Here are some pictures and more from the book launch on Jan 18th 2014. We celebrated the publication of THE VISITORS in style at the Petit Venue, Petit Delight, Seaview Street, Cleethorpes. The beautiful art deco room and delicious canapes welcomed around 70 guests:
Waterstones came to sell the beautiful hardback copies of THE VISITORS and we sold around 60 copies, all signed by the author:
We had perfect folk music from the brilliant Tracey, Jo and Sue of Triquetra:
and I even baked some Visitors cupcakes!
The local press turned out in force – Grimsby Telegraph, Cleethorpes Chronicle and The Journal. Here’s a Telegraph interview in progress:
My fantastic editor from Hodder & Stoughton – Suzie Doore – came up from London and gave a speech to introduce me. She was so kind as to say how fussy she is as an editor and how few books she takes on. Here we are discussing which reading I should do:
And here are Suzie and I doing our speeches with a great crowd listening most courteously. Here you can see too how classy our Petit Venue room was:
Here’s my speech in full:
’About 20 years ago, I was studying Spanish at university. I was reading all this Spanish literature and I thought to myself: this is what I want to do, all day, every day. Read novels, great novels, and not only Spanish ones. I changed my degree to study English and started writing short stories. And that same obsession grew and grew. I realised that it was not only reading novels – but writing them – that I really wanted to do all day, every day.
My wonderful partner Simon saw this in me when I first knew him 12 years ago. He had that belief in me and my writing and supported me all the way. Along came our beautiful daughter Poppy, three novels came and went, rejections from agents and publishers came and went. Then I met my super agent Jane Conway-Gordon. She loved my work and stuck with it until at last, in the summer of 2012, we heard from Suzie Doore that Hodder & Stoughton were going to publish THE VISITORS.
All that work and belief had finally paid off. I guess my 21 year-old self knew what she was doing! But lots of other people knew it too: all of my family and old friends and work colleagues, who read everything I wrote, who buoyed me up through all the years of nothing happening – who’ve travelled here this weekend from all over the country – Dorset, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Kent, Shropshire, London, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Brighton, Bristol and even Scotland! – and my local family and more recently found friends too here in lovely Cleethorpes, who have always been interested – or seemed interested anyway! – who have always asked ‘How’s the writing going?’ – most of whom are in this room right now. Some I was able to thank directly in the Acknowledgements section at the back of THE VISITORS. Some of you I have met since that was written, and so, now that I have you all here in person, I’d like to thank everyone in this room, for coming here, for reading, for supporting, for listening to me bang on about it all, and for celebrating the publication of THE VISITORS with me tonight. Thank you!’
Here’s the happy author with her handsome fella Simon.
Poppy with her cousins Emily and Alex and their mum Donna, doing some fun colouring. Behind are some super friends and family: (L-R) Theresa (an old friend who travelled for hours up from Bristol), Kathy & Clive (see below); Suzie Doore & brother Jon.
Poppy & Emily on the 3DS, whilst Suzie and I have top secret chats in the background, probably about an issue of major importance, such as cake.
My very proud mum Liz with my three lovely and rather tall brothers and me: (L-R) Jon, David and Robert.
(R-L) My super stepdad Russell, fab Auntie Biddy and there’s brother Rob again.
My gorgeous cousin Jennie and some serious signing action going on.
(L-R) My super Auntie Helen, glamorous Amanda, Rob’s wife, with Rob and Biddy.
Brother David, with thoughtful and generous wife Donna – who always brings perfect presents for Poppy – with lovely Alex & Emily.
My old friend Kathy, who came up all the way from Brighton with her husband Clive.
So that was our launch. There were loads of other wonderful people present, whose pictures I didn’t manage to get hold of, but they were there and I appreciate their support hugely: Kevin & Marie; Sarah, Mark, Joshua & Jessica; Janet, Kevin, Chris, Nicola & Maya; Mark & Andrea; Kerry, Janet & Helen; Lynn, Abbie, Isobel, Julie, Tom & Amy; Adele, Sean, Jasmine & Lilly; Pauline & Ken, Jo & Johan; Chris & Carol; Charlotte & Linda; Richard & Sue; Ginny & Bob; Clare & Dave; Angela, Ben, Amy & Beth; Sheila; Eamonn; Vonnie & Liesl.(I’m pretty darn sure that’s everyone, but apologies if I’ve missed a name.) Some of these found their way into the Grimsby Telegraph social diary! Check out the link on my Facebook page. And look out for some photos to come in the Cleethorpes Chronicle (today Thurs 30th Jan) and The Journal some time soon.
Thanks again to everyone who came and made it such a special event, including Louise the ace manager of the Petit Delight. To finish, a picture of a very proud author & book, with her wonderful family: