This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!


From WIX 26th November 2011


The Poker Face launch party!


I have a huge thank you to make to all of the people who attended, helped out, wanted to come but couldn’t (and left fab supportive comments anyway) the weather (that might have been freezing and windy like you wouldn’t believe but kept from snowing or raining) the drivers who got my deliveries to me on time and the companies that dispatched them just like they said they would, to the print company that put all of the elements of a book together and made it look fantastic (on a stupidly short time scale) to Ivan Waldock for the cover design that makes the book look so beautiful, to the decorations for going up like I wanted them to and not falling down and to all the people who have bought a copy of my book – THANK YOU!

Right that’s my speech, speech bit done and, I have to say, it’s much better than my wedding one. That went something like this: “Thanks to everyone for coming. We appreciate the effort and lengths that some people have had to go to to share this beautiful day with us.” That’s where I should have stopped, not too bad you’re thinking, except that I didn’t stop I went on…and on…and on. “Some people flew…some people didn’t. Some people had to drive a long way…some people didn’t. Some people walked…some people didn’t!” Ugh shoot me now! Give me time to put words to paper and I can knock up something not too bad, but ask me to try and think while I’m speaking and I panic. I’m going to mess up, say something offensive, babble, bore and torture with my verbal impromptu use of the English language…and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

Anyway, I held it together for the party after successfully keeping myself from doing a runner when the first four guests arrived. Once I got through that bit and started chatting the time literally flew by and I handled it all quite well…for a semi agoraphobic person! I had one Malibu and coke to settle the nerves and not being a drinker (I probably have about four a year) I would usually go full circle in 45 minutes with the heavy limbs, giddiness, giggles, red face, loss of all spatial awareness, drowsy, weepy then sleep…and it doesn’t matter where. However, on this occasion, I handled the alcohol well (anybody could have been forgiven for thinking I was a grown up) and I survived and lived to tell the tale.

Good friends joined us after for coffee and toast, huddled around the breakfast bar (we are like soooo sophisticated) and my earlier headache returned. I insisted that I would never sleep so I made my husband put The Inbetweeners on DVD and I was out like a light within twenty minutes. Unfortunately the underlying stress manifested itself into horrible nightmares and I crashed our heap of a car into a really expensive one (with the driver still in it), my son was sick everywhere and the mafia didn’t like my story and came to get me. I woke in the early hours feeling really sick with a pounding head and just a touch of panic attack. I refused to do any more launch parties or publishing ever again. Four hours later someone in America bought my e-book and suddenly I started to feel capable of considering well…maybe just once more then. Having babies was a bit like that for me but I definitely plan to stop at two where that’s concerned!

Anyway, people enjoyed themselves, the atmosphere was great and the children loved it. Sunday night my son told us how proud he was of his mum and said he would like to get both me and his dad a gift. “Daddy,” he exclaimed “I would like to get you some moves.’ We looked at each other and thought we’d misheard. Had he gone all American on us and started calling films movies? Was he confused and struggling to explain himself? We scrunched our noses like it was sweet and encouraged him to go on, to tell us what he really meant, but that was what he really meant. “You know,” he willed us to understand, “Moves. I would like to teach dad some moves…so he can dance.” Oh how we laughed! (OK in truth Oh how laughed.) My husband had just been dissed by his seven year old son and I think it’s very funny because, last week, apparently I was boring. Ha ha ha!

So, back on track, the books sold very well and the comments are already coming in on the first few chapters. I can say at this stage I am still happy and nobody has demanded to have their money back…yet! They can’t have their money back anyway because dancing lessons cost a blooming fortune and, according to my son, we’re going to need quite a few! The launch also provided some very good contacts so I’m keeping my fingers crossed at this stage, which is very difficult when you’re trying to type.

The books have been born and sent into the big wide world and for the foreseeable future it’s all about the promotion. At the end of last week I opened up a Twitter account and I have 4 followers and not a clue as to what I‘m doing. My youngest brother-in-law helped me to set it up and said, “Right, you’re ready to go. Just harass famous people and ask them to re-tweet you.” So that’s what I’ve been doing and guess what…yes…they all ignored me! Anyone would think I wasn’t the only one bombarding them with messages. Twitter is not as easy as Facebook in terms of ‘making friends’ (the Twitter equivalent being to attract ‘followers’). If you’re feeling low about yourself then Twitter is probably not for you. Opening up to find only 4 people care about what you have to say, (and 2 of  them probably followed you by accident) and everyone you messaged has ignored you, is quite soul destroying. Almost as soul destroying as submitting your work to agents only to be continuously rejected. I’m familiar with that one too. On Facebook you can make a friend, look through their list of friends to see who else you know and poach them. Before you know it you have hundreds of people you can connect with and, more to the point, they interact with you. On Twitter you stare at a blank search box and thinking I know lots of first names but the only people’s surnames I remember are famous, and we’ve established that they aren’t talking to me! I might give up on Twitter. I do have a slightly obsessive personality but heavy stalking isn’t really my kind of thing. I think it would need to be for me to get anywhere with the re-tweet thing.

Finally, as a last little shout out, I would just like to let you in on a story about my good friend who works in a cafe (that serves fab bacon butties and pukka cups of tea). She is steaming ahead with the sale of my books right now. I am genuinely wondering what her sales pitch is, but I’m guessing it goes something like this: “Here’s your jacket potato, Sir. Can I get you anything else to go with that – extra cheese, tuna, a side of coleslaw or perhaps a copy of Poker Face?” I am half way through my collection of books and I’ve not yet had them a week! I no longer need to worry about my home looking like Rodney and Del boy’s flat! Keep it up, Heather. How you’re doing it I just don’t know but what I do know is, I’M LOVING IT! X

Cheers for the support, and for reading my little rambles, and take care from me.

Jess x

PS I stuck with Twitter and it’s turned out to be pretty awesome so, if you’re just starting out, keep it up. I’ve met some fantastic people, had opportunities to appear on other people’s blogs, been nominated for awards, carried out interviews and shared experiences. If you  need a hand getting started, give me a shout. My Twitter button is to the right of this screen…I think…yes it is…I just checked 🙂