BOOK LAUNCH AT THE SHREWSBURY COFFEEHOUSE (Blog Post Revisited)

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Until a fortnight ago I’d never attended a book launch. Sometimes I was in a hurry and just noticed one happening as I passed Waterstone’s or I’d seen them advertised and wasn’t much interested. And they were all of the turn up, buy, and get it signed variety.

A few months ago I was kindly invited to one. I was tempted because I would have very much liked to see the house – pretty much a castle really – and grounds. It belongs to an ennobled person I’ve met once or twice and who had self-published a lengthy book of poetry about his ancestors.

Like a spy in the night I did a bit of surreptitious checking and discovered the order of service. On arrival you received a conducted tour of the house and immediate grounds and then assembled in the library and were given one glass of white wine. The way I drink that wouldn’t have lasted long but that was all you got.

There would then be a speech by a quite well known associate of the author – many local dignitaries would be present it seems – and then the great man himself would talk about the book and read extracts.

While these were still fresh in your mind there would be a sort of shuffle to a table laden with his work and then everyone, and I mean everyone, would pick up a copy; pay for it – and with full colour illustrations these were definitely not cheap – then present it for signing and afterwards disperse.

Well, I did think about it but not for long. It might have been different if I ‘do’ poetry but sadly I’ve never been able to appreciate it much unless it’s something like Hiawatha or The Burial of Sir John Moore. You know: the sort of thing that stirs the blood a bit. But these – I had seen a few promo passages – were more introspective, contemplative, and without much rhyming.

So I politely declined. I was pleased to hear later it went very well; plenty of books were sold and the tour was lengthy, if a little chaotic when the guide lost her way for a while!

Then, rather like the number 27 bus another invitation turned up. Again the author, John Comerford, is someone I know slightly. His novel, which I have not yet read, is What Blind Customers and is available here http://bit.ly/YZIedm The venue was The Coffeehouse, a place I visit anyway where the service, coffee, food and most of all atmosphere hit the spot. I decided to go to this one; I’d know one or two people there and it would be good to congratulate John on getting published.

I met him as soon as I walked in. He didn’t know I’d got a book on Kindle and despite the hubbub insisted on looking at the reviews and reading the synopsis there and then. Quickly he was whisked away: he used to lecture at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and there were many of his former students present, together with musicians, photographers, poets, and Rob Savage, a very up and coming film director. [Another candidate I hope for deciding one day he just has to film Project Overkill.]

John welcomed us all and very kindly included me in his long list of arts associated people there. He then launched into an excellent guitar / vocal section with one of the many talented musicians. Next came a former student who is destined to become an excellent stand-up comedian – I am so sorry I did not take a note of the names – and then there were more musical acts.

After that, selected guests read extracts from his novel – which I found amusing and clever and demonstrating a deep understanding for words and doubles entendres. There was genuine merriment in the room and the atmosphere was Let’s Party. I duly complied with a large glass of excellent Merlot; my companions wanted coffee and that was excellent too.

It went on with more of the same; the staff volunteering to extend their working day because everyone was having such a great time. Sadly I missed the final acts – including the excellent Chris Quinn whom I’ve heard and enjoyed several times before – because of time.

I remember Ms. J.S-C advertising a launch for Poker Face II which included cakes and freebies and free wrapping of her book as a pressie and wishing I could go, but sadly Northampton was an event too far at the time. It sounded like fun with a launch included. Which is exactly what this was: the author focused on guests having a good time.

So, if ever I have a launch I’m going in that direction. I would need to tap John for names of musicians and Ms. J. S-C for wrapping and freebie ideas.

But more than anything I’d want the guests to enjoy the party.

 

Waterstones, Kettering Video Diary – Blog post revisited :-)

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(Proof! Ha ha!)

Hey guys!

I survived yet another signing! Yes, that means you have to put up with me for a bit longer!

OK, so here are the video diaries for Saturday 13th October at Waterstones, Kettering and I would just firstly like to say thank you to everyone at the store who made us feel very welcome and offered me advice and lots of coffee to get me through the day. This signing was different because, for the first time, we opted not to sit down but for me to walk about and approach a few people. I find this really, REALLY hard to do but, like I say, we got through it in one piece. The downside of walking about was that it was kind of impossible to do a video diary without being in the way of a shelf or accidently catching members of the public so we decided to leave filming until the evening when we were back home. I had a shocking cold by this point and felt pretty rough so I’m going to use that as my excuse for the much weirdness that accompanies the next two recordings 😀

So clip one deals with the lovely questions we received surrounding me and my writing and thank you to everyone who contributed to this clip…

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I got into trouble many times for kicking the drawer in the kitchen and basically mucking about so we moved to the living room in the hopes that if Mr S-C sat on my legs I might keep still…didn’t work ha ha! May I warn in advance that Mr S-C said there was plenty of room on the camera to get this next clip but, as you will see, there wasn’t!

You get the general idea of where this was heading and it was our last question so I didn’t bother to record anything else to add to it.

Again, thank you to everyone who sent in questions because it made the filming much more fun and unpredictable  and it was quite cool attempting to deal with questions when I had no idea what was coming up! We didn’t have a hat so we put all of the names in a colander and each took it in turns to pick one. Here are the three winning names:-

Julie @RiverofTimeFan

Charlie @charlieplunkett

Victoria @vspearson

So congrats to you three and as soon as book two is available and I have an address to send them out I will be forwarding you a signed 1st edition copy of Poker Face. The Puppet Master.

Lastly one final thank you to Heather @heather5mith for popping along for a couple of hours and for interviewing me and to Mr S-C for staying with me for a few hours and for holding the camera so we could get the clips for the diary. Cheers muchly guys and just so you all know, we celebrated with a yummy curry last night. Yay!

Jess 🙂 x

The next big thing! Blog tag!

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This post is revisited!

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Dear all,

I was invited to be in a promotional blog tag by the very talented Jeri Walker-Bicketthttp://jeriwb.com/     The Next Big Thing originated from the SheWrites website and I’d just like to take this opportunity to say thank you very muchly to Jeri for tagging me and giving me the chance to chat about my work in progress. So, here goes, below are my answers to the questions.

 

What is the working title of your book? 

Poker Face II. The Puppet Master. I think! 😀

 

Where did the idea come from for the book? 

I was writing book 1 in the series and I was so into the characters that I had already started thinking about what else I wanted them to do with their literary lives. The books deal a bit with gang culture and the mafia and so there has always been so much scope for plot development.

 

What genre does your book fall under? 

It is supposed to be a YA thriller but adults have been enjoying it very much and I’m hoping I’ve kept the content tame enough for a YA market. We shall see!

 

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 

I have no idea but I would need me a handsome man in his forties (who looks pretty hot in a suit), a man in his early twenties (who also looks great smart but can carry of the cool shorts and bare feet image too) and a young woman in her teens who can go from feisty to cutey at the drop of a hat! 

 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Alessi and Danny find 18 year old Ruby Palmer after she suddenly goes missing, but they soon realise that the girl they’ve found isn’t quite the Ruby they once knew.

 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

Funnily enough on the day I am typing this I received a rejection from an agency, so I’d say I’m going indie all the way! It’s a good, fun ride with some fabulous supportive people. Being indie published is like being part of a community and I love it.  

 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 

I was writing it at the same time as the first book and so, after only a few months of writing the first one, the second one was already drafted and ready for some MEGA editing!

 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

Personally I struggle to compare my work because no matter how fab the reviews there is always a little part of me that says ‘Yeah but it’s not really all that!’ I wish I could drop that little part of me over a bridge! Oh no, I’ve just thought! If that little part does happen to go mising I will be first in line for questioning now! Anyway, Poker Face has twice been compared to a much easier to read and digest version of John Grisham by two massive John Grisham fans because there are lots of twists, turns and edge of your seat thrills. It’s a pretty enjoyable read but it’s not too complicated. I don’t quite feel worthy enough of the Grisham tag! Ha ha 😀

 

Who or What inspired you to write this book? 

Book one and the vibrant characters that just seemed to fit so well and develop in book one kind of inspired me to write book two. Book one was inspired by an agent who I desperately wanted to secure at the time, who claimed to be looking for a ‘good legal thriller.’ She didn’t take my work but I am still seriously happy with how well received it’s been. I have a little fan base and I’m living a pretty good alternative version of ‘the dream!’

 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? 

The series of Poker Face currently stands at four books and I am toying with a fifth. The thing I love most about the series is that I have kept the themes (although sometimes quite extreme or unrealistic for your everyday experiences) as realistic as possible and true to the issues and circumstances surrounding the characters. There are real life events, some very awkward and uncomfortable, but I wasn’t willing to pretend that these things don’t go on. In my opinion if I’m going to deal with an issue I needed to deal with it honestly or not deal with it at all. Characters get hurt, people suffer loses and strong bonds and relationships are formed. This book isn’t just about a bunch of gangsters shooting people up, it’s about a young girl with a trashy and abusive background finding a way forward in life, using the difficult hand she’s been dealt. She does it pretty good too.

All the best guys and I look forward to reading your work!

Jess x

  

OK the fab five that I have selected (minus the ones that have dropped out) are:-

 Victoria Pearson  (@vspearson) http://victoria-pearson.blogspot.com/

Julia Hughes  (@tinksaid) http://juliahughes.co.uk/

Charlie Plunkett  (@charlieplunkett) http://www.charlieplunkett.co.uk/

Victoria Grefer (details to follow)

Eileen Wharton (details to follow)

 

(Again, don’t ask me why these names are in different colours and some are underlined while others aren’t! I’m just surprised I actually managed to get another post up in the space of a week! Go me!) 

PS if you click on the person’s name above it should (should) take you to their website/blog so you can find out a little more about them! Go oooooooooon, do it! 😀

It’s like a guest post birthday! It’s been a year now & time for another Ripple in Time promo! :-)

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This post is a re-post but A Ripple in Time is once again on offer and free to download to Kindle, a year on from the original post. It is still very much a recommended read.

A Ripple in Time

Dear all,

I know, I know, my schedule is so hectic, what with kid’s parties, the book signing coming up, Mr S-C (bless him being all clumsy and that) the book writing and the blog…!!! Oh no the blog! The time has come, I must hand over the wheel while I have a little breakdown, and who better to jump into the driving seat than the fabarooney Julia Hughes, @tinksaid! I’ll be back (no don’t sigh! Soooooo cheeky!) but in the meantime I can assure you, you are in very safe hands. So, now, sit back and enjoy the ride…Over to you my lovely friend, Julia.

me&tink3_(2) 

 

Thank you Jess, and don’t worry, your blog’s in safe hands, promise. And off she goes, no doubt to another children’s party or to organise Mr S-C’s Father’s Day treats. Do I sound envious? Oh to be able to turn back the clock to that very special time, when the kids thought Mummy and Daddy were the most wonderful people in the world. Mind you, I still feel that way about my parents. There have been times when I’ve longed for a boring life, but throughout it all – the major highs and the places no-one wants to go – there have been two people standing solidly behind me with words of encouragement and acts of overgenerous kindness. Among the many unexpected pleasures of writing, comes the opportunity to say a small thank you to those who support without question. So my breakthrough novel is dedicated to the best parents any child could wish for, lucky me –  I won the lottery.

I also won the lottery with Jess, who answered my plea for a beta reader. Jess’s success with her debut novel Poker Face, encouraged me to publish in paperback, as well as ebook format. A Ripple in Time will be free to download to your kindle until 18th April 2013. 

Massive thanks once again to Jess, and you can bet your life I’ll be attending her book signing at Waterstones in Hatfield later this month [and she did!] eager to pick up tips from this wonderful writer, who is also a wonderful friend.

A Ripple in Time can be obtained by clicking Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Julia

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Woo hoo! How awesome is that! I’ll definitely be fifteen minutes late for the next party downloading my copy of A Ripple in Time! Come on, writing before raving…always! Thanks so much, Julia, for your lovely post and your lovely comments too.

Seriously, congratulations on your lovely new shiny paperback! It is SO exciting! I’m sure everyone will agree, the birth of a new novel or in a new format is a very wonderful thing and I’m so thrilled to be a part of it. Go you!!!

Take care from me,

Jess 😀 x

PS beautiful pic, Julia!

Please check out Julia’s fabarooney website for more of her work and posts 🙂

Video Diaries! My very first signing event at Waterstones, Hatfield. Post re-visited :-)

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Well, readers, the time came…and went…aaaaand, despite all of the panic, tummy aches and tears, I made it to and through the 23rd June 2012. I lived to tell the tale…or should I say the video diary. Now, I must first apologise because I thought that my camera (with video facility) would be fine for the occasion but it seems, even after deleting all personal photos of our recent holiday, there was not enough room to fit the four clips that I wanted. As a consequence we used @Heather5mith’s i-phone (the wrong way up) so two of the clips are either going to show up sideways or with mega blacked out borders  – but as long as they show something, right now I don’t care! Uploading to this blog has been an absolute nightmare! I even cried!

So, here goes. The first clip is very early morning on 23rd June. The kids are having a go at their interviewing skills. PS I would just like to make it clear that I do not push my daughter in this clip, I am simply trying to keep her from YouTube! She is one determined little monkey, let me tell you!

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So, we got mega lost on the way to Hatfield. The journey should have taken us  1 hour and 15 minutes, tops. However,  even with @Heather5mith’s SatNav, Mr S-C’s built in thingy on his phone and my more caveman-like printed off ‘Route Finder Classic View’ we got lost to the tune of over one and a half hours! The upside of this was that I was so fed up that my initial reservations about the whole affair had been replaced with ‘All I want to do is get there!!!’ When we did get there the staff at Waterstones were absolutely fantastic. They grabbed a table, a snazzy table cloth, advised us on the best positions, provided a fabarooney decorated chalk board and then even grabbed us all a coffee from Nero! I love the people at Waterstones, Hatfield! I will say this more than once! I must also say that Heather’s interview technique is pretty cool and she managed an artistic reflective job, which is very clever. Let’s agree that it was a complicated, technical set up and was entirely intentional. If the BBC would like to hire @Heather5mith, she is available all day Wednesday (outside of Zumba) and most evenings (as long as it’s not a choir night).

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Towards the end of the day we went for another clip but my camera held up its little camera hands and said ‘No, sorry, I clocked off at lunch time. It’s Saturday! I don’t get paid for this!’ Diva camera alert! So we dug into @Heather5mith’s hugomungo bag and caught a bit more of the day on her phone. Neither of us knew what to say at this point but we said there would be a video diary and by Jove we were going to rise to the challenge. It WAS a challenge!!!

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We packed up at 5.30pm, feeling exhausted (I’m not sure why I was as all I’d done was sit at a table all day, answer some questions, try not to do a runner and sign stuff!) It might be the fact that by that point I had consumed two large coffees, only one small bottle of water and not much else. After a farewell to Robin (not my Robin but the fabarooney Robin at Waterstones), Laura, Chris and Maisie (If I have spelt this incorrectly please let me know and I will change it – who I didn’t get to talk to but wish I had now) we made our weary way to the car park. The box of books was reassuringly and satisfyingly lighter than when we had arrived and we loaded the car for what SHOULD HAVE BEEN an hour’s drive home! Yeah I bet you’ve worked out what happens next! A slightly more stroppy video of me is what happens next, but at least (as I am not required to look at the camera in the next clip) there is no random face pulling, singing, dancing, ear tugging, lip rolling, hair touching, arm scratching or eye avoidance going on. This is the most normal clip that exists of me! The only problem I have with it is that my nose looks big sideways on and I HATE IT!!!

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This here concludes our video diary of my very first signing at Waterstones, Hatfield, and I have enormous gratitude to everyone who works there. They are absolutely fantastic! To the manager Steve Jenner (hope he doesn’t mind me using his name) for allowing me to be there, to @Heather5mith for accompanying, standing for ages and supporting, for Mr S-C for doing the very same thing along with the occasional ‘You look well cool!’ (lies) and much needed hugs and to Julia Hughes (@tinksaid) and her wonderful sons for coming to visit us, to Mr S-C’s mum and partner for coming along to say hi and having the kids for a bit, and to my fabarooney sister for agreeing to have my two children (on top of her own three) so I could get out and about and promote my work. I also would like to thank (yes I am still going on but stay tuned because this one is probably for you) all my fantastically supportive followers on Twitter and my understanding friends because, without all of you, this would nowhere near have been the most fantastic experience of my life that it turned out to be. You are all way cool and I loves ya!

Take care from me,

Jess 😀 x

I have the equivalent of Scotland Yard on my laptop! Blog post revisited :-)

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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!

 

Dear all,

Look, I’m still going! [eye roll] I’m still finding stuff to talk about! [groan] It’s amazing what you can put together when you sit down for long enough and make yourself do it! [bite your tongue and don’t say a word, unless you have something nice to say there’s always the back button].

Well first things first, the biggie celebration of the year, Christmas! We had a very good Christmas and, unlike most years and many of the people I know, we missed being ill this time! Yay! I do currently have a pain in my chest that’s been there for days but I figure it’s better than a pain in the butt, so I‘ll live with it. I probably pulled a muscle…unwrapping…my…new…laptop! Yes, you read me correctly, I actually got a shiny new laptop with no viruses on it, no junk and no missing keys! I think that has to be the best present I’ve ever had. Many thanks to the man who calls himself my husband, I love you big time! I was also presented with the mother of all security to load onto said new laptop to ensure I experience no more hiccups or desires to beat inanimate objects. I have the computerised equivalent of Scotland Yard ready to arrest and bang up anything that shouldn’t be trespassing on my mobile workstation.

On to the book, Poker Face. It sold very well on the run up to Christmas and I’ve already had some fantastic reviews on what people have read so far. One reader (that I don’t know) declared that they’d read it and loved it in just 24 hours! I can’t ask for more than that. Amazon managed to make it look more popular than it has been by suddenly declaring that my novel was out of stock! I wish! I was tempted to ride with the inaccuracy but thought, one, it might put people off ordering and, two, it’s not very true, it’s not even a little bit true because…basically…it’s a lie. I contacted them and they promptly put it right. They are good people at Amazon, they know their stuff and they work quickly, I like them.

On to the website, I can now welcome New York and Spain as well as many other towns and cities in the UK to my website hit-counter, hello New York and Spain and many other towns and cities in the UK, it’s lovely to have you! All being well 2012 might be a crazy busy year for Poker Face. There is a huge promotional drive in the pipeline, running the length and breadth of the country and I am scared it won’t happen. I am equally scared that it will. I feel like Bob the Builder ‘Can I do it?’ I bloody hope so! It would be an awesome experience and brilliant for the series too so, once again, it’s a waiting game. You get used to waiting as a writer – six weeks here, six weeks there! OK so that’s not true, when you’re a writer and an Aries you wait because you have to but you don’t do it with any pride or decorum. You rant and rave, fold your arms and tap your feet whilst constantly hitting refresh on your email and nipping to the letterbox to see if that blinking post-woman has been yet! Basically, I just need some more responses and as soon as I know my little adventurous plan has enough support I will be able to share it with my beautiful readers. I so want to blurt it out but I’ll resist the urge to spill and sit on my hands instead.

OK so I’m off my hands now, it’s impossible to do that and type, don’t check I tried already and believe me when I say it’s both impossible and a little bit dangerous, especially if you are perched on a stool. Unlike millions of others, I skipped the January sales this year…just like every other year of my life. Actually I have been to one sale, towards the end of the discount frenzy. I was dragged into River Island in my teens and was shocked to find items of clothes in various states of destruction. People had literally ripped the arms off of tops, torn the hems on skirts and smeared makeup on collars and cuffs. It looked like there’d been a dirty protest. The garments had been through a tug-of-war where nobody had won, the clothes had given in first. Anyway, never again, I’ve stayed away in fear of my personal safety or being spotted in something that somebody decides they quite like. You could end up leaving naked from these places. Some of these shoppers would steal the Next top right off your back! Word of advice, if you are brave enough to go in, make sure you’re wearing fantastic underwear because that might be all your wearing when you come back out.

Right I need to get on with polishing Poker Face II so I’m going to round things up now other than to say this post started before the New Year and as I conclude it is now 4th January 2012!!! Happy New Year!!! Bang! Bang! Pop! Whizz! Whoop! Whoop! That’s my attempt at reconstructing a New Year’s celebration, that being better than my actual New Years experience which consisted mostly of ECG monitors, scans, journeys on hospital beds and wheelchairs. Man I know how to see the New Year in. A potential diagnosis of clot on the lung or mini heart attack was the worst New Year’s Eve I have EVER had, and believe me when I say I’ve had some pretty bad ones! I am pleased to say that what started out as potentially life threatening and incredibly sobering (not that I was even a little bit drunk) in fact turned out to be anemia and lack of oxygen in the blood. My New Year’s resolution is, therefore, don’t spend all day writing and not eating (other than to drink tea and eat toast) because apparently your heart doesn’t like it and lets you know by making you collapse and scare the life out of your husband! I’m on the mend now and I will definitely be taking much better care of myself in the future, wake-up call duly noted and acted upon.

Apparently, even suspected heart attack and clot on the lung couldn’t stop me! OK I’m not itching for a rematch if you’re listening God! I am still being good like I promised I would be if you kept me alive, I’m even going to bed in a minute!

All the best for 2012 and if you have any plans or wishes for this year, I truly hope they happen.

With love from me, Jess X

 

Poker Face Launch Party! Blog post revisited! :-)

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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 🙂

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