Wednesday, 5 September 2012

the big day!

When  I was normal, before I was a published author, I thought that publication day would go like this;

One would rise to birdsong, the sun would be shining, the sky would be blue and my hair would sit right.  I would sink into a hot bath full of bubbles and swan around doing bugger all as bluebirds flew round my head in a disneyesque manner. I would wear a silk dressing gown when I opened the door to receive the bouquets of flowers being sent from grateful publishers, agents, acolytes etc.
I would spend the day being generally marvellous, eating handmade chocolates and sipping champagne, then I'd get dressed, everything would fit, my feet would slip into my shoes as if they were made of glass. Then a car would come for me and I'd be driven into town, where my adoring fans would wave as they waited outside Waterstones for me. I would be witty, erudite and fantastic and I would not swear. The queue to buy books would be out the door and the supply would be plentiful. My pen would not run out and I would not get RSI in the right wrist. Somehow I would lose any medical qualification that I ever had and my handwriting would become legible. I would leave them begging for more, I'd get back into the chauffeur driven car and be taken home, there would be no roadworks outside ASDA. The house would be warm and cosy, the pitbull would not run away with her friend Mr Fox. There would be toast and Marmite and a big comfy bed.

The reality was out of bed at 6am, dog out, met Jack Shit (cross between jack russell and a shit zu) and his mum who was nice... but I was watching the clock. Then I met the obnoxious woman, who always looks at pitbull as though she is an illegal immigrant with ebola. The pitbull just gave her a dismissive look but we had to stand back from the path while she wandered past with her pedigree rat.
Cleaned the cat hair out the bath, etc dressed and packed bag as can't spend all day in good shoes and  BBC radio want me in the middle of Glasgow at half ten.  Had to drive car laden with wine, glasses, water and orange juice to Glasgow and park as close to Waterstones as I could. Then swing around the railings in Blytheswood Square as the linen cupboard in the hotel was too noisy for the recording. Alex Grey persuaded me to do secret things that I cannot blog about but it has a sherlock feeling about it.  Chris Brookmyre and I chatted about the Borrheid mafia.  Then went to M and S for a coffee, it was empty, peace, quiet then  woman with screaming child came in and sat at the table next to me... the kid screamed and screamed. I am allergic to children- when they come near me they come out in bruises.
 Then I was sick.
 Then I had to redo my makeup  but I had my trowel with me so that was OK.
Then to Waterstones for filmed interview with Daily Record ( Google Caro Ramsay chapter and verse 2012 if you want to see it), John is making me laugh, asks me the same question twice and we are trying to ignore the small crowd behind the camera. I was determined not to use the phrase 50 shades of grey, but I did.
 Then the faithful PA arrived, laden with bookmarks and receipts. James from Waterstones produced a trolley and we pushed it up and down Sauchiehall street laden with boxes of glasses and Pringles, two blondes trying to bounce it up and down the kerbs. Did we drop any ? Nope! I think we were a bit too conscious of the £90 deposit which I promised HWMBI could spend on chocolate raisins in B&M stores if he washed all the glasses. He didn’t really mind the washing, it was the taking them back to Silverburn on the Saturday that required Cofe Annan type of negotiation.
Back at Waterstones the PA and I hid in cupboard and got changed, before we went out and put out the 200 glasses, the wine, the juice, the Pringles. People started arriving ( no bus).. my pal arrived with tears in his eyes having got the all clear from nasty things just that day. So we had a hug, then he saw somebody else he knew and hugged him. Then joe bloggs appeared and he gave me a hug thinking that was the done thing. Still no bus.
The place was filling up... can we get started said the Waterstone’s guy. He looked a bit concerned when I told him that the bus was not here...yet.
Then they arrived, wandering down the stairs in a dazed and confused way, like slightly pissed Zombies  ( they had been singing on the bus) The bus was more than a bit late,  then somebody  got locked in the loo. I had put out reserved seats for a pals with mobility issues - I had printed them out on the back of a friends edit. Little old lady sits down, turns over  paper and reads the words ..".'F... off you cow,' she said." Much hilarity.
The BBC lady was interviewing folk, including my 82 year old friend who could easily have said...'Well I do like Caro's books but like books with much more sex in them.'
Then I started... so I finished as Magnus would say.  The Mensa folk turned up an hour late and got confused between the queue to buy books and get books signed, after the shop closed they were escorted away by an off duty cop in case they could not find their way to the street.
Sore hand, pen ran out, lost my good pen, couldn't spell any of the Gaelic names and Waterstone’s ran out of books.
The hotel did us proud in the end and the bus took the home team away, pissed and happy, singing Achy Breaky heart all the way back to the small fishing village on the Clyde.  I received two thank you cards... to be passed onto the bus driver.
I got home... sixteen trips in and out the car to empty it of all the detritus of the day, the various furry ones sat and watched me, heads moving from side to side like they were watching Murray V Federer. It was well past midnight by the time  I was finished.
Then I collapsed in a heap,  it was cold, there was no toast and no marmite.
Now I understand Michael Jackson.
He turned to drugs due to lack of Marmite!

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