The blooms are bursting in the garden, and the books are bursting from the shelves as a flurry of book launches fill the diary. And like a child let loose in a sweet shop, spending time with other writers is like a sugar rush. I always come away raring to get back to my laptop, my energy levels restored, my ambitions re-awakened. Writing is such a solitary business, so it feels good to get the glad rags on and venture into the actual world of words.
Last week I was at the launch of the inspirational writer Catherine Ryan Howard for her debut thriller Distress Signals. We have got to know each other through the Twitterland writing community and it was great to see her – and the long awaited – book in the flesh. The room was awash with writers and Twitterland shook with the earthquake of off and online greetings.
And all the conversations I had that, and all the writers I caught up with and met, ignited me again from the slight doldrums of the blank gap syndrome (two new books to write, but no two extra hours in the day to write them in.)
When Catherine gave her launch speech she mentioned that she had spent years attending so many other book launches, always wondering when it would be her turn. I have done the same. I have stood in Dubray, or Hodges & Figges with a glass of wine in my hand, a new book clutched to my breast, watching someone give that amazing speech, wondering if I would ever get the chance to say “here is my book.” Luckily I got the book, but sadly had to cancel the book launch, but standing there last Thursday made me realise I still want that launch. I’m just going to have to write another book. In fact I’m writing two. My new non-fiction creative proposal is in with my agent and publisher, and a new novel entertains my thoughts at night and wakes me early, so I write in the glow of rising sun and try and fill that word count. And that was because Catherine reminded us all in the audience last Thursday, that the only way we get to stand behind the desk and sign those books, is to write.
And as I get the call from another pal that she just got an agent, and as I get ready for two more book launches next week, that is the perfect motivation to keep writing. It’s the only way I get my book launch after all!