About Last Night: My Book Launch
I was worried that maybe I’d hyped it up too much. In my own mind, mainly. I’d had proper dreams of it. Day-dreams too, on slow uneventful days. Imagining how it might feel, what it might look like. It’s one of those situations I guess I never thought would actually happen. Then the day was finally here. The day I’ve always dreamed of.
My biggest craziest goal in life was to write a book. And this was the day to celebrate it. I had broken the spell. The first book had been written.
There’s a lot of pressure that comes with wishing and hoping that something will be The Best Day Ever. Sometimes it feels kind of dangerous to be a massive dreamer. It could be an anti-climax.
That underlying anxious feeling that….maybe [insert thing] wouldn’t live up to my own expectations. Like a classic example of a New Year’s Eve party, perhaps. When you plan something too much, it’s never normally ends up being the “big amazing night” that you hope it’d be. You should, really, just lay low and hope for the best. But it’s tempting to want to imagine up the best case scenario. So many of my family were coming up from Exeter, and I’d invited all my favourite people.
The thing is: I don’t like hosting parties. I usually hate my own birthday for example.
My sister and I checked into our hotel room at the Hoxton Holborn, the venue where the party was taking place, at around 5pm to mill around and get ready.
“I just want it to be the most amazing night ever,” I said, quietly, to her. “But that makes it impossible. I’m already disappointed because my imagination is too big and my expectations are too high.”
She poured me another glass of Prosecco. “Don’t worry, it’ll be what it is. Let’s just have fun?”, she said quickly, holding a tanning mitt covered in Rimmel matte tan and rubbing it thoroughly onto my pale upper back.
But there’s something so nerve-wracking about hosting a party. Your party. Will people come? Will I just be standing in the corner eating a packet of crisps on my own? Will people have a good time? Will I have a good time? Why are we doing this again?
But at 6.30pm and I already saw people arriving the main lobby. I had no time to worry if people were or weren’t going to come because suddenly everywhere I looked there people were, arms out, moving towards me. On the invitation the event officially said it started at 7pm and I’d assumed everyone would be late because that’s what happens at parties. There would be an awkward quiet hour, maybe, where my stomach would churn inside out with nerves.
I hung out by the bar in the Hoxton’s “Apartment” room and then boom. 7pm. Everyone arrived. All at once. It was the best feeling in the world as I saw (and heard) everyone I love most in the world piled in. Noisy and excited. Loud and up for a party. It was suddenly like a bustling zoo of people. People were gently elbowing each other out of the way to get to the bar and no-one could really hear each other properly for a while.
By 7.15pm I couldn’t actually move much and I noticed someone saying “IT’S SUDDENLY GOT A BIT HOT IN HERE!” and I realised I was getting a bit of a sweat on and saw a sea of people all around me.
I was floating.
It felt like a combination of a big birthday and weirdly like a wedding, because you end up zooming around seeing all the faces you adore most in the world. All night you catch someone’s eye who you are so over the moon to see, it’s one hundred “great nights out” all rolled into one and I kept hugging five people at once. I wanted to pick up the entire room and hug everyone all at the same time and thank everyone a hundred times each for coming.
At 8pm we did speeches and I had prepared what I was going to say on a scrabbly piece of paper. Sara (my editor) went first and said nice things and I had to gulp down some wine. I had actually Googled “what to say at a book launch” a few nights before because THAT’S HOW MUCH I RELY ON THE INTERNET. Obviously I ignored all the random online “advice” and just spoke from my heart.
I thanked everyone at Ebury: Sara, Clarissa, Tess and Grace for everything they did in the run up the book – the edits, the marketing, the PR – making it the best book it could be.
ROBYN. ROBYNNNN! My literary agent who made it ALL happen. I quickly reminisced about that time Robyn and I first met in a cocktail bar in Soho and she said “yep I think this will be a book” quite matter of factly and from then on…. it kind of all just started happening. She is responsible for pushing it in the right direction and helping me secure the book deal. I couldn’t have done it without her.
My blogger/writer/content creating friends! I had so many people from The Blogger World there last night and it was amazing to be surrounded by such cool young women doing their own thing online. Including Holly McGlynn who shot the cover image of me.
My friends! Old and new. I have too much to say and too many people to mention that I physically cannot do it in this blog post but YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
My friends from school, university and work were all there. Ex-colleagues from GLAMOUR, We Are Social, Edelman, Hill & Knowlton and The Debrief! (Yep I’ve worked at loads of different places). I’m so happy to have made such special friends along the way and having them there last night was awesome.
My mum and dad (OBVS) for putting up with me and not being too freaked out about the fact that I’ve written about my life so openly in a book. I thanked my sister Jo, the first person to read the whole thing before I sent it to the publishers. I knew she’d be honest and slightly brutal (ha). And my boyfriend Paul who has kept me calm during all the mayhem behind the scenes of writing this book.
You can buy the book here. Thanks so much for your support. Srsly.
Keep on, keeping on.
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