Archive | May 12, 2010

Book Lover’s Heaven

Now I’m not hungover or tired like I was yesterday, I can write the blog I’ve been really excited about writing, although I’ve now got so much to put in it, it might carry on until next week.

On Saturday I got invited to Keris Stainton’s book launch party. I found Keris’ blog months and months ago, so have read about her excitement about her debut novel coming out (on 6th May) over that time, in fact when I think about it like that, I can’t believe it’s out – it was so far in the future it was being released. The book’s YA and called Della Says: OMG, it’s about a girl who finally snogs the man of her dreams at her party, only to find at the same party someone stole her diary and is now distributing pages of it. I’ve only read the first chapter so far, but it looks really good. I can’t wait to finish the book I’m currently reading to get started on this one.

Keris was so nice and friendly, I talked to her quite a bit, which was really nice when there were so many people there that she had to talk to. We obviously talked about writing and books and stuff. Apparently she got her book deal on the back of a novel she’d written for NaNoWriMo. (Hmmm… there’s something there that tells me this is someone somewhere telling me I should work on my NaNo novel). 

Also in the course of our conversation she asked if I’ve got anything I’ve written that she could read. Wow, Keris Stainton – a published author asked to read something I’ve written. THAT has to give me a shove to FINISH something that could be read. 

I bought a copy of Della Says OMG and Keris signed it for me – saying she hopes I invite her to my book launch. OMG! Wow! That’s my first signed copy of a novel. It’s so exciting I almost don’t want to read it to damage it. Or want to buy another copy to read. I’m not that crazy, but I will be taking very good care of it. And taking photos of it (oh ok, I’ve done that already… is that really sad?).

So, if that wasn’t enough excitement for one weekend, I then managed to get hold of a ticket to a Lisa Jewell book reading event on Monday night – I seriously had the best weekend for a book lover like me (I include Monday as the weekend as I had the day off work!).

It was quite a small group of people which attended the event – it was at this cool little book shop in West Hamptsead called West End Lane Books. I walked in and was in awe of the shop. It’s an independent book shop, and just looked like the kind of place I could spend hours and hours – it’s probably a good thing I don’t live round the corner!

Lisa was great, so friendly, funny and honest. As she’s just released her 8th book, I was kind of expecting her to be a bit… less human? I mean I’ve been reading her books for 10 years – she’s one of my favourite authors and probably contributes a lot to me wanting to write myself, so she’s a bit of a hero of mine – you just don’t expect heros to be real people do you?

She first answered some questions; then read from her first novel Ralph’s Party; then from her new novel, and follow-up, After the Party; then answered questions from the audience – including mine about why she uses the number 31 in her novels (because it’s her lucky number – cause it used to be her husband’s extension number at work – ahhhhhh).

After that she signed books, including mine, and chatted to everyone individually. Through my conversation with her, she said she must follow me on Twitter (which she is now doing – yay!) AND she told me I need to edit my novel. Apparentley she LOVES editing? Hmm. Still, LISA JEWELL told me to edit my novel – I think I’m going to edit my novel!

Oh, nearly forgot, Lisa told us about how she got into writing. See if this sounds like anyone… Lisa was 26 when she first started seriously thinking about writing… She did a creative writing course… She was working as a receptionist… Sound like anyone? Hmmmm… I’m 29 and started thinking about writing a year ago… I’m doing a creative writing course… And what? I’m what? Ooh, a receptionist…

So all in all I had a fab three days. Three days that have given me two massive reasons to get up off my a**e (or get down in a seat, on it should I say) and edit my novel. Those three days also firmly planted the idea that authors are real people like you and me. People that were once in my position… Maybe, just maybe I could do this…?

I think I’ll finish with a great answer Lisa gave to the question ‘What’s the worst thing about writing for a living?’: ‘Writing.’