A Different Perspective

I’d make a pretty crap salesperson, I reckon. I could never be one of those window salesmen who won’t leave your house. Yeah, you know who you are, you people with your ill-fitting suits and dodgy shoes and your ‘I’ll ring my boss’ malarky. We had a bloke like that come to our house once and I thought I was going to have to kick him out on his arse because he wouldn’t leave. Anyway, I’d find it hard to sell something to someone if I thought they had even the tiniest doubt in their mind. And I’m not very good at asking for … well, for anything really. Which is why I now find myself getting flustered about stuff that really shouldn’t bother me.

Remember my post about going into Waterstones to see if they were going to stock my book? Well, I thought it would be a good idea to go down to my local library to check on the same thing. Why should that bother me? I don’t know, but it did. It felt like I was asking for something illicit. Like porn. Anyway, I went down there, took  deep breath and … well, it turns out they’ve already got a couple of copies on order, so that’s good. Great, in fact. And I know of a few people who are planning on using Dry Season for book clubs (that’s you, Jane!), which is fantstic because I really think people will find something to talk about. At least, I hope they do!

And now New writing North and the Creative Writing MA at the University of Northumbria have offered to host a launch event which came out of the blue, really. When I contacted Claire at New writing North about Dry Season, the most I hoped for was a mention in the newsletter, but she contacted Penny at the University and now there’s a launch event to look forward to. I am, of course, I’m shitting myself at the prospect of getting up in front of everyone, standing in the spotlight and exposing myself. Well, not literally exposing myself … unless it’ll make a difference? No? Oh, OK, better not then.

Anyway, as well as feeling a certain sense of trepidation, I also feel that I should get off my skinny butt and get out a bit more to support some of the NWN events instead of just reading about them, so this week I went to the launch of a poetry book, Galloping Stone, which is the result of a residency at the Medical Foundation for the Care of the Victims of Torture.  Now, I don’t really read a lot of poetry – I’m a fiction fan through and through –  but it was quite something to see people (from places such as Uganda and Sierra Leone) get up and read their work which was inspired by their terrible experiences. I can only imagine what they must have suffered and it puts a little perspective on things. We can’t help seeing things from the perspective of our own experiences, however broad or narrow they may be, but it does us good sometimes to see things from another side.

I have a very easy life in comparison with those people, and I’m thankful for it.


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