We walk into the HarperCollins offices. I haven’t been here since January last year when I came to meet my new team a few weeks after signing my first paperback book deal. So much has happened since then, and it feels eerily nostalgic to be back again. I need to
pee so Alice shows me where the loos are and says she’ll be back soon, she’s off to find the others. When she says I’ll be back I assume she means she’ll meet me back outside the toilet but she meant she’d meet me back in the lounge (which makes infinitely more sense than bringing the rest of the team to the toilet.) But I misunderstand her so I pee and then stand outside the toilet.
Still standing outside the toilet. Um, where’s Alice? I’ve checked my social media, messaged my hubby in Perth to check in on him and the kids, answered an email and she’s still not here. I call her. She comes. She was thinking I must have had a REALLY bad tummy
ache to have spent that long in the toilet. The rest of the team come to meet us in the lounge too. Lots of squealing ensues. I haven’t seen these women for ages and I love them!
Our CEO James comes out of his office on account of all the squealing going on.
My HCP team including my original publisher Anna Valdinger, my current publisher, Mary Rennie, my marketing and promotions manager, Sarah Barrett, along with Alice and I pile into cabs and head to a delicious Middle Eastern restaurant for lunch to toast
the publication of Beautiful Messy Love, which is partly set in a Middle Eastern restaurant. The girls let me choose what we’ll all share for lunch and we enjoy an absolutely delicious meal. For a group of women connected by books, we spend lunch discussing TV shows! We have the entire restaurant to ourselves which is a real treat. I wish I could freeze time and stay with them for the whole day but we have booksellers to visit and the others need to get back to the office to work.
back to the office to work.
(With my publishing team from left to right – Mary Rennie, Sarah Barrett, Alice Wood and Anna Valdinger.)
Alice and I hop from Uber to Uber and taxi to taxi all over Sydney visiting independent bookshops for the afternoon. In each bookshop
I take photos of the displays of Beautiful Messy Love, sign stock and pose for photos with the book for the booksellers to upload on their social media sites. I get a real kick out of meeting the people who sell my books. It’s such an important part of the process,
to build up these relationships with the people who have a great deal of influence over readers but unfortunately because we have lots of stores to visit and don’t have loads of time, it’s a rushed in -and-out- as-soon-as-you-can scenario in each shop so that we can get them all done. On the drive between every bookseller, Alice and I barely speak, we’re both furiously trying to stay on top of our communications with people. I have text messages, Facebook messages and emails coming out of my ears!