uni in Oxford – and whenever I read her books I think of the bemused expression on her face as she stared down at the vomit on her loafers on the college lawn – so it does happen, you see!

And it’s not that I don’t have anything to say about ‘I Predict a Riot’. I have oodles to say. Just you wait – I’ll be wittering and bloggering on about it like mad in the run up to the launch. It’s just that I’d like to hire a body double for the night to say it for me.

Ooh – who would I choose to be my stand in? I like this game! I have in fact been mistaken for Kirsty Allsop in the past – twice, actually. I was stopped in the street and they asked for my autograph and I briefly felt ever so pleased that my literary fame was spreading, only to discover they thought I was Kirsty! And what’s the polite thing to do in such circumstances? I wasn’t sure if I should have pretended to be Ms Allsop and faked her signature – I don’t like to disappoint, you see, and they looked very sad when I said they were sniffing up the wrong location, location, location!

But I digress. To return to the BBL, yes, Kirsty would be perfect – she’d rock a book launch. She’d hand-crotchet book marks and knit some kind of lentil cup-cakes, and make sexy property related innuendos! I wonder if she is free on April 30th?

Mind you, if I’m going to have a body double I might go all out fantasy gal! Maybe Scarlett Johannsen …or Blair Waldorff from Gossip Girl … or Scarlett O’Connor from Nashville (and don’t go telling me the last two aren’t fictional characters, because they are very real to me!)

But I suppose I ought to be English so I think I’ll probably plump for Rachel Weisz. Because she’d have to bring her hubbie Daniel Craig along with her, wouldn’t she? I mean, you can’t just leave 007 home alone, can you? Anything could happen. So, whilst she’s doing a stint on stage, Daniel and I will have a lovely backstage chat. And if he falls ever so slightly in love with me, then … well, it’ll be complicated but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it!

Oh dear, my James Bond fantasy seems to have made me deviate slightly from the point. And it doesn’t get me any closer to writing my pesky speech or figuring out how to get over my Big Book Launch nerves.

But I’ve had this crazy idea. And it’s been a long week (small girl’s birthday party shenanigans, Big Book Launch craziness, end of term madness) and it’s late on a Friday so my brain may be slightly addled and I may regret this later. But here goes…

So, I’m thinking of doing a VLOG! I blame Rhys from Thirst for Fiction for this, because I didn’t even know what a Vlog was until I came across his brilliant site. And I can hear you thinking, ‘But she barely knows how to plug in an electric toothbrush, how is she ever going to manage a Vlog?’ and you would have a point because to be honest I haven’t considered the logistics of this crazy scheme yet. But this is roughly the way I go about my life – and writing my books – I get carried away with an idea, plunge right on in and don’t think about how I’m going to get out again until I’m in too deep to turn back.

So the plan is to write my speech, record it on my Vlog, post my Vlog and then you get to tell me if it’s OK. Or not. Because if it’s rubbish, or boring, or rambling, or incoherent, or pompous, or just way off, you can tell me. And if I do weird things with my face, or my voice – or do anything bonkers – you can tell me that too. And then I can go off and practise make it better so on the night I’m like a speech-making genius legend. Right? This is brilliant, right? What could be better?

So, I’m signing off now. And I’m going to write my speech – and then tomorrow I’ll get my ten year old to film me and do the technical bit. And then I’ll report back for duty!

You see, that wasn’t so bad! What was I worrying about? This is going to be easy – completely simples!


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