'He's launching his new book on editing (for South Africans) at the Book Lounge tonight, why don't you come along,' she said.
Having never been to the Book Lounge and it being on my to-do list, especially since I have not yet got around to offering my book to booksellers, I agreed. The fact that Nancy Richards of SAFM fame was going to be the speaker, added to the appeal. I decided to take two copies of my book with me but haggled over what I was going to carry them in. I didn't want to use a Checkers bag and they're too big for my handbag. I settled on a brown carry bag from the Body Shop, thinking the logo might be a good ice-breaker. A Clementine body scrub (or Gel Douche Gommant, if I really wanted to impress) would be my response to admirers of my shopping taste!
Not my favourite place to be (the centre of town at night), Beryl and I arrived at about six. She pointed out the owner of the Book Lounge (Mervyn) and introduced me to John Linnegar. While chatting to John, I kept on looking in Mervyn's direction to see when he was not occupied so I could approach him about putting my book in his shop. After a while I gave up and went downstairs to partake in the very tasty snacks. Returning up stairs, I noticed he was unencumbered and approached him, glass in hand.
I introduced myself as the author of a book and could just see thoughts of 'oh no, not another one' flash through his mind. I also had the problem of what to do with the glass so I could get my masterpiece out of the Body Shop carrying bag. I placed the glass on the floor and took it out shakily knowing I was the peddler of wares and not liking the role at all.
'I was wondering if you could bbbb .. ' I started, feeling every bit like a ten-year-old.
'The launch is about to start,' he said dispassionately. My age had now dropped to an eight year old as I sheepishly replied, 'I didn't realise what time it is.'
After the speeches, I noticed him casting a second look at me when I was chatting to Nancy and Beryl. We'll laugh about this one day, I thought. One day, I'll be the author you'll be introducing and I'll use this incident as an example of how hard and humiliating the life of an author is. Needless to say, I returned home with both books still in the bag.
BUT, during the speeches, I sat next to Xavier who is a book distributor. So, maybe that is what was meant to happen. We exchanged emails and who knows what will come of that. Maybe he will be able to divest me of the horrible role of book-pedlar and I will never again have to say 'would you like to buy my book'!
My cell phone rang numerous times during the launch and I just knew it was news that my mother's elder sister had passed away. That was the case. At the age of 85 she'd had a full life and had shown incredible will to live for the past five years (at least) when she'd been going for dialysis three days a week. Rest in peace Aunty Joan, you will be sorely missed.