When I was nineteen, I completed writing my first novel (on a typewriter – not even an electric one). As I started to send it out to agents, I knew exactly what my book launch would be like. It would be in a crowded bookstore. I would confidently do my reading before answering questions and signing the many books I was going to sell.
As time passed, I had some pieces published and writing sometimes came into my work, however, I did not secure the dreamed-of contract for my novels which I was searching for. I can’t say publication became less important, it is just that the writing became more important. Through the years, writing has developed into a passion; a support; a way to understand myself and the world better; and a friend.
Scroll forwards thirty-seven years, and I finally have a contract with a traditional publisher, Constable/Little Brown, to write three crime novels based in Scarborough. The first, A Wake of Crows, was published on the 3rd of June 2021. And the question I kept being asked was, what about a launch?
My editor explained that the main promotion would be done around the paperback coming out next year. Plus, well, we live in a Covid-world, so the idea of organising anything seems complex. Yet, I did not want this landmark in what I could loosely call my writing career pass without celebration. So I positioned myself in one of Scarborough’s many green spaces (one which helpfully has a refreshments van that serves vegan hot chocolate) and invited friends to pass by if they could. Some did and many others sent lovely supportive messages. It was very special.
There is a mix of emotions with any ‘birth’ of a creative piece. I remain excited and proud. Though I have not been able to actually open my book (in case my eye falls on a sentence I could have written better) I enjoy holding it, feeling the weight of it and admiring the cover.
The other week I spent several days camping by Coniston Water.
I visited the Ruskin Museum (a treasure trove of stories for any writer): Ruskin Museum – Telling the Story of Coniston Since 1901 It has a section on Donald Campbell. He appears to have been a driven man (no pun intended). Once he achieved one speed record, he was onto the next (even though he had no rivals snapping at his heels). I did wonder if publication by a traditional publisher would somehow be ‘not enough’ after all these years of pushing for it. The good news is that I feel content at reaching this particular milestone. I may not have had the launch I envisaged in my teens – all red carpet (tiaras optional) – but it has very much lived up to, and survived, my expectations.
A Wake of Crows is available as an ebook, as an audiobook and as a hardback from all the usual outlets (online or terrestrial). The paperback will be out in 2022. As will the second in the series, currently entitled Drowning Not Waving.
Huge congratulations Kate and what a beautiful looking book. Looking forward to the launch (launches? a book tour?) in 2022! xxxx
Thank you. Yes, hopefully we will all be able to be more out and about by 2022. If you know of any venues in your area which might be interested in hosting me, do let me know. Hope your creative works are going well. Xx
As they say ‘Hats off to you Kate’ for persistence, self-belief, determination to realise a long-held cherished writing dream. Whenever I feel discouraged I will think of your journey and remind myself that what seems impossible today may well become reality the next. Look forward to reading your book (books). Enjoy your moment………and may there be many more for you. All best SuzieM
Thank you. Best of luck to you.
Belated congratulations, Kate, and I hope the paperback launch is everything you could wish for. Let me know and I’ll do my best to be part of the crowd. PS. What about online events?
Thanks Anne. One of the great things about being with Constable is that I can rely on the experience of their publicity department. I am being led my them. I never enjoyed generating my own publicity anyway! But I will be at the Beverley Literature Festival for their crime panel on October 16th. Hope you are having a creative year.
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Yes, great to have someone else take on that side of things. I hope you enjoy the panel.