It has been a strange few days, perhaps weeks? My book launch turned from a rush down the slipway, into a “slow ship to China.”
Never the less, the slow passage into a new way of being has been fascinating as well as frustrating. Being a new kid on a very competitive writing block, I have discovered many new things, from the complications of the book delivery services to the stores/outlets, to the uncomfortable ways of self promoting. Luckily because of the contract with the publisher, they do a lot of the leg work; leaving me with the tidying up.
There was part of me that was dismayed about some of the press releases not getting through the system, and some local stuff not hitting the public domain until January. There is also a part of me that sighed with relief, because of the same issue? In other words, I know some things have to be done, but way out of my comfort zone.
That said, because of the busy period for journalists, and for book sellers, I have been able to deal with the local media in a slow methodical way, which has allowed me to understand their needs, and has enabled me to slide into their world more carefully than it could have been. If everything works out, articles will appear in January 2017, although a local B.B.C radio Interview may happen before then. I will let you know; erm, maybe!
A few days ago, I was in a photo shoot on a location close to the railway station; A relatively old part of town. Phil, the photographer, whisked me down a lane nearby to get some shots in this high walled sinister looking area, ideal for the visual impact of introducing a crime writer.
There were two problems here! One was trying to keep a straight face, when all I wanted to do was laugh, especially when Phil produced the lighting umbrella and a very expensive camera and kit. The next problem was, that I was asked to stand in the middle of this narrow lane, which unfortunately at one end, had scaffolding tied to the side of a building and some rough, tough workers clambering up and down it. I just knew nothing good could come of this.
Sure enough, when I forced myself into the requested stance and the flash lit up the immediate area, the comments arrived from the lads doing a real job half way up their lashed together piping. One comment was “Oy baldy!”, along with other kind offerings. Phil was a pro, I dont know if he hadn’t heard, or he didnt care. I know he thought nothing of stopping work vans driving through, until his job was done.
In a break for equipment checking, I looked intently at the scaffolding and had a flashback to a few years ago, when as a police officer I climbed to the top of a similair structure to talk down a man who threatened suicide. When at the top, I realised I was uncomfortable and didnt particularly like being there. I persuaded the man to clamber back down, which he did, in a much faster way than I did.
I wobbled, but I didnt share my new found dread with anyone.
A week or so later, the same man jumped into a harbour, and was pulled out by another cop, who got an award!!! The man clearly was a serial attention seeker; ill yes, but never intended to take his own life. A cop can’t take that into account of course.
So this brings me back to the scaffolding in the lane. I realised that seeing the funny side of events, was far better than climbing up there to have a word with the foreman.
I did something crazy this week when under the influence of a heavy cold. I coughed and sneezed so much that it appears I pulled an abdominal muscle and have ended up in agony. Honestly, in all the years of playing sport, including rugby, this is a first. It is nice to know I do have some muscle in there somewhere.
It’s all a bit ridiculous, but I guess its that time of year.