Child Taken is now officially on the market.

I’ve heard from at least one person who said they got their copy on Wednesday; twenty-four hours ahead of the launch event – how very Amazon!

The event, after all the anxiety, went perfectly. At six o’clock I studied an empty room with a hundred and twenty chairs and thought ‘s**t, we’ll never fill these’. I thought the same at twenty past and twenty to seven although by then a steady stream of people had arrived.

Then at seven, the start time, there was a deluge of people and every seat was full with a few having to budge in at the back on a bench by the door. I looked out at a lot of expectant eye and thought ‘s**t, we filled them!’

But after the Lord Mayor of Nottingham warmed up the crowd with an unrehearsed but very entertaining speech, we officially launched the book and Alex Marsh, super cool author of humour (which frankly scares the life out of me) got down to some serious questioning for half an hour and then the audience waded in with questions of their own.

I think I did them justice.

One hour of signing books (really, an hour! I think I know what half of the East and West Midlands are getting for Christmas this year anyway) and severe cramp in my hand later, it was off to 200 Degrees for an after party, more signings (thanks Mom and Dad for stockpiling for friends) and a glass or two of bubbly.

I tried (and failed miserably) to get to talk to everyone but I did my best under the circumstances. It was just like a wedding except this time the in-laws didn’t eat all the cake while we were on honeymoon!

All that was left as I got home at midnight was to respond to the two million social media messages I’d received since mid-afternoon and try to sleep but fail as my head was spinning with it all.

But I’m a published author now. And I didn’t have to pay for my coffee this morning so I’m already cashing in on my ‘celebrity’ status.

Do I feel different today?

There are some significant differences of course. For a start, today I can go onto Amazon and actually buy a book that I’ve written. Not just pre-order. Buy it. And Amazon will send it to me in the post (or if I move to somewhere in Cambridgeshire, maybe even by drone). I won’t of course. Buy it, I mean, not move to Cambridgeshire although I probably won’t do that either.

But I could buy it. I’ve got something in the world that says I was definitely here. If mankind ends up on Mars in the future, maybe someone will take a copy of Child Taken there with them. That would be pretty cool. And it could happen!

And that is the perfect way to sign off on this blog series; except of course it isn’t. Because one of the questions I got last night, and one that has been asked by reviewers and in Q&A’s this past fortnight, was ‘what are you going to write next?’

I was prepared for the question. And although Child Taken would be a nice legacy and save me a hell of a lot of time; having a book in the Mars Library is twenty odd years away and the thing about calling yourself an author is that you are supposed to write books. Note the plural.

So that’s what I’m going to do. The story is in place in my head, I’ve got the chapter-by-chapter structure and I’m good to go. It’s a bit darker than the first book but fans of Child Taken will be pleased to know that I’m sticking to multiple character viewpoints, short chapters and placing very difficult decisions in front of very ordinary folk,

I know from Child Taken how high the bar needs to be for the next book and personally, I won’t be happy unless the next one’s better than it.

And I’ve run out of excuses. The publicity for Child Taken rolls on but I have to get on with the next book now.

It’s time to get back on the laptop.

 

Coming Soon…Writing About Writing: The Author Interviews

My next blog will feature a series of interviews with my new (and old) friends in the literary world. I’m going to find out, as a new author, what their experience was and how it differs. Plus I’m going to ask the questions they won’t get in a typical interview.

Darren Young’s debut novel, Child Taken, is available to order at Amazon. It is released by Red Door Publishing on 18 May 2017

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