Friday, 15 April 2011

A speech, a broken finger, a launch party

So last week I went to the 2011 Advancing Healthcare awards. I'd been invited to give a little speech and tell my story, and was lucky enough to also enjoy a fabulous lunch and meet lots of wonderful people from the health service. These were Allied Health Professionals and Clinical Scientists - a much undervalued group. These are the therapists and technicians and scientists who are in fact vital members of any healthcare team, and it was nice for them to get some recognition. I felt rather humbled in their presence, if I'm honest, but here I am...


From there I went home and listened to some of the audiobook of Before I Go to Sleep. It's been read by Susannah Harker, and she's done a brilliant job. Hearing my words come to life was such a bizarre and wonderful experience.

Unfortunately, however, I'd chosen to listen in the bath as I prepared to go out for the evening. As I stood up to dry myself the door buzzer went and, stupidly, I ran down the stairs. Or that was the plan; in fact my legs disappeared from under me on the top step and I slid to the bottom. My first sensation was relief. I was alive and, had I slid the other way, I might easily have broken my neck. My second, though was pain, emanating from all over, but focussed mostly on my finger. 'I wonder if it's broken?' I thought, but on touching it and feeling a rather odd clicking sensation I wondered no more. My evening out was cancelled and I spent it instead in A&E (where I received a wonderful service and found myself thanking once again the staff of the NHS). When I got home I practiced shaking people's hands (impossible), writing longhand (possible, but painful and with illegible results) and signing my name (possible, not too painful, but it looks like a toddler who's been let loose with the felt-tips). With a launch party to attend, a novel to work on and books to sign - what bad timing!

Then, on Monday, Before I Go to Sleep was officially launched! (For the first time at least - we're having another launch party for the UK edition on the day of publication itself). We had a party at the offices of my agent, Clare Conville, in London's West End. London Book Fair was in full swing by then, and all my foreign editors and publishers were invited. It was great to meet them all over a glass of wine, as well as all the scouts and sub-agents, not to mention my colleagues from Faber, who have worked so hard and been so supportive of me and the book over the last year. Clare gave a speech, I gave a speech, I had a fantastic time, and the book was well and truly launched. Here are some photos...



The trailer was playing on all of the computers in the office...


The books were on display...


Here I am, chatting to Jake...

 ... and to Amy.


The fire brigade were called as the party wound down. Luckily nothing too drastic - one of the guests had locked themselves in the bathroom...

So now we're off. Before I Go to Sleep is launched, and within a few days will be in the shops (in the UK and Australia at least - the US will have to wait until June). I'm tremendously excited, broken finger or no!

2 comments:

Michael Malone said...

rotten luck about the finger. That'll teach you! And all the best for the launch. Here's to big sales for you.

S J Watson said...

Thank you so much! And yes, my tumble down the stairs did teach me a lesson - I'm now much more careful!

SJW