On the 31st January, 2023, my seventh book, Waiting For Our Rainbow, was released. It was inspired by Cornwall's friendly invasion of American troops during 1942 to 1944, a time in Cornwall's history when thousands of soldiers arrived in the county to prepare for D Day.
So what do authors do on their book's Publication Day? Well that depends on many things and varies from writer to writer.
Ultimately, the date a book is released is the publisher's decision as they have to plan their year in advance so they can organise the preparation, publication and promotion of every book they release. Although I wasn't technically 'working' (unlike some authors who have to hold down a day job while they pursue a career in writing), I was by no means free. My publication date clashed with the day I babysat my grandchildren (both under the age of three). This is going to be fun, I thought, when I realised the dates clashed.
Of course, technology helps in some instances. Announcements on Twitter etc can be scheduled, but the joy of a release date is being able to interact with readers and friends on the day, in real time, either on social media or in real life. This wasn't possible for the release date of Waiting For Our Rainbow. Replies to messages on social media were hurriedly written as I was changing a nappy with one foot and building a Duplo tower with the other (this is a slight exaggeration but at times it felt like that!). There was no book launch party or champagne popping... just hurriedly eaten biscuits and gulps of coffee. This is the reality of a writer's life - all is not always as it seems. My situation is no different to many jobs out there - there is the public face and then there is the reality behind the curtain and rarely do the two match 100%.
However, having said all that, I did have a great day as I love spending time with my grandchildren. They are a joy, put everything in perspective and make me realise how very lucky I am to have this time with them. The week before I'd told another child who was visiting me that I'd written seven books. She appeared genuinely amazed, then confidently told me she'd written all the Gloria Cook books displayed on my shelf. No mean feat considering she's only two! Maybe my books have inspired her to be a writer - or at least a budding plagiariser!
I returned home from my babysitting duties exhausted, happy and began responding to the build-up of messages I wasn't able to reply to earlier. Reviews of the ARC (advance review copy) began arriving by the evening. Their positivity was truly humbling. I may not have had a London book launch or mulitple television interviews, but I spent it with the people who mean the most to me. At least my WW2 romance was out in the big wide world now, thanks to my publisher who believes in me and my writing.
There will be plenty of other days to enjoy the release of Waiting For Our Rainbow in the future. The good things in life don't have to be celebrated just once or in a certain prescribed way. They can be appreciated and celebrated often. At least we have that choice - many who died during WW2 are not so fortunate.
Waiting For Our Rainbow Book Trailer