The Big Book Launch - What a Day!

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

It came and then went – in a flash.

I am talking about Saturday 13th of October 2018, the day we launched Mr. Wisscoccally, Adventure in Thorny Wood.

What was I expecting? I really don’t know.

There were moments of anticipation that were good! I was looking forward to it all, meeting people and chatting to friends, old and new, seeing my children and grand-children enjoying the affair, sharing a cup of tea and one of Siobhán O’Leary’s American Cookies. And, I was fairly confident that people would like the book, because the illustrations are charming and the book looks good, and it is a unique little story.

There were other times, however, when the anticipation was bad. I was dreading the launch because I had waves of that ‘nobody is going to turn up at my party’ syndrome. Remember that feeling? I don’t know about you but I used to suffer from it all the time I was growing up – not that I had that many parties, which made the ones I did have even more important.

As it turned out, those couple of hours in Barlow House went by in a flash. It became very busy, very quickly with the result that both my hopes and fears were equally negated.

I didn’t have time to chat to friends, though I saw many of them in the throng (I kid you not, there was a throng), never saw a cup of tea, worse still, didn’t even get a look at an American Cookie.

Moreover, it seemed that everyone came to my party. Family, friends, close friends, long-time-no-see friends, forgotten (well nearly) friends, Vivienne’s family and friends, and total strangers.

At the time I was not overawed or delighted, surprised or even pleased, I hadn’t time to absorb it. I was busy signing books – and more books, Vivienne, beside me, doing likewise, non-stop. I think ‘overwhelmed’ is the only word that describes how I felt.

The one very precious moment I did get to enjoy occurred early on, just as the throng was forming. Pat Colgan, a singing friend of mine and all-round lovely guy, agreed to say a few words to introduce the book, as he had read it to his two young grandsons. I don’t know what I was expecting, but his words brought tears to my eyes. He talked about reading the book, the little boys’ reactions to the story, and what he thought of the book. I was stunned and overcome and I tried not to cry. I will admit the tears welled up, but I didn’t let them flow.

There were one or two disappointments, the main one being that Fran and Eric from Abbey Lane Studios just couldn’t make it. You can’t have everything.

We went out for a drink after we cleared up, and on to the Garam Masala Restaurant for something to eat, and it was there, in the midst of the chat and banter, in the warmth of good company, that the wonder of it all started to sink in…. I had written a book, recorded CD’s, published the book, launched the book. Well, when I say I, of course I mean we. Vivienne, Abbey Lane, Beulah Print and me – The Drogheda Team.

I was just beginning to wallow in the wonder of it, when a neighbour text me that my dog was barking – annoying people – and I had to leave my party in a hurry and head home.

Ah! But that’s life. Reality reigns.


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