I left my phone turned on all night and close by just in case I didn't wake up, risking bleep annoyance. I needed to be ready for the courier who was delivering to Winter Solstice in Portumna Castle Harbour. I brought the phone with me as I walked the dogs, checking it every so often in case I'd accidentally put it to silent. I was only just back on board when it rang, the courier seeing if it was Castle or Connaught I was in. Joe, drinking tea in his bunk, got dressed in a hurry. Ten minutes later here it was:
It seemed completely appropriate that it was delivered to the boat. It's beautifully produced - my publishers New Island Books have done a fantastic job. And wouldn't you know, as the day went on the sky turned the same colour as the cover.
I would probably have been happy to just look at them all day, but my manager (aka Joe the Husband) was having none of that. Off he went to our neighbouring boat, barely awake, to offer them a copy. He came back still holding the book. I knew it. Nobody would want it anyway. How embarrassing. But no! I was to go back and sign it.
So here's a rare photo of the author (yes!) and Joe Trimble, the fellow skipper who bought book number one, aboard Joe's boat.
'Go and ask the people on that boat,' said Joe after that. 'And look, catch them before they leave.' This was what I was afraid of. I'm completely shite at selling anything. The idea of doing it cold left me not just cold but frozen.
'That's the whole point of having a publisher,' I said. 'I really can't do that. I can't I can't.' Fair play to Joe, he understood that.
But never mind. As the day went on, he accosted people (nicely) as they sat on their boats or he helped them tie up. I even sold a few all on my own. A few days later, between Portumna and Terryglass, 60 copies were gone and many people were reading the book. Some said they were rationing the pages, savouring it to the end. Some had it finished. Some came back for another copy for a friend.
Oh my oh my.
Should you want a copy for yourself you can buy it here. It's also available on Amazon.