I was going to blog about new year’s resolutions, but as someone who had a few pints in The Ramblers Rest in Chipstead about 36 hours into ‘dry January’, I am probably best to steer clear of resolutions. That topic is so last year anyway, don’t you agree?
Instead, I thought I would bang on about my progress in promoting my book, ‘Six Months to Get a Life’ and my brush with celebrity status.
In the run-up to Christmas, I was frantically working through my list of potential reviewers for the book, emailing this devoted group of people, trying to convince them one by one to read and review my book rather than ‘Having Sex with Vampires’ by D Ranged or ‘Community of Death’ by Di Stopian. Shortly before midnight on 23rd December, after sending my one hundred and eightieth review request email, I turned off my computer and re-joined my family in Christmas land.
My festivities were fantastic, except for some not particularly community-spirited hackers who stopped my boys from going online to kill people and steal their cars. How inconsiderate of the hackers.
I returned to ‘author world’ the day after Boxing Day. As I sat down at my computer, I was pleasantly surprised that a) my backside still fit on the computer chair despite the recent over-indulgences, b) two top 100 Amazon reviewers had agreed to review ‘Six Months…’ and, c) my publicist had arranged for a journalist from an internationally renowned website to interview me. There was even talk of a television interview too.
Every author dreams about a big break. Could this have been mine?
Over the next few days I locked the kids in the front room with the dog, the Xbox and a couple of tins of chocolates while I marshalled my thoughts in advance of the interview. What unique insights and killer lines could I share? I prepared as I would have done for a job interview. Anticipate the questions, think of some examples and get some good one-liners in (I wouldn’t advise going overboard on the one-liners in a job interview but one or two show personality, don’t they?).
The day of the interview came. I tried to avoid mentally dreaming about my newfound fame (is an interview in a national paper enough to get me a place on I’m A Celebrity?) and instead concentrated on rehearsing a few pre-prepared lines. It was only a phone interview but I dressed up for the occasion, using the rationale that if I looked good, I would feel good and therefore sound good too.
The phone rang at the appointed hour. After introductions were made, the journalist broke the ice with a nice easy one. ‘Can I ask why you split up with your ex?’
She rapidly followed that up with ‘Are you dating again,’ and ‘What do you think it will be like having sex with someone different after being married for, like, ever?’
‘Six Months to Get a Life’ is about a dad who seeks to sort his life out following his divorce. There are some similarities between the book and my life, but essentially the former is fiction whereas the latter is fact. I repeatedly explained this distinction to the persistent hack, but my answers seemed to be falling on deaf ears.
‘What’s the best chat-up line you have used in the past few months,’ she tried.
‘I haven’t used any chat-up lines.’ My frown must have been visible down the phone line.
‘OK,’ she sighed, ‘what’s your attitude to internet dating?’
By this point, I thought I had better up my game slightly so I at least tried to give her an answer. ‘Well, before I met my wife I thought about trying it, but I chickened out in the end.’
‘Because internet dating is for extroverts and perverts,’ I told her, ‘I am only one of those things so I gave it a miss’.
‘I met my husband through the internet,’ my ticket to national celebrity told me before hanging up. There goes my celebrity status.
Let’s end this blog on a positive and admittedly slightly self-congratulatory note though. Fanfare please. My book is available to pre-order on Amazon and other book sites. I felt very proud when I first saw the ‘buy’ page.
The early reviews, or at least the ones I have had sight of, are extremely positive.
And I read a tweet today from someone I have never met nor even communicated with before, who told me that she had pre-ordered the book and was thoroughly looking forward to reading it. Maybe my early marketing is having some success.
Happy new year to you all.