After a great night in London last week, on a very rainy Tuesday evening this week, I celebrated my book launch with family and friends here in my home town of Stoke-on-Trent. It was something I always planned on doing to say thank you to everyone who had been with me on the long journey to publication. There were about sixty people in all and it was held at The Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, quite close to where some of the scenes take place in TAUNTING THE DEAD.
The creator of the Spitfire plane, Reginald Mitchell, hailed from Stoke-on-Trent. The Spitfire played a crucial part in the Battle of Britain, and in helping the allies win the Second World War. In 1969, the city of Stoke-on-Trent was gifted one of the last remaining Spitfires as a memorial. I can still remember, as a child, passing the glass house that it used to sit in, and staring at it in awe. It is now housed in the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley, for people to visit. Earlier this year, I attended Operation Spitfire, a fundraising dinner to help raise money for its upkeep, and to build a new, more fitting way to exhibit it for future generations, something that would keep its memories and significance alive.
It also seemed a fitting place to hold my book launch because the fictional estate that I write about in The Estate Series is named after Reginald Mitchell – The Mitchell Estate. In the new book I’m writing now, I’ve named a fictional school Reginald High.
It was fantastic to see everyone and the evening had a great buzz about it. I was introduced by my agent, Madeleine Milburn, and then I did a question and answer session with the deputy editor of The Sentinel, Martin Tideswell, who did a tremendous job. There were lots of people I knew locally, some authors who had travelled, and twitter friends too. And of course there was wine, nibbles and… crime cupcakes, talked about by everyone, devoured by everyone and tweeted out everywhere when I added a photo online. They were made by Cupcake Yourself.
My local newspaper, The Sentinel, who I am proud to write a monthly column for, covered the event and did me proud, producing an article and a three minutes video of the evening that I will treasure forever and says more than my words can ever say.
It also give me great pleasure to say that as this post goes out, WATCHING OVER YOU is the number one bestselling psychological thriller in both the UK and US Kindle charts.