Well, I thought that ‘Chocs Away’ was a much better title than ‘All About My Book Launch.’ If you are a newcomer to this blog (welcome pals!) then you will soon discover that my daughter has dyslexia and that it leads to many interesting ‘language moments’ … (See ‘Be Enterprising’ blog below.)
As we were chatting about the book launch in the run up to it all, I could see the cogs and wheels turning in my girl’s mind. She is now (at the age of 9) beginning to realise that she does have a special relationship with language. A wonderful mynah bird gift and a strong tendency towards taking things very literally.
So I was rather chuffed when she said; ‘Okay, I realise now that you’re not really going to fire your books off into the air for people to catch them. Like a bride at a wedding with her flowers. ‘Cause, anyway – that would be really stupid as the building is right next to the canal,’
‘Good!’ I said. ‘We call it a launch because … like a rocket or like a ship. Or a missile – we want to put it out there. Get it started off.’
‘Chocs Away!’ shrieked the 6 year old (no idea where he got that from.)
‘Yes…..’ I replied.
‘Wow!’ she continues. ‘So, are we going to be having a load of chocolate there too?’
I gave up trying to explain more at that stage (although it did turn out that the choccy analogy was a good one as the key protagonist in ‘Mind Games and Ministers’ is a woman who is running a chocolate social enterprise Up North.) Still, my budget didnt stretch to giving out complimentary chocolate bars – but my lovely guests did get to go hyper on some very posh coffee, on the best cakes ever to tickle the tastebuds of west Yorkshire folk (courtesy of Ma Longden) and to hear me doing a reading from my book.
Incidentally, for me – the most fun bit about having had a book published is the reading aloud to the audience thing. At kiddy bedtime, my other half often tries to prevent me from reading to them (‘They’re too old! They can read now! You get all giddy and an hour later you’ve got them looking at youtube on the film version of the book!’) But I just love to read aloud to them (unless its Michael Morpurgo which my daughter has banned because ‘even you with your weird voices mum, can’t make his stuff exciting for me. Soz.’)
What else was special about the launch?
Well… my kids attended (and behaved themselves. Although you should never let a 9 year old with dyscalculia collect money from your book sales. We still don’t know where the missing tenner is.) My parents were there and worked like trojans in order to make the place look dazzling (despite rather too many of my writer friends being arty-farty types who wouldn’t know an honest day’s work if it hit them.) Everyone enjoyed the fact that we were in the middle of a brand new Coffee Roastery. And we were right next to the Huddersfield narrow canal (coffee and canals…two of my favourite things in life.)
And I loved the fact that I got to wear my Granny’s gold charm bracelet. My good luck nod to Gran. Would she have been proud of me? Probably not. Shouting profanities in the middle of a gathering of very well dressed and rather well to do people? Nah. She would have accused me of being ”common’ or ‘a right Miss Kek.’
Post-launch slump? I’d missed the copy of the newspaper which covered the launch. Jim from the Gym had asked all of his mates to see if anyone had that edition. Thankfully someone had. That evening I happened to mention this to my other half. A look of abject horror on his face. ‘Oh God. I cleaned the windows today.’ Ten minutes later the precious extract – which I had been keeping for my children as evidence that their mother wasn’t a totally useless old slapper – was brought out from the recycling bin.
So…. we have lived in this house for nearly 7 years now. And we have only ever cleaned the windows three times (and one of those times it was my dad who did it – ‘Can’t bloody stand looking through that filth any longer.’) And on the third attempt, my husband decided to scrub the grime off the windows. Using his wife’s face. How very Freudian.
Anyway. See below. This is what it looked like afterwards. Moral of the tale? A most northern lesson. ‘Don’t Get Above Yerself Too Much, Lady…’