This, chaps, is the reality of having a book out there.
Oh Mimi, and teams of Zoetropers, you are going to love this!
So Borders set up a reading slot, get books in, publicise it all over the shop. They advertise on their website, and on 'What's On In Brighton' websites.
They are seriously supportive of local writers. (In stark contrast to both the local 'award winning' independent bookshops I visited, who told me very bluntly, to go away. Not interested in 'award winning' local writers. ... Unlike Ullapool Bookshop! My brain can't work this out.)
I drive to Brighton for the reading at Borders ....
And not ONE person turns up.
This from the manager of Borders. As much as I can remember. We nattered for an hour. He's writing a novel, and is extraordinary. Whatever he writes will be strong, intelligent, pushing boundaries.
"What's going on? I just read a story in here...Your writing is edgy, as much as Will Self's. What's going on? The cover might be wrong, have you thought of that? It looks 'girly'. When actually the writing is strong, raw, really cutting edge..."
So what are the thoughts going round in my head?
1) I've worked for four years for this.
2) I won prizes in top competitions. Thinking they meant something. They don't. Except to the tiny world of the literary writing community. Bridport and Fish Anthologies aren't even sold in the good bookshops....
3) I found a brilliant, well respected publisher.
4)) What more could I have done?
Answers please, in comments. I fully expect the following:
b)Be more beautiful.
c)Have an interesting and public sex life.
d)And don't worry about the writing.
Well. This is reality. Not how I'd make it up, but never mind. I'll just carry on working, writing. I dont have anything else I want to do.