author, Fatal Forgery, launch, Martha Plank, Samuel Plank, The Man in the Canary Waistcoat, Toppings, Worm in the Blossom
I told you a while ago that I had managed to persuade Topping & Co Booksellers in Ely to allow me to have a sort-of-launch event for “Worm in the Blossom” at their shop. I drove over there on Sunday to (a) check that they hadn’t thought better of it, and (b) deliver some books for the event. And look what was outside the shop:
Yes, that’s my name up there with some big hitters – although of course the really big draws are put on in the cathedral (seats 1,230… perhaps a little ambitious at this stage in my writing career). But very exciting to find that I am part of a Literary Festival.
And so to last night. I made some little flash cards for myself, to remind me of the main topics to cover – Toppings had asked me to speak for forty minutes about the novels themselves and the self-publishing process in general, to be followed by twenty minutes of questions. But in the end I hardly referred to the cards at all – once I’m talking about Sam, it’s hard to stop me. There was a good turnout:
What you can’t see are about four people sitting behind the photographer (husband, lured along with promises of post-talk pizza), and another half-dozen sitting on the steps to my right. The man in charge said he was surprised at the large numbers, so that’s promising. And people were so interested and asked so many questions – it was a sheer delight. One of the oddest sensations was meeting strangers – as opposed to friends and family who read the books out of love – who had chosen to read the Sam books and came along to tell me that they enjoyed them and to ask really detailed questions about the plots and characters. It made me feel, possibly for the first time, like a real, commercial author – writing books for sale to the general public. And as I was leaving, the organiser said that they would like to book me for the launch of “Plank 4”, so I’d better get writing…
Lovely to see and hear about the good turnout for your official launch event. I recently finished reading my Kindle version of “Worm in the Blossom” and I thought it was a very, very worthy addition to the Plank series.
I posted a review on Amazon which, whilst it doesn’t do all your hard work full justice, does hopefully convey my thanks and enjoyment for you sharing Sam’s adventures with us.
I was so thrilled – I think the bookshop staff had genuinely expected about five people, and they had to rush around looking for folding chairs!
And I am DELIGHTED to know that you like “Worm in the Blossom” – it is always such a tense time, knowing that people are reading it, and not be quite certain that it’s hit the spot…
Onwards now with “Plank 4”!
Best wishes from Susan
Roy McCarthy said:
That’s great Susan, well done. I did a similar spot at our inaugural Festival recently and was also pleased it was in an intimate gallery rather than the Opera House 🙂
Ely is one of my favourite little towns and the Prince Albert one of my favourite pubs.
Many thanks, Roy – it is always such a pleasure to talk about our books, isn’t it? And yes, Ely is a charming and special place.
Best wishes from Susan
Sylvie Short said:
I was at your Toppings talk and it really was ‘topping!’ First class! You spoke very well, clearly and from the heart. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you. I am also a local writer – seven books out. eighth on the way, but haven’t made it to Toppings yet! I also self-publish and, like you, have found it very easy and rewarding. I am with New Generation and they have done a good job for me. I also use a local printer for small books with limited potential readership. I bought all three of your books and look forward to reading them. I love the presentation and I have a feeling that with your clear focus and dedication to your work you will go far.
Apologies for the slow reply – WordPress didn’t tell me that there was a comment waiting for approval and I’ve only just spotted it.
Thank you so much for coming to the Toppings talk, and for your kind words – “from the heart” is a very nice way of saying “complete obsession”! Yes, self-publishing is fascinating, and such a boon for writers like us – so many more options, and we no longer have to sit in a back room with only our rejection slips for company…
I very much hope you will enjoy the Plank books – I was so encouraged by the Toppings evening that I have already started my “Plank 4” research in earnest, much earlier in the year than usual. Already feeling the obsession building…
Thank you for your encouragement, and best wishes