[Our broadband is out. I was on the verge of typing this entire blog post into the tininess of my iPhone when I remembered my Dad has a Vodafone Mobile Connect pluggy-inny-thingy – that’s the technical term, I believe – for his laptop, so I’ve commandeered it for half an hour. The keyboard is unnecessarily springy, Internet Explorer is making everything look like it’s from the web circa 1998 – and it doesn’t spell check , so forgive me – and using a PC is making me feel a bit sick, but it’s better than nothing. I hope you appreciate the lengths I’m going to keep this blog updated!]
I didn’t sleep last night.
I lay awake in the dark, wondering how you could possibly have a book launch with no books. Surely there had to be a way.
There had to be.
There had to be because my books had left the printers in North Carolina, U.S.A, but hadn’t yet arrived at my house in Cork, Ireland, the air space between the two had just been closed for the third time since the books were shipped and the launch was Saturday morning, only two and a bit days from now. I’d ordered stock twice before and on each occasion, Mr. Post Van Man had appeared on my doorstep with them exactly seven days after the order was placed. On both those delivery days, he’d arrived between ten and ten-thirty. But it was now eleven a.m. on a Wednesday, a week and a half after the order was placed and I starting to freak out.
I had about fifteen books; they’d fill a shelf or two. Then I’d call up the twenty or so people I’ve invited to the launch who already have books, and tell them to bring them along. At least that way they’d have something to hold in the photos, and if any strangers rocked up, they’d be led to believe they were too late: the book had sold out. I’d call the ten or so family members who were invited but who hadn’t yet bought books and tell them to still come, but not to buy books. They could get them from me at a later date. Then I’d hide behind my posters, postcards, balloons, DVDs and my pretty polka-dots from Monsoon and hope no one would notice they were at the worst book launch ever.
Granted, my Plan B was far from perfect – the bookseller would probably have a heart attack and I’d lose out on 90% of potential sales – but at least I wouldn’t have to cancel.
And if I did have to cancel, there was Plan B+: hop a flight to somewhere far away late on Friday night and stay away until everyone had forgotten that it had ever happened.
After sitting inside the window with two beady eyes on the road for most of the morning, I decided to try and distract myself from the feelings of imminent doom and moved to the back of the house with a vat of coffee. I was sitting there, pretending not to care, when I heard knuckles wrap on the glass of the front door.
Could it be…?
Through the glass was the distinctive green of Mr. Post Van Man’s van.
It is! The books are here!
Well, thank F–K for that.
So now – finally – I can start looking forward to Saturday. Just as soon as I catch up on my sleep.
Tomorrow: alerting the press, a post possibly typed entirely on my iPhone.