Last night was the official launch of 'The Things We Thought We Knew' in my home town of Leicester and in the Waterstones I worked in over 15 years ago. Surreal is just one word to sum up the night. Surreal to be back in the same store I fantasised about being a writer in, surreal to have all the people I love in one room and surreal to be signing copies of my published novel for them.
As a writer, you quietly tap away at your keyboard, hoping one day all the words you've carefully strung together will be good enough to entertain and enthral readers in the future. You become attached to each character, knowing their habits and innermost thoughts. You plan their futures and fear for them as though they are real, solid people who live around the corner from you. Then you come to the time when you have to let them go. They stop being yours and become others. It's a scary but wonderful time and that time has now come. I hereby release 'The Things We Thought We Knew' into the world! I hope people will enjoy reading the book as much as I loved writing it and cherish those characters as though they are friends. I hope too that other writers will see that dreams can come true. You don't need lots of money and connections to be a writer but what you do need is determination and passion for writing that you can't quit. If the Asian dyslexic girl from the council estate can do it, so can you.
Thanks to everyone who could come to last night's launch (and Farhana Shaikh for the above photograph) as well as my agent James Wills, editor Lizzy and publicist Tom who made the trip up to see the novel off. Now for publication day which is tomorrow (eek!). Let the surreal days continue.