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Have pen, Will Travel

by on April 22, 2012

So here you are.  All these years you’ve dreamt of writing a book, and WOW! LOOK! you have.  And what is even more astonishing, a publisher has actually published it as well!  Probably in the dark hours of many nights you have speculated that publishers have little to do with books, merely existing as a means to keep expensive resteraunts in business.  But no, despite the dire warnings and whisperings of the darkpart of your inner soul, you have found a publisher and they’ve actually released your book.

Released is an interesting word, isn’t it? I used to fantasise that I’d open a box in a bookshop, and copies of my stuff would leap from their restraints of their own accord, terrorising staff and customers alike, until they’d had a punch up with the copies of the latest celeb ‘bestseller’: overcome resistance and triumphantly shouldered their way onto the ‘Best Sellers’ slot on the sales stand – where they would sit and smirk appealingly at passers by, flirt with the rom com and chiclit books, and generally make themselves such a nuisance that the shop would sell the whole lot in a few hours, even if only to restore some decorum on the sales floor.

But no.  I know that you’ve heard of me, because you are reading this.  But hardly anyone else has.  So instead, I sort of sidle into the shops, apologetically carrying a few copies of Ze Latest Meisterverk, and find myself occasionally relegated to the dark corner the staff imagine fantasy fans like to lurk in. (NOT Waterstones Stevenage.  The events manager loves fantasy, so I was at the front of the shop.  Probably she didn’t realise that I’m naturally such a shy person that I might have preferred to lurk in the dark.)  The books look great.  I think that the contents are great.  Why don’t people flood into the shop and mob me for the copies?  Because they’ve never heard of me either. Oh well.

This is what I want to share with you this week though.  If you get a chance to do this, to stand in a shop in front of a table full of your books,  GO FOR IT.  It’s scary.  It’s S**t scary.   But it’s so much fun.  I’d pay to do it.  Oh wait, actually I do.  I don’t sell enough books to make a profit on the day.  So what?  Ask yourself, if you are cursed/blessed with this affliction and consider yourself an author:  why are you writing?  And there just has to be a part of you that says – you want people to read what you have written.  If you want to be read, let me tell you, there is no feeling in the whole world as simply BRILLIANT as seeing someone walk to a shop till carrying a copy of your book, buy it, and walk out smiling.  It’s not the money.  It never will be the money.  Even if, unlikely as it seems, I have to deal with a queue of people wanting me to sign copies of books for them, the simple sight yesterday of a girl walking to the till holding a copy of my new book is one I know I will never forget.

My dream just came true.

Here’s to next week, when it’s going to come true again.(I hope)


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  1. rachelcotterill permalink

    I felt so ridiculously silly the first time someone asked me to sign a book!

  2. So eloquently put Will – an experience that most people can only ever dream about.

  3. Rachel, I can understand where you are coming from there. The sense of unreality is familiar.

    Rose, I wouldn’t say it was eloquent. Just rambling…

  4. Another great post, Will. I can well imagine the unreality of the situation. I think it’s to be expected really, when you’ve dreamed about something for so long then it actually happens…

    I mean, both you and I are realists, but how often do dreams really come true?

    Well done mate! 😀

  5. You just wait, Sophie, and see how it feels when you are doing it in a few months time…

    I’m going to disguise myself and turn up to one of your signings.

  6. kimatsafkhet permalink

    and even I agree! And can totally relate to how you feel, Will

  7. Ryan Holmes permalink

    Real happy for you, Will. Humble, inspiring, and entertaining with a powerful visual at the end. Here’s hoping your dream becomes a recurring one for years to come.

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