It might sound a bit bonkers but I feel like I’ve manifested some big dreams lately. Dreams I’ve harboured for years.
Firstly, being offered a book deal and writing my debut book MUMBOSS-The Honest Mum’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving At Work and At Home was the BIGGEST DREAM OF ALL and one I’ve had since I was a scholarly 4 year old and first began keeping daily diaries (really), and then, seeing my book in the window of my local Waterstones in Windsor saw another BIG dream being met.
I’d often wander past (and of course pop into), Waterstones Windsor on Peascod Street in the city centre (the biggest in Berkshire), regularly buying fiction, self-help books, children’s story books and dreamy stationery, and I’ve never NOT lusted after their window display which saw the likes of heroes Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks smiling back at me. I dared to dream that one day my book too might just grace the window.
It’s vital to have those BIG dreams, whether you reach them or not. We all need goals to keep us truckin’ on.
The bigger, the better, I say.
Cutting short my book tour due to a big thyroid op which came out of the blue three months ago (I have more London dates scheduled this year and Northern cities next year if you fancy meeting me), my original party with Waterstones was due to take place closer to the book release in May, but as with everything life has a way of working itself out and the timing for this September soiree couldn’t have been better.
Now healthy and recovering well (I was incredibly ill during those early book dates and I don’t know how I found the strength to meet hundreds of people if I’m honest), this third, yes third book party came four months after publication date (I do love a parrttty) and was the perfect chance to meet local followers and friends and share my literary journey to date and the important lessons this year has taught me. It was also a chance to thank everyone for their unwavering support.
I feel I’ve grown hugely over these past few years (adversity will do that to a girl) and my goal as ever, is to share all that I know to encourage others. To endlessly give back.
…Friday night was simply magical: the decor, food, drink, flowers and most of all, the crowd and their luminous energy. The people make the party and those guys were awesome. The same applies to a wedding (and I had two of those to the same man-told you I love a celebration)!
The night was a perfect storm (I came out in a rash I was so nervous, beforehand-yes even I get nervous) but I felt at ease as soon as everyone started to arrive.
The alchemy of being enveloped by literary greats on the shelves at Waterstones who’ve inspired me throughout my career (and the many film books I devoured as a film student and later a director, reminding me of the full circle my career has taken) coupled with the presence of the gifted women (and three men) in the audience and the support of brands I love, made it an experience I shall never forget.
Attendees came as far as Leeds (thanks Mum!) and Milton Keynes. Wow.
To share it with my children as with all my blogging experiences takes it to another level. Everything I do, I do for them. As I said on the night, motherhood made me more ambitious and seeing the pride and joy in their faces continues to be a catalyst to pursuing my career goals.
Now please allow me a few Oscar style thank yous.
First off, a heartfelt thanks to manager of Waterstones Windsor, Rebecca, Sam and everyone at Waterstones for making the night happen, and for their dedication in championing new authors like myself, giving their time, energy, event space and window display to people like me. Those guys are the dream-makers and facilitators, and I will not forget their generosity. I hope to host more events with the team in the future. Thank you.
Huge thank yous too to the incredible YO! Sushi Windsor for their endless support and incredible food. They supplied vegan, (I’m vegan myself), vegetarian and fish-based sushi for all guests at the party and I’d like to give a big shout out to Manager Kamil and Assistant Manager Richard for their kindness and endless positivity and passion for both food and supporting creatives. The world needs more people like those chaps. Truly.
Massive thanks too to the utterly wonderful Thomson and Scott for their vegan Skinny Prosecco which kept us all in good spirits (literally), Bloom and Wild for their bold and beautiful bouquets that screamed passion and love (what it takes to write a book) and Rain and Rose for the most epic personalised balloons I’ve ever seen.
Last but not least, it was an absolute joy to have Hester Grainger, PR, freelancer writer and founder of Mumala Club, interview and host a Q & A with me on the night. I met Hester at a press lunch I was hosting for Epson recently and instantly fell for her vibrant energy and brilliant mind (AAAND our mutual love of statement heels) making her the perfect person to ask to host the evening with me! And did we laugh? A lot. In fact, that’s what I remember most about the night, so much laughter. Thank you Hester for bringing your beautiful light to the night (and for recommending Rain and Rose too). You are are shining star!
Thank you too to everyone who made the trip, brought the kids or booked a babysitter, asked thought-provoking questions and made my night!
My Mum commented later that there was, ‘Just so much love in the room’, and there really was.
There’s nothing more powerful or empowering than a room full of women wanting to support one another -there were fellow authors, journalists, directors, photographers, parenting experts, business owners, accountants, yoga instructors, bloggers and beauty experts in attendance- and I felt touched to be privy to everyone’s own personal stories during the book signing, hearing both the challenges along with the triumphs.
I left the store at 10pm floating on air, buoyed up from the love and sisterliness I witnessed in Waterstones. I’ve bottled it up in my memory bank so I can retrieve it when self-doubt hits.
Many of you thanked me on the night for helping you to believe in yourself, overcome your fears and chase your dreams, but it’s YOU who has helped me. Thank you x
As an extra thank you I’m giving away 3 signed copies of my bestselling book MUMBOSS. The book has 100% 5 star reviews on Amazon, was a #1 bestselling book in 4 categories there and was listed in the Independent as in the top 10 business books written by women.
No cash alternative.
If you do not reply to the notification email that you’ve won within 7 days, a new random winner will be selected.