It has taken me a few days to recover but I wanted to say a few words about last Thursday.
If I Die Before I Wake was finally launched on January 11 as a hardback – and what a day it was! I had already started receiving messages the day before from people saying their copy had arrived via Amazon, and it just continued from there.
It has been more than three years since I left my job to focus on writing this book. It took 18 drafts. God knows how many hours. I can’t believe it is FINALLY out in the wild!
I had a little launch party at Waterstones in Bristol to celebrate – friends, family, my editors and agent, writing workshop partners, former work colleagues, and members of the public who joined us after getting tickets through the shop. It was fantastic to see so many people there – if you were one of them, thank you! Everyone I could have wanted to came along – from my nine-month-old daughter, Gwen, to my 85-year-old grandmother, Joyce. People travelled from London, Winchester, Wales, Marlow, Manchester, Cheltenham and Nottingham. I felt very loved and supported.
My gorgeous editor, Liz Foley, said a few words and embarrassed me immensely by telling the gathered guests what nickname I have in the Vintage offices. My grandmother cried constantly. My daughter cried quite a lot, too, but I don’t think it was because she was proud of me. A tipsy friend was heard to say: “What if the book goes catastrophic?” (We think she was aiming for “stratospheric”, let’s hope it’s somewhere between the two.) Hundreds of delicious sausage rolls (thanks, Bronwen Mellen, chef extraordinaire!) were eaten – but strangely, not all of them, so there are several left in my freezer. An incredible 70 copies were sold on the night (and many more than that signed by me… head down to the shop to see if there are any left) and I loved writing messages for everyone.
Thank you to Waterstones for hosting such a lovely evening. The photos tell you everything you need to know! Much gratitude to my brother James Koch and good pal Barbara Evripidou for taking the pics.