Well, it happened. Publication day came and went. My book (pictured – once only, I promise) is out there, in the world. Feck!
I didn’t knob up my radio interviews too horribly, although I did have an awkward moment when one of the presenters made some gag involving my name. The gag was clearly designed to invite a reciprocal response but the problem with that was that I had already forgotten his name. An uncomfortable silence ensued as we both waited for me to remember. Eventually, somewhat wounded, he soldiered on. Other than that, all was well. I signed books, talked to people, tweeted about awful dates, went for lunch with my lovely publishers and – after a spot o’ work – had a few drinks with some friends in the evening. No launch parties for me, yet. I’ve been a little busy. I tried to organise one but after the third call to a friend, during which I am reported to have howled “I CANNOT TAKE ANY MORE, I SHALL EXPLODE OR DIE IF I HAVE TO ORGANISE ONE MORE THING” it was suggested that I perhaps put it on hold for a while.
So there we have it: done. And, as I said last week, out of my hands. And in yours. Will I make it? Who knows. Right now I’m too tired to worry about that. I’m more preoccupied with the plate of quinoa in front of me which is a weird, hybrid giant version of quinoa. It looks like yellowy sperms. I’m not sure I can eat it.
But back to the book, obviously.
I’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with spotting someone reading it on the tube, or in the street, or on a bench. Someone I don’t know. One person will do: it’d just convince me that it’s all real. That’d make my year. Ideally the person in the photo will be laughing or nodding appreciatively. Not screwing up their face in irritation like I do when I’m reading a book I don’t like. Why do I do that? Just put the book down, Robinson! Stop reading if you don’t like it, you bell! But no. I soldier on, angrily, hating the author more every moment. If you’re in that place with my book, perhaps just let it go. It’s not going to change. It’s like that all the way through. ‘Roar out loud hilarious’ according to one reviewer; ‘irritating’ and ‘flawed’ according to another. Ho hum.
In fact the only negative thing about my launch was the fact that I walked into a mirrored wall in the posh restaurant my publishers took me to for lunch. Quite hard, in fact. Hard enough to dislodge me from my high heel and send me sprawling confusedly into a door.
This is vintage Robinson.
The next morning I went straight to the nearest vendor of my book: Sainsburys. My novel is their book club pick at the moment so – much to my excitement – it was displayed in this great big orange traffic bollard of its own. Although it was kind of facing a short empty aisle. I’m afraid I did what probably all authors want to do but don’t actually follow through with, because they are more mature and better-behaved than me: I shifted a few copies round to face the rest of the supermarket. And then I just stood there, in case anyone bought it. I didn’t want to intervene, just wanted to watch. It was mid-morning; not prime book-buying time. But to my surprise two different women did come browsing, although they bypassed it in favour of Peppa the Pig and Elizabeth Buchan instead. Fair enough.
But the very best thing about my day – and forgive me, because I’m going to go a bit rank and dewy-eyed on you – beyond posh lunches and seeing my book in the shops and the buzz at Penguin HQ – was the amazing sense of support and excitement I got from my friends, family and readers. The Man made me an extra special card and bought me yummy presents. So did my Mum. And in fact so did loads of people. All day I was receiving messages on facebook and twitter and my phone; I took so many lovely calls and had so many lovely warm hugs of genuine excitement when I saw everyone in the evening. It was actually rather magic, like.
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am and what’s really important. The book publication thing is mega amazing but really – all you need is love. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) I was reminded on Thursday that I am loved. By lots of amazing people. So, thank you, all my lovely friends, blog readers, boyfriend, family, for being so nice to me. I know I’m a bit of a moron who walks into walls and apparently swears too much and I know I have been running around with my head up my arse recently; too busy to acknowledge your loveliness, but I’m feeling it now. Finally. And I’m very grateful.