I have no idea where to start! I genuinely thought that the morning after my London soiree I would simply have the glow of happy memory from a great night. I had no possible way of knowing I would still be over excited and spinning with giddy glee – to this extent!
Twelve months ago, possibly even less, there would have been no way I could have attended OUP’s Dark Fiction event. I did not have the confidence to do such a thing. I could not have taken myself off to London alone and I certainly could not have walked into a room full of professionals and ‘be myself’. I found it difficult to be around groups of people I knew well and feel relaxed and confident. But yesterday I proved to myself that I am more my ‘old self’ than I ever realised. Ok, so I may have spent the day shaking profusely (my muscles ache so much today!) but I did it.
I had a lovely afternoon browsing Covent Garden and Soho, I sat in an actual restaurant alone and had a lovely meal, and then with a little confident boosting glass of red inside me, I walked into the House of St Barnabas on Soho Square. Getting there fairly early meant that I could easily introduce myself to the wonderful Jennie from OUP who was kind enough to invite me. I was terrified, but I was smiling. All day I had the scene from Bridget Jones running through my head, the one where she makes a fool of herself at a book launch. I was convinced that somehow, maybe not quite as flamboyantly, that my nerves would react in making me a gibbering incompetent. Thankfully, for the most part, I managed to avoid this mess I would normally tie myself into and was able to talk easily with the friendly crowd.
I was introduced to so many that names seemed interchangeable and as fluid as water. I have to apologise for this but under pressure I have no capacity to remember things – or recognise them! I sat chatting with various other bloggers and book fanatics with a bizarre sense of familiarity, but couldn’t place it. When I eventually woke this morning with a slight hungover feeling (not from alcohol though, I think from the adrenaline rush that had been flowing for the previous 24 hours) and checked my regular internet sites I realised I had met the people I had been following! I had NO idea – I feel so ridiculous, I think the word ‘muppet’ has been used. People that I find interesting, which are mutual followers on twitter or part of my blogroll were sitting in the same room as me last night and I had not realised. It has been a voyage of discovery this morning that has continued the reeling feeling of last night.
The whole event was wonderful. I was fortunate enough to speak to two of the authors, Joss Stirling (aka Julia Golding) and William Hussey, but sadly not Rhiannon Lassiter. All clearly of immense talent, it was one of the first occasions where I felt completely star struck (the other being every email I receive from Mr Reeve), but particularly when talking to Mr Hussey. It was at this point I think my cool failed me a little – I swear, I was only a few moments from ‘I Love you!’ and being truly embarrassing. I hope he took my gushing praise as it was meant to be – thinking about it, it probably was meant as gushing praise as his two books have genuinely made my reading year so far! I am still bubbling at the thought that I actually got to meet him!
I can’t get over just how breathless I still feel about the entire day. It was remarkable for so many reasons, but for one main ambition; one day in the distant future, that will be me. That will be my book launch and there will be bloggers who want to meet me. I hope. I want. I’m damn sure going to try!