As the launch date for my second novel, Rose Gold, fast approaches my Bank Holiday weekend was stuffed full of sun, social media, signings and the usual stress of traffic.
I made my first appearance at the Margate Bookie literary festival on Sunday. As well as reading from Rose Gold in public for the first time, I also did a book signing because my brilliant publishers, Urbane, had managed to get some pre-release copies to the festival in time. I did a quick interview with Francesca Baker that has now been posted as a podcast. Later in the day, I joined five other authors reading in character to promote Richard Skinner’s re-launched The Red Dancer. The setting was fabulous, the attendance was great (despite the lure of the sun-drenched beach just outside) and the organisation fantastic. Thanks to Andreas Loizou and the rest of his gang for all their hard work. The journey back, sharing the road with thousands of others who had come to the coast for the day, was fairly horrendous but as an economist I’m trained to realise that there’s no such thing as a free lunch…
Yesterday I took my daughter and her friend to the Chiddingstone Literary Festival. More glorious sunshine and a tranquil setting next to a lake and woodland. The day started with a model-making session from Aardman Animations. Under expert tutelage the girls got to recreate Hognob from the film Early Man. After a picnic and walk we then joined the audience for a session with Children’s Laureate Lauren Child. Even with the sides open, the marquee was roasting but Lauren did well to keep the kids entertained for an hour. Afterwards, we dashed off to join the queue for the book signing and a brief chat with one of my daughter’s favourite authors. Her limited-edition copy of book 6 in the Ruby Redfort series is now signed. Huzzah!
Throughout these two days of high fun, high temperatures and high mileage, my twitter account went slightly bonkers. As well as lots of tweets/RTs about my appearance at Margate, one of the bloggers on my forthcoming blog tour released her review of the first book, Blue Gold. Books From Dusk Until Dawn (the lovely Susan Hampson) gave it a glowing 5-star review. And yesterday, John Fish (The Last Word Book Review) released a sneak preview of his thoughts on Rose Gold, with the summary “Really enjoyed it… cracking storyline”. Hence, I spent a fair amount of time over the weekend hunched over my mobile phone, trying to do RTs and send thank-yous to everybody who was supporting me and spreading the news across the ether. I am sure I missed some people’s efforts, so apologies if I didn’t get to show my appreciation at the time.
Two days until the big launch. I think I need a lie-down to restore some energy.