In 2014 I used capital letters a lot. Mainly for exciting things like this:
And then 2015 came along. Having been joyfully counting down the days to 26th February (when my debut launches), I suddenly got THE FEAR. Gone were the capital letters – and along came panicked little asterisks: *yikes, it’s actually happening* *crawls under desk and cringes at video Q&A post* *panic face – bloggers are reading the book* *storms into writing hut wishing she’d written Rooftoppers instead* etc. Sure, there are mega high levels of excitement still – thinking about having my book out in the wild and speaking to children about it makes me go SQUUUEEEEE – but with SQUUUEEEEE comes some pretty exhausting side effects:
- Insomnia (excitement levels prevent sleep initially then once asleep dreams are plagued by nightmares of turning up to the book launch naked)
- Obsession (constant book thoughts whirling inside the brain result in absent-minded mishaps like trying to pay for the Tesco shop with a Dreamsnatcher business card)
- Talking to oneself (mutterings about ancient bone murmurs whilst getting on the bus do nobody any favours)
- Saying YES to everything (‘Yes, I’d love to speak to 200 children about my book. On a stage. With a microphone.’ *PANIC* ‘Yes, I’ll speak on a panel. With actual intelligent people. Without notes.’ *WHAT EVEN IS A PANEL?*)
- Fast-paced social networking (start using the word ‘hashtag’ in real life conversations, find yourself accidentally tweeting Simon Cowell instead of Simon & Schuster)
- Thinking you ARE one of your characters (instead of thinking ‘Today I must put a wash on’ you’re all like: ‘Today I must catapult Skull in the head. Before breakfast.’)
Then there are the pre-publication school visits. I’ve already catapulted one child with a soft toy hedgehog and signed a book ‘Abi What’ because apparently I can’t talk and write at the same time. And last week one child asked me: ‘What will you do if your book burns?’ Comforting to know she’s thinking of torching it before it’s even landed on the shelves.
Catapult practice in Burma
So what keeps writers upbeat, excited and (semi-)sane during the weeks before their book launch? For me, it’s the WONDERFUL bloggers who, because of their passion for reading, took time out of their busy lives to read my book, tweet about it and blog about it. To these very special people who would have dominated my book acknowledgements had I got to know you all sooner (watch that space in the sequel…), thank you so very much. You’re the anti-dote to the exhausting side effects and your enthusiasm for books makes my crazy little heart sing.
Jim Dean at Ya Yeah Yeah
Darren Hartwell at BookZone
Michelle Toy at Tales of Yesterday
Clare Zinkin at Minerva Reads
Vivienne Dacosta at Serendipity Reviews
Sarah Watkins at And Then I Read A Book
Hannah Weyh at Luna’s Little Library
Anne-Marie at Child Led Chaos
Vincent Ripley at Enchanted Books
KM Lockwood at Serendipity Reviews
Raimy Greenland at Readaraptor
Carly Bennett at Writing in the Tub
Carly Chambers at Fiction Fascination
And now here’s a little bit about Abi’s wonderful debut, The Dreamsnatcher, which you can order here:
Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson.
Abi Elphinstone grew up in Scotland where she spent most of her childhood building dens, hiding in tree houses and running wild across highland glens. After being coaxed out of her tree house, she studied English at Bristol University and then worked as a teacher in Africa, Berkshire and London. THE DREAMSNATCHER is her debut novel and when she’s not writing about Moll and Gryff, she volunteers for Kidsco, does star jumps on the top of very high mountains, messes about on www.abielphinstone.com and runs her children’s books blog www.moontrug.com.
Want to catch her on social media?
Author website: www.abielphinstone.com