I Feel Giddy, World.
Us Bright Young Things are totally in love with you. You lovely people who have bought our books, come to our launches, written nice words about us, made us feel a bit dizzy and giddy like rockstars on too much champagne, or novocaine or something. There now follows lots of thank you type stuff, and some other words. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
THANK YOU Cardiff, and Waterstone’s and Bert and the other Waterstone’s The Hayes staff, and Deborah Kay Davies and all you beautiful friends for coming, and the person who made my spotty tights; I love them. And my new boots for arriving, just in time. ALSO Thanks Wil for flying over from Australia. It was ace to meet you, and all those great stories you had to tell about dark matter, and other concepts to explode our tired brains! There was much fawning by me over my book, and also blushing, the cover IS quite rude, and very shiny. I also had to decide how best to sign my name, I don’t have the best of autographs, apologies people.
THANK YOU Swansea. Thank you Uplands Bookshop for making us mugs of tea, and giving us biscuits, and letting us graffiti in your books with pens, and putting our books in the shop window. Thank you Waterstone’s Oxford Street — for employing me once, for still employing Susan who gave us more caffeine and let us put our books in the Booker Prize display for cheap thrills. Sorry dear silver haired women for swearing a little bit loudly when we were reading from our books.
THANK YOU Swansea. AGAIN. For the best book launch ever. I really didn’t expect so many of you to turn up to our FANTASTIC launch. But you did. Over a hundred of you. On a Friday night. We think you are great! In return there was some wine. There were goody bags. We read bits of our books. We answered questions about literary characters we’d be, books that had changed our lives, who we’d kill in our own books, that sort of thing. I hiked my dress up a lot. It was new, I didn’t realise it would do that. It wasn’t an intentional part of the show. Anyway the whole magic show was filmed by Spill Media. Hurrah! So we can play it to our grand kids and say, ‘yeah, I wrote a book, once,’ and our eyes will mist over and they’ll …change the channel, probably. THANK YOU Spill Media. THANK YOU Jo and Al at the Dylan Thomas Centre for being so ace.THANK YOU Rhys for the amazing cake, also. We like cake, and gifts in general. We also like dancing and VIP areas, so we lucked out on Friday, we really did.
The afterparty went on late. It finished on Monday morning for me. Then I had to bomb back to reality, do normal things like wash clothes, and get myself to a solo, none BYT gig in Carmarthen. I slummed it for the first gig of the past week. I wore jeans. Shocking I know, but I felt terrible. The long weekend had taken it’s toll and I couldn’t find my sunnies. I bought recovery milkshake and dropped by the Dylan Thomas Centre to pick up my 10 author copies of my book, and buy some at an author rate to sell at my gigs. I gratefully accepted a lift to the train station from our lovely Parthian editor Lucy. I stood at the station with a cardboard box full of books and thought ah, ‘this is it. The glamour of being a real writer.’ I waited for half an hour for the delayed train to arrive. I stood in the sardine-packed two carriage train with no windows that actually opened, holding my box of books smiling, serene. ‘This is the life,’ I thought. I was spat out of the train sweaty and nauseous at Carmarthen. ‘Brilliant,’ I exhaled dreamily. I carried my box of books up the big hill. I got to the pub I was reading in that night. Nobody was there except for a bar man and a corner of sloshed locals. I thought, ‘How wonderful, this was worth that pleasant journey. I am dead happy to be here. They look like they want me to read them poems and stories forever and ever. They do.’ I put the box down and ordered a drink. The room cheered…
So that was Poems & Pints in Carmarthen. No, actually, it was a wonderful evening in the end. I drank some juice and felt better. Had a pint, felt better again. A nice cosy crowd arrived. I bookended each set of the open mics with readings. A couple of people even bought my book — thanks Kevin and Bevin etc. I got the last train, got home and slept very, very well.
I’ve since had three whole days off from the limelight and I’m now preparing to join the other BYTs to do it all over again. We are launching the books in Bangor tomorrow, then I am performing poems at Fair Play Festival from 3pm Saturday, then I’m jumping on a bus to London ready for our BYT Brick Lane launch on Sunday. EXCITEMENT! See some of you there.
Oh, and I wrote a Mslexia blog about the Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist. FIVE WOMEN! No, I’m not one of them.
Hope to see you over the weekend. Hope you are loving the books. etc.
Susie (and the BYTs) x