I bet you’ve always wondered what goes on in the household of an Indie Writer just two days before his first major book launch. What’s that? You haven’t? Ah well. Let’s just sit and watch The Apprentice then.
Except that I can’t. As I write this, my sister Gill is carefully constructing a big pair of pants out of cardboard. We are talking really, REALLY big pants. My fiance is taking time out from organizing our wedding (in less than three weeks’ time) to phone around every fancy dress shop in the west country, looking for an adult-sized bear suit.
I won’t even get into what my Mum is doing. I mean, I know I say some crazy shit on this blog, but there are some places even I dare not venture…
In between times we are sitting side-by-side on laptops, all four of us tapping away furiously – only the occasional expletive shatters the silence. Okay, so occasional shards of silence intrude on the torrent of swearing that pours forth from three mouths simultaneously! My fiance, of course, is above all that :0)
My Dad, bless him, is relegated to a support role – making vast quantities of tea, largely because he does that anyway. Seriously, if you put an empty tea cup down in my house there’s already a fresh cup sitting next to it ready to be drunk. If you’re not on the ball you can quite easily end up with three or four lined up waiting.
And flyers are being printed. Ink is running out. More swearing follows a frantic Google map search to find the nearest PC World…
I make a ‘press release’. Then I look up ‘press release’. Then I destroy mine, as what I’ve made doesn’t even remotely resemble a press release. Well, it had a button that you press to release and that’s all I’ll say about that.
Having never done a book launch before I have the following piece of advice; Get Advice! I’ve been making it up as I go along, and it’s not pretty. By Friday I’ll be able to sleep standing up outside in a rainstorm – which is just as well, as I’ve more chance of seeing that than my bed. Oh, I do love my bed. Will it start to forget me? There’s always a danger someone will clean it while I’m not in it…
We’ve emailed every radio station and newspaper for miles around. We told them to expect a ‘promo team’ – I harbour a suspicion they might be a little disappointed if they show up in pouring rain to find my Mum waggling her ass in a bear suit outside ASDA, while Gill hands out limp leaflets. We’re not exactly the Red Bull Display Team.
Oh, how I HATE printers! I would say roughly 80% of the use of the word ‘BASTARD!!!’ in my house right now is directed at the printer. For no reason under God, it’s just decided to print two flyers per page instead of four. We haven’t changed a thing. It just fills half a page, then gives up. Apart from occasional psychotic episodes when it chews three pages to shit in one go. An hour later, when I finish screwing the top back onto it, I discover a small handful of plastic components that I swear didn’t come out of it… but now it won’t print at all. Plus I think I left my other screwdriver in there. I would have made a rotten surgeon.
Kevin McCloud once said that surgeons can bury their mistakes, whereas architects have to look at them forever. Where does that leave writer’s mistakes? Oh, I know: Amazon Sales Rank 400,000. At least down there no-one will ever see them. In obscurity, no-one can hear you scream…
So fingers crossed for a successful launch, eh! I mean, I don’t see why not.
Threats Made Involving Outsized Fish? – Check!
Inanimate objects cursed within an inch of continued operation? – Check!
Enormous pair of cardboard pants? – Check!
Strong belief in the power of positive thought? – Wavering…
What can possibly go wrong?
We’re almost done now. The house looks like an explosion in a stationary warehouse and flailing around in costume I’ve personally spilled more cups of tea than I’ve drunk. If anyone comes around tomorrow to congratulate me on my efforts, and they notice the mess, wet patches and tufts of hair on everything, perhaps they’ll think to blame the dog.
And I’ll be able to say, without a trace of a lie, “Oh, no. That’s from the bear.”