Here I am, reading aloud from my new novel, Paternoster, at the book launch on 7th July. The launch was held at Cheltenham's new independent bookshop, The Suffolk Anthology, in Suffolk Parade. A lovely shop with a great atmosphere, and with two levels so I could do readings in the basement while people mingled and drank the wine on the ground floor!
Over 60 people turned up for the launch: lots of friends and fellow writers, and a number of people who were complete strangers to me, but who'd heard about the launch and decided to come along and join in.
All the copies of Paternoster sold out within 30 minutes, and people coming along later had to put their names down to order a copy. I took along my special 'signing pen' and was kept busy writing dedications and signing books.
Here are a few things I hadn't known about book launches before, but that I know now:
1. People will turn up while you're still getting ready - I gave them a drink, chatted for a while, and then encouraged them to browse the shelves while I did my final bits of prep.
2. You're supposed to do a 'special' signature to sign books. In other words, not the same one you sign cheques with. I tried out a few signatures until I found one I liked that I could remember.
3. Your mind will go blank as someone you've known for years asks you to sign a book, and for the life of you, you can't remember what they're called. I couldn't say, 'I can't remember your name' without getting funny looks, so I simply wrote, 'Love and best wishes'.
Kim Fleet lives and works in Cheltenham. Her two cats help the creative process by standing on the delete key.