When it came to my book launch, it could only have taken place at the Legion.

The Legion has been my home away from home for the last nine years. The menfolk at the Legion, fresh from their golf games and Mason meetings, are quite accustomed to my sense of humour and my capacity for alcohol, and they forgive me almost as they see me. I don’t suggest that they cross themselves as they lock eyes with me. However, I have been called both blunt and sharp at the Legion. They sort of know what they’re letting themselves in for.

So, I had my launch there. I made canapés, because it fitted with the title. To be fair, it was the part of the title I was willing to offer, since both sex and death seemed to be going a bit far.

In case it helps anyone out there, about to have, or considering a book launch, I made some mental notes to cover the scars.

Where I did things correctly:

I made small edible things. Nothing too stressful, nothing which required overmuch skill from me, but things which seemed impressive to those who weren’t expecting them. I could have done just as well with ready-made sausage rolls.

I had a professional cake maker create an absolutely kick-arse cake for me, which looked like an opened book, and was covered in sugar icing with the first two pages of my book printed on it. It was epic. Cannot recommend this kind of thing enough; my Legion peeps are still gushing about it.

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Where I went wrong:

It might have been an idea to wait for the paperback to be out. I had my launch with the uploading of the ebook, of book one. Perhaps I was a little premature in my enthusiasm. I won’t scold myself for it. However, if I’d had paperbacks with me, signed or not, I would have sold a good number. Largely, if we remember yesterday’s blog post, because I’d told so many people they probably wouldn’t like it.

What I should have prepared for:

I didn’t think about what would happen when mixing new book with good friends and alcohol. Yes, one of my pals tried to make me over in front of my book poster. I squirm more over makeup than medical dramas. Thankfully, no one had any mascara going spare, otherwise, I might have lost an eye.

Also, I should have realised that, as much as they were there to support me, as friends, many of them were also in attendance as potential readers. I should have anticipated their wanting me to read an excerpt. I certainly should have realised they would want me to read an excerpt before I’d drunk the better part of a bottle of bubbly.

I have an accent. I’m sure I’ve covered this before. My accent is better-travelled than I am, so I have a strange blend of Canadian/South African/Australian/posh. I can promise you it’s not affectation. I have recorded myself talking with heavy metal blasting in my ears. I sound exactly the same even when I can’t hear myself. However, muddled accent, with occasional hiccup, does not make for a good reading.

All that being the case, I was able to tell them that if the first line is too dark, don’t read the book.

The first line is: “It wasn’t that she hated him. It was just that, with surprisingly little effort, she could see a positive side to widowhood.”

So, things to take from this little post: at a book launch, it’s good to have food. Cake is important. When introduced as the most famous writer in the village, try not to burp.

UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FQDBGDR/ref=cm_sw_r_fm_apa_ccDuBb95D6E1Q

Paperback:

Sex, Death & Canapés (Sex, Death and Dinner) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1717903207/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_TWWyBb9015734

And US:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FQDBGDR/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_37eyBb0C55DC4