Friday 4 September 2020

Making the Most of a Windswept Book Launch

It was the August Bank Holiday weekend in the coastal town of Hornsea. After the long Covid-19 lockdown the town was open for business, visitors were streaming in, and Saturday was the date of the Artists’ Fair in the garden behind The Townhouse gift shop. 

It was also the launch for Book 2 in my Yorkshire historical series, The Story of Reighton: New Arrivals. What could possibly go wrong?

As can be seen from the photograph below there is no accounting for the British weather. Sun-tops were out; big jumpers and wet weather gear was in. 

I was sharing an open-sided tent with a photographer and a young couple selling slate and glass art. Before we’d officially started, the photographer and I each had to grasp a tent pole to stop them flying out of their sockets in the strong gusts of wind. This was a recipe for disaster. Guy-ropes were being shaken free of their pins. And then it started raining, the spray covering our wares.

Desperate measures were needed. So, trying not to stand on any flowers in the nearby border, I climbed through the shrubs, guy-ropes in hand, to find something a little more secure to fasten them to.  A nearby tree seemed sturdy enough, but throughout the afternoon I still kept a hand on a shuddering tent pole, just in case, and only dare let go to sign copies of my novel.

Me in red making the most of it

Did the weather keep people away? To my astonishment, no. And much to my surprise I sold 20 copies. The day was well worth the effort and it was great to meet and chat with readers.

Joy Stonehouse

Book 1: Witch-bottles and Windlestraws (A Story of Reighton, Yorkshire 1703 to 1709)
Book 2: New Arrivals in Reighton (A Story of Reighton, Yorkshire 1709 to 1714)

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