Posts Tagged ‘excitement’

With 45 hours to go…….

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I’d like to open this particular blog post today by mentioning for the fifty-thousandth time my FIRST EVER REVIEW!!!!!!!  And how amazingly pleased I was with it; you will see the link to it on this page but if I can just give you a small extract: “….Sarah Haynes…… is definitely an author I want to read more from based on this brilliant book .” To be honest, even if I’d have written it myself I wouldn’t have made it as good as Chloe from did. I was astonished when I read it. And thrilled, clearly, but I hadn’t predicted what she wrote in the slightest. It’s a very strange feeling to know that someone has read your book and was entertained by what you’ve written and sort of mind-boggling to get such a glowing review. And yes, I know, it’s only one and there are (hopefully) many more to come and they won’t all be so good but I was very anxious about my first one and consequently very relieved. I smiled for ages! Days, in fact.

But moving on to more pressing matters, I must say that – if I had drums, I’d be rolling them.

If I had a Geordie accent I’d be saying “It’s day 10,454 in the life of Sarah Haynes and there are only two days to go until the release of her debut novel”.

If I had enough breath I’d be holding it – but no. Instead I am settling for a tense feeling of nervous anticipation and excitement as I rapidly approach the publication date, which I actually can’t believe is almost here. Just think back to mid-May of this year when I sent a very casual email to the publishers enquiring when my book was actually due for release and received the startling response of “July 30th” which was a lot sooner than I had anticipated. I wondered briefly why they hadn’t sought to mention this to me before? But no matter, my book was being published! And having an actual date made it all so much more real. Being slightly naïve I had no idea that there was potential for me to fiddle around with the release date, and for a couple of days I just accepted it and, in fairness, was quite excited. Then I thought about it a bit more and realised that I had no front cover. Or news release. Or book summary sheet. Or website. Or – well – anything really. And after some to-ing and fro-ing and gentle persuasion from friends I eventually decided that yes, it was better to push it back by two months and plan properly. My instinct was to rush headlong into it and see where the pieces fell. Luckily I had some firm hands of guidance and thus the date of 24th September was settled upon and my preparatory Task List was born. Much like a real child I have resented it at times, but equally like a real child I couldn’t do without it. And believe me, I’ve tried (with both the task list and children).  But as I sailed forth in blissful ignorance into the feverish world of book promotion I have been very grateful for its steadying presence. And that of its offspring, because the master Task List spawned smaller lists; media targets, review targets, guests lists, potential launch event venues, costs, items that were/are needed, priorities and a sequence for which these things should be approached. I must be brutally honest here and admit that I haven’t always adhered to the Task List as I might have done….it has, at times, been overwhelming. It didn’t help that the summer holidays and therefore the continual presence of both of my young-ish children fell right into the middle of when I needed to be most productive. As some of you will know, it is very hard to write/organise/speak to people charmingly on the phone simultaneously whilst one child begs for Charlie and Lola DVDs and flapjacks and the other one wants immediate details of exactly how the human body can manage all of its many functions at once. My answer was “The brain, darling,” whilst fearing for the wellbeing of mine.

So as fast as I seemed to be accomplishing things, more were being added on to the bottom of my List – from Florida by this point as you might remember. But counting my blessings, I had (and still have) a form of website where information is available to people, I have this blog site (which I LOVE) and very luckily a few people who saunter along every so often to see what I’ve written. I mean of course those of you who I haven’t directed here imperiously from Facebook. God bless Facebook and its whip-cracking effect. I think if I ever do become a highly-successful author I shall have to credit Facebook with some of my success.

With all this under my belt the next thing I began to tackle was Twitter. And you all know I was far from enchanted at the beginning but, begrudgingly, I have to admit that it is useful, but as well as that I have made contact with some very lovely people through it. Cari Rosen being one, and Elizabeth Buchan (author of Separate Beds which I am currently reading and loving) being another. It’s still an unfamiliar sphere, but I am getting there with it. Of course something did threaten to stop me in my twittering/facebooking/skype-ing/emailing tracks and that was the demise of my old laptop. This was a disaster in the most forceful meaning of that word (in my world at least). Not only did I lose the ability to do any of the above, I couldn’t work on my new manuscript (which I must start doing at some point) or write blog posts or indeed anything at all. I swiftly came to see that I must have a new one and although this was far from financially ideal, it really could not be avoided. And I must say, it is a huge relief to have a computer than I can rely on to function and save things and not overheat and that the latest version of iTunes works nicely on.

So with the last, pitifully short four months behind me, I am now sitting here just two days away from publication, feeling slightly wondrous and amazed at everything I’ve managed to achieve in that time and I’m waiting for a sense of relief to hit me. Of course it won’t because this is far from the end; in fact it’s only the beginning of the beginning as far as I’m concerned. But I’m changing direction now, and rather than focussing on preparation I feel like it’s time to charge forwards into everything that I’ve prepared. Instead of lists of media targets and guests and business cards I need to concentrate on the launch (SO EXCITING! I do adore parties) and book-signings and promotional appearances. Rather than reading proofs and approving covers and posters, my mind should be turning towards getting my book stocked in as many places as possible, and indeed getting myself around as many places as possible to sign them for people.

I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved over the last four months and all the things I’ve done, and I should be looking ahead with excitement and confidence. Of course I am, but as well as that there’s something else – and that’s a vague sense of unease about the things I haven’t yet done. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

Except for Boris of course.

cardboard cutout

Meeting my books

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

And so…..(in deeply hushed and reverential tones)……They. Have. Arrived. ‘They’ being the books, obviously.


It isn’t often that dreams come true (sadly) but I feel as though some of mine have. So much so that I hardly dare believe it. In fact, I don’t believe it. Not yet. The evidence is lined up on my bookshelves, 35 copies of Things He Never Knew; my dream is now tangible, and I still feel as though I’m just looking at it. I’m not living in it yet. At what point will that change? No idea. I’ll let you know.

My books arrived exactly as I had always imagined that they would. Well, almost. Technically, I slept through it. That’s right, I slept through the most exciting arrival of my life (children aside; and it would be impossible to sleep through that) because they arrived at 8:30am on Friday morning. But apart from that, it was exactly how I always imagined. Two, biggish boxes which when I opened them were stuffed full of my books. And I was pleased, I got 35 copies. It’s quite a hard thing to take in, to stare at something that came from my imagination, that I created. Many things exist in my imagination but it is rare for me to see one of them sitting in front of me. One box was full of books and one was half-full of books and half-full of promotional material which was equally as exciting, despite the fact that the posters have a mistake on them. I had already noticed this, as had the production co-ordinator and he’d confirmed that they would be re-printed. When I sent an enquiring email (very difficult to get the tone right; I did not want to sound cross when these people had just made my dream come true) the production co-ordinator replied and said yes, he knew and they are in the process of being re-printed but he thought I’d prefer the wrong ones rather than nothing at all. I thought that was very sweet. And it also shows a deep understanding of my nature which is all about having things NOW NOW NOW. I don’t think I can have been trained very well as a child. I dislike waiting. I’ve also developed a neat technique for dealing with things that I can’t have. I simply make myself stop wanting them – which usually works very well, unless I really, really want something in which case I engineer a way to get it.

my display!

So back to the posters, I think it’s the idea that MY BOOK is being advertised. Those posters are designed for people to look at them and be encouraged to buy my book. Hundreds of people will look at them and this link is what makes the posters exciting. I think. But, to be honest, the whole thing is pretty exciting. And as I remarked to someone via email I spent Friday in much the same state as a small child spends Christmas Day; thoroughly over-excited. This earned me a reply beginning “Hello small child….” , which I suppose I deserved.

But this really is a once in a lifetime experience, I say this in a serious way, unlike Tim Vine up in Edinburgh. The next box of books that I receive will be full of my second book, I will have done it before, it won’t be a totally brand-new feeling. I shall be an experienced opener of boxes of my books, and this first time was something to savour.

It took me a long time to actually unpack the boxes, because of the above feelings. I left them as they were for most of the day, until I had to sort them out properly because we had people coming for dinner. I then swept all the papers, magazines, TV remotes, toys, pens, etc., etc. off our coffee table and underneath it and created a little display with all of the books lined up and the posters fanned out. My husband looked at this, laughed and said “Are you leaving them like that until Rob and Steph get here?”

“Darling,” I said seriously. “I’m leaving them there for the rest of the week.”

His eyebrows were raised, put it like that. Of course I didn’t in the end because the risk of something being spilled and everything ruined was just too high. Especially considering our usual, alcohol-fuelled dinner party behaviour, it’s perfectly possible that a bottle of red wine might have gone flying. I like having Rob and Steph for dinner; she’s worked hard for years to pursue her ambition to become a doctor and is due to graduate in medicine next year. I’m pleased about this because happily for me she comes out with a whole range of medicine-related anecdotes from the interesting to the emotive to the fascinating, plus some truly revolting ones. This week her placement is in obs and gynae which I was hopeful about and she didn’t let me down; “Sarah,” she said, “I had to stare at a vagina for seven hours.”

I think I prefer the way my dream came true.