This week was something of a milestone for me: I went to my first event as an author.
Every time I used the phrase author visit beforehand, I had to restrain myself from making air quotes around the words to minimise them, because it feels like a ridiculous thing to say about myself.
I might not have a book yet, not one with a cover and binding that you can buy in a shop or online, but I have it in my heart and it’s enough to print out the first few chapters to share.
So that’s what I did.
I spent a couple of hours with 10 lovely ladies from the Boro Book Club, in an upstairs room at the Twisted Lip micropub in Middlesbrough, chatting about my novel and about crowdfunding, before moving on to this month’s read: the wonderful Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
With a printout in hand, I read them the first couple of chapters of the story and talked about my process for writing it, the bits I like the best and the ideas behind it.
Despite being immersed in the crowdfunding part of getting this book released, it’s been a while since I actually opened it up and read. I had that typical writer moment where I wavered over the words, worried that they weren’t good enough.
But the group seemed to enjoy them, so that was the main thing.
And I enjoyed the experience.
Hopefully, in a year or so, I might be able to go back with the published book in hand and chat to them about their thoughts after reading it.
Maybe there will be other groups and events to go to, as a writer.
Because that’s what I am now. It’s what I’ve always been, since I was 10 years old, although I didn’t allow myself to believe it for a long time.
But now there’s a publishing contract and conversations with agents and time spent with other writers, discussing our work.
A writing career is slowly becoming a reality for me and it’s as amazing as I’d hoped.
If you’d like to support my novel, you can order a copy here. Use the code disappeared15 to get 15% off your pledge.