The other day, after returning home from a most enjoyable holiday in France, I had a stab of realisation. My novel will be out in a mere 4 weeks!!! Eek!! My restored sense of inner tranquillity and vague thoughts of ‘Everyone’s on holiday now, you can relax for a while’, were instantly shattered. Cake flavour and hair colour for the launch party are currently being decided on, along with other very important things, such as who to invite.
On a more serious note, I’ve started a rough project plan listing what I should be getting on with, starting with the articles, guest posts and Q&A answers that I need to write (must try really hard not to leave them to the last minute). Then there’s a Twitter chat to prepare for, emails to local bookshops re stocking the paperback, sending the paperback out to journalists and reviewers, etc etc. So much to do in so little time.
Besides all this activity, there’s more happening on the media front. The feature in a Sunday newspaper I mentioned a while back is due to appear on 2nd September – I will provide details of which one closer to the day, so people can grab a copy. I’ll have more exciting news to share soon about another (live!) media thingie scheduled for a couple of weeks from now. This also relates to my experiences that inspired THE GIRL IN HIS EYES – a novel which starts with a young woman’s dilemma over whether to speak out about childhood sexual abuse by her father, when she guesses that he has his eye on a pre-teen girl he’s taking swimming.
In my last post I talked about going public with the ‘real-life story behind the novel’, a big step for sure. I can only hope that doing so might inspire others who have experienced sexual abuse to get help or to speak out, especially where the abuse is within a family environment. This must be one of the most difficult situations, given the complex emotions involved, not least a sense that you are betraying those who you love, or who love and look after you.
Like any other author, I unashamedly have an urge to talk about my upcoming book to as many people as possible. I believe TGHIE is going to speak strongly to many women, especially, including those who have been abused, bullied or oppressed in other ways by men. I hope very much that my book might help a few of them, in however small a way. (Of course sexual abuse victims can be men too, I hasten to add – I’ve known a few such men and have seen the terrible impact it can have.)
All of this media flurry is exciting, of course – and potentially a little nerve-wracking. Hmm, a live interview with thousands of people listening… I well remember my anxiety two years ago when my first novel launched. Will readers like my book, for one. This time, I’m bracing myself for some far stronger reactions. TGHIE may well divide readers, I have a feeling, in a way that Blind Side didn’t. Some of the novel is from the viewpoint of a child abuser, and the subject matter of child abuse is a very challenging one, so the book is certainly not going to be for everyone.
I know for sure that some people won’t be able to cope with reading it, or will have a strong negative reaction. I’m relieved though that despite a few people who’ve either declined to read or couldn’t finish the book, there’s been some incredibly positive comments from the earliest readers. Here’s a sneak peak of the endorsements to go inside the paperback. I’m thankful and still a little overwhelmed by the response so far. Huge thanks to each of the authors and bloggers who were able to read in advance and comment, including a few who aren’t listed below.
Despite all the angst-ridden and nailbiting moments that may lie ahead, I’ve vowed to take whatever steps I can to stay relaxed and not to fret about stuff (mindfulness CDs, daily yoga, jogging with the dog). I will do my best to enjoy the ride this book takes me on, wherever it may end up 😊
THE GIRL IN HIS EYES is to be published by Bloodhound Books on 18 September in paperback (£8.99) and e-book (normal price £1.99). Available to pre-order on Amazon in both formats from 7 September (e-book price 99p for a limited time). Paperback orderable from most UK bookshops.