I am well and truly spent. But in the best possible way.
Last week saw the publication of my latest book, The Memory Thieves, and I’m only just starting to recover. A lot has happened, so I’ll just whizz through some selected bobbins here.
Even before publication week, things were getting pretty giddy, thanks to great reviews in The Bookseller, on NetGalley and from various book bloggers. I was also amazed to see The Memory Thieves selected as one of World Book Day’s Sizzling Summer Reads!
Things didn’t let up, with The Memory Thieves being highlighted by the likes of The Reader Teacher, Just Imagine, Love Reading for Kids, Hive, School Reading List and The Book Whisperer as a top title for August.
Not that any of this kept the jitters at bay. I thought publication would be less nerve-racking this time round, but it seems not. I suspect THE FEAR will never truly go away. But maybe that’s a good thing. As draining as it is, it’s kind of fun to ride those nervy waves of hysteria.
Anyhow, on to publication week itself, which kicked off with my first ever blog tour, organised by the good folk at Usborne Publishing.
You can drop by the tour stops, if you fancy:
And if you’re a glutton for punishment, you can check out the feature published by Nottingham City of Literature to coincide with The Memory Thieves‘ release.
The Tuesday before publication found me rushing around London like a frenzied bumpkin, signing stock at indie bookshops The Children’s Bookshop, Daunt Books Hampstead and Alligator’s Mouth. It was such a treat to meet booksellers and see my book on display. And as an added bonus, while at The Children’s Bookshop, I bumped into Elle McNicoll, who just happened to be on a book tour that day too! Naturally I grabbed a signed copy of A Kind of Spark, and she kindly reciprocated with The Memory Thieves. (I finished A Kind of Spark recently, by the way, and recommend it heartily; honestly one of the best children’s books I’ve read, and well deserving of its glory and awards.)
While in London that day, I was treated to lunch by my editor and publicist, Stephanie King and Kat Javonavic; it turns out the publisher’s lunch isn’t just a myth! I also had an interview with BBC Radio Berkshire, and finished off with a very welcome pint (maybe more) with my awesome literary agent, Laura Susijn.
I’d barely got my breath back by the time publication day rolled around. That day was spent mostly manning all stations on social media while people sent congratulations and shouted about The Memory Thieves. I nipped into Nottingham indie bookshop Five Leaves to sign stock (both of Nottingham’s Waterstones have signed stock now, too), and that evening had a virtual book launch with friends, family and various peeps from the bookish community. Even though I was feeling frazzled, it was wonderful to see loved ones, industry colleagues and kidlit enthusiasts, and to toast them with some cheap fizz. And the (quite literal) icing on the cake was an actual Memory Thieves cake, which my amazing wife and sons surprised me with at the end of the night! Unbelievable. (But also very believable; that’s how my wife rolls.)
Besides a couple of virtual author events, I’ve been gradually recuperating since publication week, bracing myself for whatever comes next. There’s some great stuff in the pipeline, so follow me on Twitter or Instagram to keep up with the latest.
One final thing. I owe an immense debt to so many people who’ve championed my writing and helped me to be in this blessed, surreal position. I’d therefore like to end this post with the acknowledgements in The Memory Thieves. My thanks also go to you – yes, you – for taking an interest. You could be binge watching something now. Or having a sly nap. So thank you for being here.