It may only be early December, but last week I got to wear my sparkly party pants.
Yes, that's right. The very same sparkly party pants you may have seen me in during festive seasons past. They only come out in December, because as awesome as I might be, I just can't seem to swing the glitterati look in the middle of a Devon summer.
But December is ok, right? And even though it was nought but the second day in December, I pulled those twinkling, shimmering strides over my arse as if there was something big to celebrate.
And there was.
If you follow me on social media, you might wonder how on earth I had anything left in me to stage an ACTUAL event in an ACTUAL venue, what with the ridiculously intricate build-up to launch day on November 11th. Cover reveals, countdowns, book quotes, advertising strategies, content teasers . . . I honestly never knew how energy-sapping this social media lark was - not to mention the actual writing, editing and formatting of the book. But, you live and learn.
And maybe it was the COVID-induced, socially-deprived part of me that still yearned for a little bit more. As much as Facebook likes and comments hit me in all the feels, I still fancied seeing some real-life smiles, having tangible conversations with tangible people, reading out-loud to some waiting, glowy ears bedecked in nothing less than their 'going-out-out' earrings.
So how lucky was I then, when Emma at Brixham Library indulged my crazy idea of a book launch / self-care event for the Torbay masses? I wanted to design the kind of night that I would like to attend myself. Something celebratory but not too showy. Something energising but not too raucous. Something nurturing but not too dull.
Luckily, these days Torbay Libraries do anything but dull, so off we went with our plans.
Obviously, there were the standard jitters about whether anybody would turn up and if they would care one tiny little jot about my epic trilogy of uplifting wonder. I called the library every other day on the lead-up to the event, checking in on how many tickets had been sold. How Emma and her colleagues didn't mention the words 'watched pot', 'boils' and 'never' to me, I will never know, but I was perfectly aware that I was getting a bit jittery about numbers.
I needn't have worried though, because, in true Brit form, the majority of tickets were booked at the last minute and most, actually, bought on the door on the night. So I didn't get to breathe a huge sigh of relief until the sparkly party pants were well and truly on and there was no going back to my Lidl trackie bottoms.
You can see from the poster what the program for the night involved, but I was really chuffed to find that the combo of chatting, reading, meditating, creative writing, listening to music, drinking Prosecco and eating cake was a winner. Who knew?
Here's a smidgeon from my author's talk:
And it wasn't just me who made the magic combo, well, magic. I needed lots of other special people for that too. So, here we go with some thanks . . .
Emma, Jess and staff at Brixham Library - thank you for hosting the launch party for Everything Is Yours and basically for saying yes to every little thing I suggested. You are an author's best friend and I'm delighted I got to celebrate my trilogy with you.
Chris, Jon, Andy and Ricky from The Nelsons - your music is awesome, as was confirmed by every pair of ears at the event. And your understanding of what I needed was just perfect - especially the chilled tunes you provided during the creative writing exercise. Thank you so much for spending your time and energy on my little event.
Clare Vaz from Patty's Piece of Cake for the, quite frankly, INCREDIBLE book cake. If we hadn't cut into it when we did, somebody was seriously going to try and read it. Vanilla sponge is good for a lot of things but probably not for that.
Thank you to Paul Addison for taking time out of your very important job as Chairperson of Brixham Town Council to come and find out about the Life Is Yours Trilogy. I know from our lovely chats that the books aren't exactly your preferred genre, but I am so chuffed you joined in with everything from the meditation to the creative writing exercise.
I have to mention Nix from Nix Stitches. Not only was she one of the first people to book tickets (and thus quell some of my rattled nerves) but she also used her genius sewing skills to adapt my sparkly party pants so that they fit more comfortably around my ever-growing, middle-aged waist. Between us we have decided there is no need to chuck out perfectly good clothes when such a thing as elastic exists in the world.
My gorgeous friend, Hayley aka blogger extraordinaire at Sparkles & Stretchmarks - thank you SO much for taking photos and videos throughout the night so I didn't have to worry about doing it myself. You were sneaky enough not to take any photos of yourself, so here is one from the Life Is Yours book launch two years ago . . . thought you'd escape, eh? Not likely.
Thank you to my very own Little Lad for handing out flyers, arranging the all-important fairy lights and slipping the sweetest little note into my author's Q & A bowl, nearly making me cry when it got picked out. Once a tike, always a tike.
To everybody who came along to this admittedly unusual event - thank you SO much for coming out on a cold, December night. I really hope it was worth it and that the Life Is Yours Trilogy now has you under its spell. You'll like it there. It's nice.
And last but not least I suppose I should thank the husband. For manning the book stall. For not effing up the new card reader. For loading the ridiculous amount of stuff in and out of the car. And, oh yeah, for giving me inspiration for the legendary character of Mesut in the books. If you know, you know.
And here are a few more photos of what had to be my favourite night out in Brixham ever (who would have thought that would be at the library?!).
I've spent the last week properly basking in the after-glow of this fab event. It's not often a plan so beautifully comes to fruition, especially in these ridiculous times of a global pandemic. So whilst basking, I'm also thanking my lucky stars that I managed to pull this off, and silently hoping that by the time I'm ready to do the next one (yes, more books are afoot), the world will be slightly kinder, slightly safer.
But for now, it's time to throw those sparkly party pants in the wash and get them dry in time for the festive season. And if you're wondering where you can get your own pair in time for Christmas, I've got one word for you.
P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to get ALL Abigail's bookish news as and when it happens. You'll also bag yourself a FREE book of poems called 'What About Now?' - 16 poems rooted in mindfulness and fired by love. Sign up here
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