Quite a few people have asked me that and I've given a few sentences in reply.
Here's how the night went -
A quivering wreck and squinting through one eye because I couldn't see out of it because it was blurred with hayfever, I headed into Waterstones in Glasgow's famous Sauchiehall Street (its a nightmare for non-Scots to say and is pronounced Saw-kie-hall Street).
Before I went there, a few people mentioned this was Scotland's biggest bookstore - no pressure there then.
On the way there, I was contemplating doing a runner because I was so nervous, but my partner John kept reassuring me it would be okay. He had a speech prepared and I wouldn't need to do a thing except for signing books.
Sounded simple enough, but I suffer from agoraphobia (a crippling fear of people and open spaces (see my agoraphobic writer post) my hands were shaking and its hard to write my long name (Jennifer Lee Thomson) in a way that wouldn't ruin anybody's book.
We arrived at the store at 6pm for the 7pm launch, which seemed a bit early but as it turned out, I needed that extra hour.
The events manager Frankie, the most enthusiastic person I've ever met, talked us through what would happen at the event and laid out the cakes we'd brought with mini book covers made out of rice paper by an amazing cake designer.
Frankie talked us through how to use the microphones. Vital if like me you are useless with anything more technologically advanced than a shoebox tied with rope.
John was thankfully going to do all the talking standing at a lectern so in the end my microphone could be switched off.
After Frankie gave me tips on where to sign the book and what to write, it was 7pm and time to roll.
Lynsey Adams from the wonderful There's Been a Murder blog came early and brought me a lovely, thoughtful gift and so did my brother, Ian. Then a few of John's good friends and my other brother Jamie, so at least my dream of nobody showing up proved unfounded. And everybody seemed to be enjoying the cakes!
|Where was everybody? Panic sets in.|
But 7pm and ten past 7 came and went and nobody else had arrived. Finally the stragglers, otherwise known as my family arrived fifteen minutes late - they'd got lost).
My partner made his amazing speech and everybody loved it and then it was book signing time, which I thoroughly enjoyed especially when asked questions about writing or my characters.
Would I have a book launch again? Probably, if Waterstones will have me again as they were wonderful to deal with (thanks go to events' manager James and Ben, as well as the amazing Frankie).
Next time (if there is one) I'll know exactly what to except.
For starters, most people who say they'll come won't, especially if Take That are in town and its a sunny day.
Your nearest and dearest will turn up late or not at all, or to a completely different venue (Glasgow has two Waterstones in the city centre alone and they are five minutes away from each other).
Footnote - There was one major downside to having a launch. After picking what I thought was an amazing letter dress to wear and nice boots that I didn't think I'd look terrible in, I later saw the pictures of the night and realised I looked like a walking tent, so it's diet time for me.
All that sitting about writing has given me writer's bottom and middle age spread has added to it.
Wish me luck on my diet. Maybe you'll see the svelte new me at the next book launch?