Well now. Hello dearest readers. How are you?
I am good, thanks. Hmmm, did I mention that my BOOK, A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger, IS NOW OUT?
What’s that? Shut the fuck up and stop bothering us about it?
Oh. I see. Fair enough. I’ll be quiet.
No, I can’t do it! I can’t shut up, I’m sorry. It’s the most exciting thing ever and I’m still surrounded by cards and flowers and high heels. (I know! Me! High heels! I wore them constantly and didn’t fall over ONCE.) So because I’m feeling so excitable I thought I’d invite you into my life and share my pub day with you. I welcome you to my house, to the Penguin offices, to yummy restaurants and even to my bathroom. Then I will pop you in my handbag and take you to my launch party. OK?
*In the spirit of BBC Editorial Policy, I should declare now that these events did not all take place within twenty-four hours. They normally would, but on this occasion my launch party was on Monday. A minor detail….*
So. It all starts here, in South America. This is where I wrote A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger. It’s also where I fell in love with The Man, nearly died in hospital, spent hours/days/weeks on the bog, climbed mountains, met armadillos and whales and turtles, learned to salsa and tango badly and ate the most MAGNIFICENT STEAK YOU WILL EVER IMAGINE.
Enough of that. There are a million blogs here describing my times abroad if you want to know more. Some of them are very funny. (Not because I am particularly funny, but just because my life out there was ridiculous.) So let us jump straight into pub day. PUB DAY! First I welcome you to my celebratory breakfast of, er, a bowl of cereal. But check out the zebra onesie, yeah? Monumental.
Next came a bit of social media. I love being in contact with you guys but man, social media’s a pain in the bottom sometimes. I have to have strict rules about how much time I spend on twitter. When the grim reaper comes for me I doubt I’ll be shouting, ‘oh, bollocks, I so wish I’d spent more time on twitter.’
Next up – and you can laugh at me all you like but I shan’t care -a RAGING pot of herbal tea and some badass meditation. I meditate every day. Mostly just by sitting by a candle, but occasionally with an Andrew Johnson recording. Before writing was my actual job, I loved writing. Now it’s my job, I find it frequently stressful. Meditation means I’m less mental. And tea – this one being my absolute fave, a tasty little mofo from yumchaa – carries me smoothly from meditation into a working day. *Bewildered silence from readers who really did not expect Robinson to meditate*
Then, rather than commencing hammering at my computer in a stressed and stressful manner, I go and have a nice long bath cos today I am SPESHUL and deserve a bit of that pampering business. My companion in the bath is Balance Me. Have you heard of Balance Me? If not, you need to. Their stuff smells literally AMAZING and it’s all natural and organic AND it doesn’t have a nasty price tag. Honestly, I’m a right old pikey who’s normally found rootling round the bargain bin at Superdrug, but even I can afford to buy their yummy offerings. Clever face creams, aromatic body washes, really properly good hair products . . . YESSS. The only real issue is not eating them, to be honest.
After I’ve read and responded to lots of LOVELY messages online, the doorbell rings. It’s only the bleedin’ flower people! With a bouquet for Lucy Robinson! I email Penguin, thrilled, and tell them that they are the most amazing people on earth and that I am so honoured to be published by them, and that I love them like brothers. They read my emails, shake their heads and say ‘oh Jesus, do we have to see her today?’ It’s pretty cool having Penguin as your publisher. Everyone I met during my travels knew who Penguin was and everybody was wildly impressed that they were my publisher. (Many didn’t even believe me.)
Next: POSH LUNCH. This year, my agent had a dilemma. Three of her authors were being published on the same day. What to do? Fortunately, one of them was having a big do in a week’s time, and the other two – myself and brilliant author Katy Regan – are friends. So we all went for lunch together at St John where they offer up things like pigs’ trotters and bone marrow and rabbit offal. Yeehah! We had a lovely lunch. Katy’s book, How We Met, which also came out on 31st Jan, is really bloody good, so although I hated her a bit I still hugged her a lot and we giggled and stuff.
I had the full intention of eating something really disgusting but at the last minute piked out and ended up eating a very sensible leek and butterbean thing followed by a good old steak. And then – of course – cheese. Anyone who’s been reading my blog for longer than five minutes knows that I am a massive fan of cheese. For health reasons I was forced to give up sugar and gluten a few years ago – and I mean all sugar, EVEN ALCOHOL – and so my only food-related pleasure, these days, comes from cheese. If I didn’t live with The Man I’d probably just gnaw it straight from the block. There is no finer food. Here is an ode to cheese, for those who are in agreement.
Next up: radio interviews. It’s odd doing things like that. For so many years it was my job to interview people for television documentaries. And for so many years I would experience intense frustration that the most animated and witty of people would so quickly metamorphose into gabbling, un-funny morons, incapable of making any point succinctly. In fact, incapable of making any point at all. Now I am that person. I find myself speaking in a weird voice. I stumble and bumble. I concentrate so hard on not swearing that I end up saying nothing at all. I find myself being falsely chummy with DJs I’ve never met and telling them far too many secrets about my time as an internet dater. Really, I’m appalling. It’s a wonder that anyone wanted me on their show. But never mind, I’m sure someone liked me. Actually I’m not but one must maintain a veneer of positivity.
Katy Regan and I run off to Topshop, just cos. We last about three minutes before we feel guilty about not tweeting enough, and, because we both have the shittest, oldest phones, end up having to go to an internet cafe. Here is Katy looking quite fucked off about the whole thing. It smelled reeeeeeal bad in there. Like clothes that haven’t been dried properly and then worn by armpits that have no business being out in the public domain.
Next: BLOW DRY! Have you ever had a blowdry? I hadn’t until recently. I couldn’t think of a more disgraceful way to spend £25. But readers, it is the NICEST present I’ve given myself in a very long time. Now don’t you go getting one every day and blaming me but – if you can – consider saving a couple of quid a week so you can have it done once in a while. It’s the nicest thing; you get magazines and lattes and wine and nice people taking your coat, then your hair gets washed in delicious-smelling products and a handsome man massages your head, and then you get turned into a hairy goddess. No, that didn’t come out right. You know what I mean. Just try it, if you haven’t. We put ourselves through a lot in these modern times. It’s nice to repay ourselves once in a while. Um, I have no picture of the blow dry. Here’s a picture instead of my dog Grouse who I love more than life. He is pulling a very odd face and has his ears back but you can still see that he is the most handsome boy on earth.
Then: LAUNCH PARTY! I didn’t have one for my first book. It felt too stressful. I was too overwhelmed and forgot to plan. This time, I did. I held it at a really lovely place in Soho called The Society Club. It’s a wonderful place; the owners have curated a diverse and beguiling selection of old books, contemporary books, poetry collections, first editions an signed copies – all set in a charming room where one can drink tea, cocktails or champagne, do some work, meet a friend or buy some books. And art. And everything really. A real gem. In a display of great self-confidence I expected poor attendance but was rewarded with a bumper crowd. For a while it was hot, sweaty and rammed which, as a friend pointed out, is the sign of a really good party. Against my better judgement I even did a reading and – thank God – people laughed. I signed lots of books, which made me feel special and important for once and I laughed a lot with a lot of people. I also wore some thumping red lipstick with red high heels but that’s another matter. Afterwards, several of us went and had a curry, which was probably a good thing as I’d forgotten to eat for many hours. (Which, as anyone close to me knows, is something that basically never happens.)
We took the last tube home and I read all my lovely cards and thought, I am so bloody lucky. Then me and The Man did lots of giggling and cuddling and I fell into the deepest sleep I’ve had in a long time.
A bacon sandwich revived me and then the table was empty and the launch was over.
It was time to get back to work.
Thank you so very much to everyone who’s bought the book so far, or who’s shown up to support me during this launch week. It means the world to me and although I’ve got a hellish two months ahead trying to finish my third novel on time I feel really buoyed by all the love and good wishes n stuff. You all know who you are. The Man in particular deserves a large and noisy round of applause because God knows he’s had to put up with some mentalist behaviour recently. But he was there with me every moment of my launch day, telling me how proud he was and even having special mugs made (don’t tell Penguin, there’s probably a copyright issue there) and generally helping remind me that I’m a published author with brilliant reviews and loyal readers and a lot of ace friends. And that I have a lot to be grateful for.
Ah, were it pub day every day!
Here endeth the tour.