On Monday 16th May, ahead of publication, my publishers and I hosted a book launch at Lutyens & Rubinstein bookshop in Notting Hill. We served Italian food and sweets, Italian drinks and generally had a very happy evening celebrating the end of almost three years of work on the book. I made a short speech, and what I spoke about was community, and how as a writer you begin a book alone at your desk but end it surrounded by others, without whom the book could never have been completed. A sentiment which I think is appropriate for a beautiful independent bookshop like this, which is all about creating connections between readers and writers. So I thought, since most people who read this blog are also part of that community of readers, near and far, for whose support I am eternally grateful, that it was worth sharing what I said here too:
In many ways, the launch is only the beginning of the hard work. Publication is a long journey. To give you an idea, the book will be launched separately in the US on July 12th, and then it will be published in various different countries at different points throughout the autumn and winter, just in time for the English language paperback publication in the spring! So as a writer, there are many moments when you get the chance to present your work or share it with readers, and also many moments when your job is just to work alone, getting on with the next one. But nevertheless, the first publication in your home country is an important moment, the day that the book officially goes into the hands of readers to be read, appraised and (you hope!) loved.
If you want to hear more about the origins of the book, I also did a short interview for BBC Radio Jersey, which you can listen to here (from 01:42:00) and which I think gives a good ten-minute summary: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03sysqm
And if you want to read some of the book, it's currently The Pool's Bedtime Bookclub read, which means you can read the first five chapters here: https://www.the-pool.com/arts-culture/bedtime-bookclub/2016/21/catherine-banner-the-house-at-the-edge-of-night
Thanks, as ever, for your support for the book, and for being part of that generous community of readers without whom writers' work would be meaningless.
All the best,