(Photographs courtesy of Alex Breeze and Margaret Jenkins)
By now, all of you who pledged during the crowdfunding campaign should have a copy of The Continuity Girl, on your tablet or electronic reading device, or as a solid paperback book. For others, the book is available in all the usual online places, and in an increasing number of bookshops.
The official launch date was 9 March, and we celebrated it in Coventry with a party at the city's Big Comfy Bookshop at Fargo Village. There was cake, and wine, and beer, and a reading from the novel. The next day, I dropped into Kenilworth Books and Waterstone's in Leamington Spa to sign copies of the novel. It was an extraordinary thing for this debut novelist to see copies of my book on the shelves of bookshops I'd so often visited as a customer - a genuine dream come true.
From the following Monday, The Continuity Girl was 'Book of the Week' at South Kensington Books. Yesterday - a snowy St Patrick's Day - I went up to London to sign books in this incredibly picturesque shop, just a crow's hop away from the Natural History Museam, the favourite place in London of Jim Outhwaite, the Loch Ness invesitgator (and northern lad) who is The Continuity Girl's hero.
After a chat and a very welcome (because hot) cup of tea, I decided to take a trip to the East End, and to the location of a scene early in the novel, where Gemma and David watch Jonathan Glazer's extraordinary Scottish-set horror Art film, Under the Skin. This, along with the Electric in Birmingham, is my favourite cinema, an independent that looked to be thriving on this wintry afternoon. I'd love to watch a screening of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes there one day...
The first Amazon review of The Continuity Girl was posted last Sunday - just two days after the launch. I hope that, as the weeks pass, more of you will feel able to post your opinions on Amazon or Goodreads, or both. Honesty is always the best policy where reviews are concerned, so if you feel that those initial five star reviews don't reflect your own experience, please say so. All reviews are valuable when it comes to the way Amazon present the books that they stock to the public.
Thank you again for supporting The Continuity Girl, for taking it into print and into bookshops. Do look for your name in the list of patrons, and do believe that this is something that wouldn't have been possible without you.
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