Friday, 10 May 2013

A day in the 'glamorous' life of an author.

Yesterday I had the privilege of not only going to the official book launch of Brightness of Stars, but I also travelled there and back with the 'Lovely Lisa, her fiancé Stephen and ''Bezzie Mate' Kirsten.

I arrived at Lisa's house to find her frantically trying to finish of some work before we had to leave. Before we'd even left for the book launch, Lisa was already trying to prepare for the next couple of projects that she had lined up. But being the consummate professional that she is we left on time to drive to Hanborough to catch the train to Paddington.

The train arrived on time and a few minutes into the train journey, Lisa was already engaged in conversation with another passenger telling her about the book and inviting her to the launch. While the rest of us relaxed and enjoyed the journey to Paddington, she then spent time preparing her speech.

When we arrived at Paddington our first priority was to find a toilet. Having been to Paddington before, I was confused when Lisa set off in the wrong direction for the public toilets and instead led us upstairs and into the Hilton hotel to use the toilets there. At last, a taste of the glamorous lifestyle of an author! Then the journey continued.

Lisa had warned me that the journey involved a number of train changes and a lot of walking. She wasn't kidding! If my memory serves me right, we went on the Bakerloo line to Baker street where after a quick coffee we jumped on a train to Whitechapel where we changed for a train to New Cross, climbing up and down lots of stairs and escalators. Lisa even managed the impossible and had me running for a train which turned out not be ours.

Slightly later than expected we arrived at Goldsmiths University and were directed up more stairs to the room the book launch was to take place in. We'd only been there about 10-15 minutes when the fire alarm went off and we all had to troop down stairs  and wait for the all clear. There were exams taking place and the feeling was that some silly student had set the alarm off as a prank.

Eventually we were allowed back upstairs again. As if the false alarm wasn't stressful enough for Lisa she received a call to say that one of the speakers was stuck somewhere else, but undeterred she pressed on with the launch. As Tracey clicked away with her camera, Lisa and Pav, one of the contributors in the book, made very emotional, yet excellent speeches, then the young woman who'd been delayed started to speak. Suddenly the fire alarm went off again! I don't know how Lisa felt and her expression wasn't giving much away, but by this time I'd had enough. If this is the glamorous life of an author, I'm not sure I want it!

Another false alarm!

We made our way back into the building again and despite all these interruptions the evening continued and was a great success with Kirsten using some interesting techniques to sell all the raffle tickets.

Time to make the journey home.

At first this looked as if at last things were going our way. The 2 trains that we had to catch back to Paddington were waiting for us and on the second one we were relaxed enough to have a bit of a laugh as Kirsten tried to sell the book to complete strangers and an intervention was attempted on Sarah, (another story). There was a bit of a 'verbal flashmob' going on making the London commuters smile.
Then we arrived at Paddington to find that all the trains in the Oxford direction were cancelled! After much discussion involving trying other train routes or crashing on Sarah's sofa, we decided to wait it out and one hour and 5 or 10 minutes later, (although it seemed longer), we were on the train back to our various destinations. Very tired and very hungry as there hadn't been time to grab more than the odd snack all day, including an attempt at eating some dried Mango slices, which I'm planning to use to re-sole a pair of shoes, they were so tough!

Lisa by this time was very quiet and emotional. Who can blame her?

In the end the book launch was a great success, with the right people and organisations being there and Lisa has even been invited to do some work with the Social work department at Goldsmiths. But one thing it definitely wasn't was glamorous!

Well done everybody who attended and made the launch a success.

Lisa is already busy planning the next event in her busy life and she has my utmost admiration.


  1. Wouldn't it have been worthwhile getting a taxi from Paddington to Goldsmiths, rather than have all that hassle?

  2. Ah but how interesting would that blog have been! :)