When my debut novel, The Maid’s Room, was published last week, I had a launch party at Waterstones, Richmond. On the way there, my mouth went a bit dry as I wondered what on earth I was doing. There were going to be 60 people there, and I had to do a speech – a prospect I wasn’t relishing.
But as soon as I climbed the stairs to the cafe area in Waterstones, a curious calm took over. My books were piled everywhere. There were posters of my gorgeous cover, and all the tables were decorated with yellow roses.
Then the guests started to arrive – my agent Rowan and other agents from Furniss Lawton, my parents, and lots of my friends. Even my former editor, affectionately known as ‘the best boss ever’ had schlepped all the way from West Sussex. Other people had made long journeys too – and I was so happy that they had.
I mingled, gushed a lot, and smiled the kind of genuine smile that doesn’t give you face-ache.
Thorne Ryan from Hodder & Stoughton did a great speech and talked about some of the plaudits The Maid’s Room has already won from magazines such as Grazia and Red. She even mentioned the ‘genuinely excellent’ that Heat magazine said of the book last week.
Then it was time for my speech. I actually enjoyed standing there thanking all the people who have got me to this place, including my husband who has weathered the seemingly endless disappointments along the way.
I read a short excerpt from my book, signed lots of books and had an all-round brilliant time. Afterwards some of us headed to a nearby pub, and ouch – yes, I did need the paracetamols the next morning.
Thank you to everyone who came to my book launch – I enjoyed every second of it.