After getting my hands on a few copies of my debut novel from the publisher, as well as setting the stage with props and prompts from the book, the day of the launch party finally rolled around.
Pink fizz and conversation flowed, amidst sampling of my homemade gluten and dairy free cupcakes and cinnamon doughnuts from Borough 22 bakery. I proudly signed copies of my book, feeling both relieved and ecstatic to have got to this point at all.
My sister gave me a present – a silver Parker pen. I marvelled at it (I like a nice pen), before I even realised their was an inscription on it – ‘Nikki Young, author’. I loved it even more after I saw that!
The pen (minus the inscription) is exactly the same as one I had at secondary school. I used it in all my exams and even used it right the way through University. It became my lucky pen and receiving one just like it, reminded me of that fact.
Perhaps this is where Harry’s story in the mystery of the disappearing underpants came from. He asks the question:
‘Have you ever had something lucky? A pair of trainers that helped you run faster, a pen that made you have the best ideas, a hat that every time you wore it, you won at chess? Well I have my lucky underpants. At least I did until they went missing. Right when I needed them most’
Somewhere in my subconcious, I understood Harry, even before I developed his character.
This weekend was all about recognising creativity and achievement.
I’m a writer and writing is my business. You might see my name alongside a blog post or an article, but you won’t know it’s me who’s written half the things I produce on a daily basis. That’s the nature of my work. My fiction is another side to my writing – an extension of my business, if you like. I’m doing something I love and I’m proud to say I’m doing my best to make a success of it.
It was important for me to celebrate that this weekend. That was why I made cupcakes using a gluten free self-raising flour made by the Free From Fairy, a lady entrepreneur who’s stuck her neck out to do something she believes in and is making a success of it. The same goes for the gluten free, vegan, mini doughnuts made by Borough 22, a company I admire for not only the gorgeous products they make, but also because of the hard work that has gone in to making it a success. Both are champions for those with multiple food allergies and intolerances, something that’s close to my own heart.
These were decorated with the images from the book, drawn by Maddy Bennett, another creative individual, who’s going out there and achieving her dream of being an illustrator.
The take-home message from this weekend folks (and this blog post) is that you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s hard work and you lay yourself on the line to do it, but believe me, it’s worth it.
Find out more about my book and how to buy it, here.