What a week this has been for me and for my latest ‘babies’: Paper Lanterns, and my publishing venture, Novel Press. On top of all this, I nearly jumped out of my skin this morning when I was leafing through today’s Birmingham Post. I was scanning for an article and a photo that I’d been informed would appear last week.
Although I don’t tend to expect more than my share of luck to land on my doorstep, I have to admit that I was rather disappointed, especially as the photographer had come to take my photo the Tuesday before. ‘Oh well! Never mind,’ I thought. ‘It’s a shame, but they’ve obviously got better things to print.’
However, I never let myself be put off by low expectations , so before I went to work I stopped at the useful shop at the top of the hill. I slowly turned the pages, thinking, ‘Not likely to be in this week with all this election stuff jostling for space.’
It wasn’t in Books, Films, History, Outdoors, Motoring, or Travel. Business Briefing? Not likely! Then, over the page, under the heading, Business Profile there was my face occupying the entire page! And on the facing page, another photo and a whole long article about ME!! AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER CHRISTINE COLEMAN
But I’m running ahead of myself. This amazing double-page spread happened today, and I haven’t yet said anything about Tuesday evening at the Ikon Gallery. What a fabulous venue for my launch! This was all thanks to Sara Beadle and staff at the Birmingham Book Festival who organised the whole event, liaising with the staff at the Ikon Gallery.
They were all keen to help promote me as a local author and publisher, together with my childhood friend, Clarissa Dickson Wright who has loyally supported me in my writing endeavours (more of this in my next post)
When we arrived, Clarissa and I posed for photographs, in the Ikon Cafe and then we and my husband were treated to an excellent meal of tapas and other mouth-watering dishes. Clarissa is well known for her interest in good food, and was genuinely enthusiastic in her praise of our meal.
We were then taken up in a glass lift . Here’s the description from their website
“The dramatic second floor galleries offer 228.2m² of space and are light and airy, retaining the original arched gothic ceiling.”
The Ikon staff and volunteers had to wait till the gallery had been closed to the public before they could bring in the 90 chairs, erect the platform for me and Clarissa, arrange the copies of Paper Lanterns and my first novel, The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society on a table at the far end, and lay out the drinks for the audience at the other end. It was all done with amazing speed and efficiency, ready to welcome the audience at the appointed time of 6.45.
All the seats were taken and everyone in the audience was wonderfully attentive and appreciative. They laughed in the right places and I was amazed and delighted at their reactions to my readings of two of the original letters that partly inspired the novel. I’ll be writing more about this event (including book sales and Novel Press in future posts,) and about the Birmingham Post article.
In the meantime, take a look at this excellent article by Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, with his hard-hitting piece ‘New ways of Publishing’