As I walked into Wenlock Books I was greeted with smiling faces from friends and family eagerly waiting to buy a copy of my book. My lovely friend Anne had arrived early to help me set up and had been working hard baking delicious cup cakes to celebrate my launch. As I walked upstairs, I looked up at the old beams and I could smell the welcoming scent of the bookshop. The excitement I felt inside was infectious as more of my friends arrived. There were also new faces who were eager to meet me and buy a signed copy of my book. As I began to welcome everyone I could feel the happiness bouncing around the room. There were hugs from strangers and from former school pupils I had once taught. Then all of a sudden a familiar face tapped me on the shoulder and she had the most beautiful smile. I knew straight away that it was Eliza who I had taught at Morville School, a few years ago. Eliza, was Douglas’s sister, also a former pupil at the School. I was overwhelmed that the star of my story, Douglas was at the launch of my book! Douglas was very grown up and I explained the story behind my children’s book. Mr and Mrs Kennedy, Douglas’s parents were there too and it was so special that they had heard about the book launch and made sure that they would not miss the event! I signed copies of my book and shared my story of how I came to publish my rhyming tale. Children and adults began to enjoy a drink and eat the magic star themed cupcakes to celebrate!
The book shop was filled with books old and new and was very cosy with it’s little nooks and secret corners. The shop was now packed out with children, parents, grand parents, friends and new faces. I asked all the children to come and sit down on the carpet so that I could begin sharing my story. First I described how the idea for my story had come about. I explained how Morville School had been in threat of closure nearly 10 years ago and that it had been a very worrying time. It had given me an idea back then for a story. Then one day at school I heard a colleague asking a child to ‘pick up those trousers’ after a PE lesson. That person, of course was Douglas! I introduced my Douglas doll to everyone and he was looked after very well by the children. As I began to read, there were children sitting in anticipation and listening so carefully. I watched their faces change as they learnt about Douglas and how his trousers came to be magical! I could see their faces light up and they smiled and giggled with delight. Little ones moved around enjoying their cakes and older children sat very still and listened intently. As I read I felt very privileged to be able to share my story with so many children of different ages. When I came to the end everyone cheered and clapped. I felt incredible; this had been my ambition from such a young age.
I began signing more copies and chatted to new friends. I met lovely children who told me how much they enjoyed my story. I met a lovely lady from Morville Parents and Teachers Association, she bought a book and I signed it personally to Morville School with a special message. It was a wonderful feeling that my story would be read by children at the school, where my rhyming story had originated!
So this is the story of my first book launch, I loved every minute and this a milestone that I will never forget. Now that I have published my story, I realise the drive and ambition I have to publish many more of my stories and continue to write to inspire children’s imaginations and to promote a love for reading and writing.