My publication day for Punch is 10 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes away. It’s amazing how this concentrates the mind! The blog tour begins sooner, of course:
There seems to be a lot to do all of a sudden. It crept up on me, the way major life events like the publication of a second book can do. September and October have been busy, even new day job aside.
First, I was lucky to be asked to appear at four schools as part of Nairn Book and Arts Festival. Pretty much straight after, less than two weeks ago, I was at Islay Book Festival, doing school and puppetry events. Just a few days later, our own NessBookFest was in full swing, and as committee chairperson, I wasn’t going to be taking a back seat. 35 events after that, I emerged, crawling, on the other side, mopping up, tidying up, and realising:
My publication day for Punch is 10 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes away!
Oh help! Guest blog posts need to be written, press contacts need to be made, events need to be planned. I made a list of all upcoming events:
• 26th Oct: School Launch, Crown School, Inverness
• 26th Oct: Launch at Waterstones Inverness (6pm)
• 3rd Nov: Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre Launch Event
• 4th Nov: Waterstones Edinburgh West End (2pm)
• 25th Nov: Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Mass
Book Launch, Winchester
• 29th Nov: Schools Event, Culloden Library for Book Week Scotland
• 30th Nov: ‘Nourishing Local Writers’ Showcase, Waterstones Inverness, Book Week Scotland
• 2nd Dec: Fir Trees in Folklore & Fiction: Barbara Henderson reads
from her children’s novels Fir for Luck and Punch (which both
feature trees) and explores the stories and legends around our
beloved Christmas trees. Simpson’s Garden Centre, Inverness. Book Week Scotland
At least there are a few, not too bad. Although I need to decide what I am actually going to do in them. Realising that all this is really quite soon, I ran down to the train station and booked my transport to the Central Belt, begged friends for accommodation and started purchasing odd things like Punch hats and inflatable whacking sticks, stripy clothes and red shoes. Yes, I am going the whole hog – I’ll pretty much be wearing a Punch and Judy fit-up!
Getting press coverage might be a hard one though – I have literally been all over the local papers with NessBookfest recently, and they might be reluctant to take on anything else with my mug on it. Sad but true.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I am not going to try! However, my first follow up call to a public broadcaster who shall remain nameless went a bit like this:
Me: Hello, is that the producer for the super-iconic programme for all things cultural?
Me: You emailed me on such and such a date, expressing interest in Punch and asking if a copy could be sent to you? I trust you got it? Great. Now, are you still interested in doing something on the Victorian/puppetry angle in… all right… Really, 500 hundred new titles published every week?
Her: Too competitive/too much out there/won’t be able to, as much as we’d like to/snowed under (basically *NO*)
Me: (*profuse thanks, not sure why*)
No time to dwell on that! After all, it’s only 10 days…