I wonder what Jackie Collins does on the morning that her books are published? Maybe a swim in her Olympic sized swimming pool? Maybe she has a wander around her mansion – that I’m imagining looks like Caesar’s Palace, all gold leaf and marble pillars - in some Palazzo pants and some Gucci shades. She probably sips on some orange juice that one of her many serfs have squeezed for her congratulating herself on another year another book. I can guarantee one thing; she isn’t sitting on her settee at five in the morning having spent the night barfing up because she has a cross between food poisoning and morning sickness. (Have I invented a curious new illness? I shall hereby call it Food Sickness. Or no…wait, Morning Poisoning.) Which is what I’m doing.
Today, August 6th, is the launch of my new book Star Struck and very excited I’ll be too when I finally get dressed and return to a better shade of grey. I’ve already seen it in a book shop, while coming through Dublin Airport with my sister on Sunday it was there in the New Titles section, bold as brass. My sister got very excited and demanded that I have a picture taken next to it - probably the sort of business that Joan and Jackie get up to all the time – and so I duly stood next to my book pointing at it like a half wit. Then my sister went and bought a copy while enthusing to a less than impressed sales girl. Sales girl: Can I have your boarding card please. Sister: Yes. (excited) My sister wrote this. The sales girl takes a look at me noting that I am neither Jackie Collins or Marian Keyes and smiles without her eyes getting involved. Sales girl: six ninety nine please. My sister takes the book and mutters something about the girl being ignorant and I mop my brow thinking phew, good job she didn’t announce it to the shop, I might have experienced a JK Rowling type book signing stampede if everyone else had matched the woman behind the counter’s enthusiasm.
It is such a strange feeling seeing your book out in the world for the first time. Star Struck is my third novel but my first to be published in the UK (the others were published in Ireland) and I know that I will be very excited seeing it in a bookshop here in Manchester. I will no doubt hover around watching to see if anyone buys it, I might even take it from the shelves and laugh heartily saying “Well this book that’s about a girl from Manchester and her varied successes in an X Factor type competition and her dysfunctional family is a great read. I can’t recommend it enough!” Until I get thrown out of Smiths.
So with that in mind I really must get myself changed into something that will cheer me up and head into town at the first available opportunity. I might even take a leaf out of Jackie’s book and dress as if any moment I might be whisked off on a yacht. Not literally take a leaf out of her book obviously; getting thrown out of Smiths once on the day your book comes out is quite enough for anyone. So if you see some dodgy pregnant bird in Palazzo pants and big shades looking pallid and laughing heartily at a book with a glitzy blue cover in a book shop in Manchester today it’s probably me.