Ever wondered what it’s like to be a trails book author? Well,
here our writer Sue Kittow reveals all about a day or, to be more accurate,
several events in her life as she promotes her latest book, Walks in the Footsteps
of Daphne du Maurier.
The first event was my book launch, held at Falmouth Art Gallery -
a lovely light and bright space which has the added advantage that people can
wander round and look at the paintings. Several people admitted that they’d
never even been to the gallery before and were very keen to visit again, so
that was a bonus.
Presenting your book to the public for the first time is always an
emotional and nerve-wracking business, to say nothing of organising wine and
soft drinks and carting enough books down to the venue! But the launch was well
attended - despite the fact that it was a very sunny day, so some people came
straight from the beach! - and I sold enough books to make it worthwhile. Some
of us then went off for something to eat; by the time we got our food I was
nearly asleep, but it was a memorable evening and I went to bed feeling my book
was well christened.
Next I was due at Waterstones in Truro for a book signing. I have
learned, over the years, not to expect the crowds that better known authors
might draw! It also helps to bribe friends to come along and at least say
hello, if not buy books, and, thankfully, several friends did just that. I also
met some lovely customers but generally it was a quiet day as, being the start
of half term and sunny, many people were either travelling or on the beach).
It’s easy to feel extremely vulnerable sitting in a bookstore in front of a
pile of your books with everyone avoiding you - or so it seems!
View from Gribben
After that I did two ‘Meet the author’ sessions at the Great
Estate festival. The first started with virtually no audience, but a few people
trickled in and one lady bought two books and said she found my talk
fascinating, so that cheered me no end. The following day a lady who’s just set
up a new bookshop and has bought some of my books came along, as did various
other people. Although I didn’t sell any books, we had a fascinating discussion
about books, writing, depression and creative writing degrees, and I was asked
about giving some workshops in the future.
All in all, it was really heart warming to talk to other readers
and writers and learn about the kind of thing they need help with and are
interested in doing. I came away feeling really inspired and I felt so lucky to
love my job. The reality of being a writer can be hard and solitary, but this
festival showed how important it is to connect with our fellow readers and
writers as much as we can!
Sue’s book, Walks in the Footsteps
of Daphne du Maurier is out now, as are her previous Cornwall walking books
Walks in the Footsteps
of Winston Graham’s Poldark and Discover Cornwall.
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