It started on a rainy day in June with a knock at the front door. ‘ This is for you,’ the postie said, handing me a box so big it could only mean one thing: books. My books. There are few more cheering sights, let me tell you. Prior to that knock at the door, I’d been flu-ridden and grumpy. Yet I ripped through that packaging like a kid at Christmas. The sun even came out too.
Publication day itself was July 2nd, a Thursday, which meant a teaching day in school for me. At lunchtime ( the rain was back) we did a book signing in the school library with lovely local indie Archway Books. One sixth-former ran all the way home just to get his mum’s copies of Frost Hollow Hall and the Girl Who Walked on Air for me to sign- and also bought her In Darkling Wood- what a sweetie!
I’d decided against a book launch for In Darkling Wood. ‘The Girl Who Walked On Air’ was only 11 months old, and I just couldn’t think how or where I’d like to celebrate this time round. Woods were the obvious choice but it was STILL RAINING. So, in time honoured tradition, we celebrated at home.And at the weekend with a small gathering in my parents’ back garden, when *surprise* it was a fine, summer’s evening.
Then came the thrill of seeing my book out in the wild. In case you’re wondering, it was just as super-exciting as last time with The Girl Who Walked on Air, and the time before that when Frost Hollow Hall hit the shelves nearly two years ago.
This time my book also was in Waitrose and Sainsburys!
In between taking photos of my book (sorry) , I did signings and school visits- all of which were great fun. This is one of the parts of being an author I love best.
And I’m not one to overlook a cake tie- in opportunity. A book about fairies deserves fairy cakes, right?
Many of these events meant train journeys, which gave me time to catch up on snoozing and- more importantly- reading. And was I glad to! There are many amazing books out there this summer, my top three being: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, Darkmere by Helen Maslin and A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher.
On my travels I met some amazing children’s’ booksellers- Meg, Theresa, Jo- who all have a real passion for and wealth of knowledge in what they do. And great school librarians who understand completely the power and magic of books- where would we be without them?
The biggest joy of all though is meeting people- young and the not so young- who read your books. It’s humbling, exciting and a very real privilege. Really, it’s what this writing malarkey is all about, so a very big thank you to anyone who came to an event, bought a book or just stopped by to say hello. Or tweeted- I’ve had lots of lovely twitter and Facebook messages too! Thank you- your support and encouragement means so much.
Then last weekend I went to the amazing Just So Festival in Staffordshire (do check out their website), where I did events on the Girl Who walked on Air and In Darkling Wood. Just look at this fabulous woodland stage where I performed ( well, sat in that comfy red chair and talked fairies!) It couldn’t have been more perfect!
This summer wasn’t all about in Darkling Wood, though. Behind the scenes, I was also madly finishing the first draft of my next book for Faber, which is based around the writing of ‘Frankenstein’. We think it’s going to be called ‘ Strange Star’, but more news on that in a future post.
And, just when I’d sent that off and collapsed in a heap, there was another knock at the front door. ‘Those are for me, aren’t they?’ i asked the postie. Nodding, he handed me a box – a bit lighter this time- of books. Inside, I guessed, were the final copies of my Christmas novella, The Snow Sister, which hits the shops on October 1st.
I was thrilled to bits, of course. And I started taking pictures. All over again.