Guests, cake, dress, photographer... just a few of the things I've been dreaming about for my perfect book launch for the past few years. Well, probably seven years since I first started writing The Choice, or Class A Cake as it originally started out as. It felt like a dream, maybe less realistic than getting married, but today I went to Norwich Waterstones to discuss my book launch. A real, honest to goodness book launch for my real, honest to goodness book!
Dream. Come. True.
What's a book without a launch? And by launch I mean party!
I've imagined all sorts of launches, small ones, fancy ones, formal ones where I do a talk, relaxed ones where I make a quick speech and then get on with talking to everyone I know and love.
The only thing I did know was I wanted it to be in Norwich Waterstones because I've been going to the book club for years, I've attended events with "real" authors and wished it was me and it's always felt like a second home.
I wasn't sure what Waterstones would expect for the launch but they've been lovely and said I can do what I want, so it's going to be relaxed and informal. With cake. Obviously. There has to be cake. If you don't know why, just take a look at the blurb...
'Eat the best, leave the rest! Remember Mother knows best.'
Sitting in Cafe W, during the meeting, this was my view...
Hopefully it's a sign of things to come and then this dream come true becomes an even bigger dream come true.
I love party planning!
I've organised parties for years - virtual ones when I was bed bound and real ones when I was well enough. I love coming up with different ideas and styling the room and food to match the theme. There's so many things in The Choice I can use to bring my imagined world to life. Luckily, I have a very talented friend who is going to help make props to transform the shop. It's going to be a night to remember and I can't wait!
I celebrated with my first ever bubble tea - iced lychee tea with strawberry bubbles. It was amazing, really refreshing and the bubbles were so unusual. I've wanted to try bubble tea for years so it was the perfect combination of two incredible experiences.
I keep having pinch me moments when I wonder if I'm daydreaming, if I'm really still bed bound and desperate to escape, wishing my life was different. Then I realise that no, this is my reality now and it's just so exciting!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.