So, it is now official – I am a published author!
This past Saturday I had my book launch for Hostage at the stunning Eagle Heights Mountain Resort on Mount Tamborine. Due to the forecast predicting a hot and sunny day, my amazing event coordinator, Delia, moved my event into the beautiful wedding pavilion, so I wouldn’t melt while I was signing books and talking to my guests – a turn of events which we were all so incredibly grateful for, because summer officially arrived on the weekend with a very hot and humid Saturday.
I’ve been completely overwhelmed with the supportive words, the encouragement and the belief in my writing abilities in the lead up to the official launch of Hostage, and Saturday was the pinnacle of that, with so much love and faith shown towards me and my book all day. Friends and family came from all over the south-east, as well as strangers venturing in to buy a copy of this brand-new book from an unknown author, and I’m so incredibly grateful towards everybody who showed up for me on the day and believed in me enough to buy a copy – many buying more than one!
My nerves kicked in sometime on Friday when it suddenly sank in that “tomorrow is the day that you’ll be exposed to everybody in the world”. Until that point the only people who had read my book were a small handful of people closest to me, and my editors at Ocean Reeve Publishing, but once 3pm on the Saturday arrived, there was no going back. Everybody would be able to read my book and I would be opened to judgement from one and all. That realisation arrived like a kick in the gut and for a fleeting moment I thought about changing my mind and keeping all the copies locked away in my house. However, I shook it off and went to the post office to send the pre-ordered copies to all those who had ordered but wouldn’t be able to join me at the launch. The nerves stuck around though and made sleep that night a little difficult, and I contemplated pulling one of my all-nighters, but I had to be at Helensvale at nine the next morning to get my make-up done, so I sang Soft Kitty in my head and eventually went to sleep.
On Saturday morning I was surprisingly calmer than I had been the previous afternoon, and chilled in the chair while my incredible, new favourite make-up artist turned me from a girl from Tamborine to that amazing new author from Tamborine. Rachel is truly a master and I highly recommend @porcelainface for any woman in the region needing amazing make-up created for their event!
Glenn and I were staying at the resort for the night since Saturday was also my birthday, so we arrived for our early check-in, got into our room and hid away in the air conditioning for a bit, while the incredible Delia was working her magic on our event room downstairs. When we joined her a little later to set up for the book launch the jittery stomach returned as time ticked quickly by and the hour drew closer and closer. My Dad, sister, brother-in-law, close friends who were also staying, and some of my nieces and nephews arrived early to help us with the set up and getting everything perfect, then a glance through the picture windows announced the arrival of the first guests, who were making their way towards our cute little pavilion off to the side of the restaurant’s outdoors dining area. That’s when those butterflies went into overdrive and started using my stomach as their personal Olympic-sized trampoline. This was it!
My family and friends started pouring through the door and I barely had time to greet everybody – so if I didn’t get to do more than say hello to you, I apologise and truly am thankful you joined me – and 3pm arrived. We waited a little longer for the last few people to come in, then my publisher, Ocean Reeve, got on the mike to welcome and thank everybody for coming. After saying some kind words (which can be heard in the video posted on my Facebook page), my partner Glenn got up and introduced me with some beautiful words of his own. Then, it was my turn to take the mike. Eek! I don’t know if the tremor in my voice was obvious to everyone listening, but I felt myself shaking all over. I had typed up what I wanted to say because I knew that with all eyes on me and the nerves in abundance, I’d go completely blank and giggle my way through my speech and forget everything I needed to say. On paper I’m marvellous with the words, but in a public speaking situation, I’m a toddler who’s just mastering the use of the English language but not quite the subtle nuances created when punctuation is added. Still, I powered through, didn’t stuff up too many times and managed to stay upright in my heels and dress, which let’s face it, is the real accomplishment here! Next, came the official releasing of my baby. My guests started to move to the sales table where my beautiful sister was taking care of the book sales, while I set up position at the signing table, expecting I’d be able to move around to chat to my guests and come back to the table to sign when needed. Umm, not so much! I pretty much didn’t leave that table for ages, and only managed to get some wine and food into me thanks to Glenn and Delia bringing my sustenance to keep me alive so I could keep signing.
As friends and family brought their brand-new copies of Hostage over for me to sign for them, I was showered with so many beautiful and kind words of congratulations and excitement that people were able to finally read my long-awaited debut novel. I can effortlessly smash out a 110,000-word novel, but this week I can’t even begin to put into words how incredibly uplifting all those words were to me. I’ve believed in my writing for a long time and my nearest and dearest have supported me and had faith in me, but to sit there and have friends, both those I see regularly and those I haven’t seen in many years, talk about how proud they were of me for achieving my dream, was so overwhelming – all in a good way of course! For me, unveiling my writing on the world was a mixture of a dream come true and facing all my insecurities and self-doubts – the main one being the abject terror that everyone would hate what I’d written and never want to read another word from my creative brain. Reassuringly, there hasn’t been any negative feedback so far, which is a huge relief. That noise outside today that you thought was wind? Yeah, nah, that’s me exhaling the bated breath I’ve been holding for the last six months as the glowing, loving and cheering words of delight have been coming in from loved ones who are working their way through Hostage, or have even finished it, as some have. So far, it seems, Hostage has been embraced with love and on those words arriving to my inbox, the persistent shaking of my hands that wouldn’t stop as I signed every copy sold on Saturday has finally subsided. Phew! Now I can go back to applying mascara sans panda bear eyes.
The few days that have passed since the unveiling on Saturday have almost felt anti-climactic. Since April I’ve been living and breathing primarily the preparations for releasing my first novel - editing, proofreading, marketing, website, blog, social media reach, marketing, marketing, marketing, well you get the drift. Now it’s out there and although the work involved for me is far from over, and in reality, has really only just begun, I feel somewhat lost now that the planning is over. I’m a fantastic planner! For now, I’m taking a few well-deserved easy days, where I’m doing a minimum of marketing and enjoying the empowering feeling of knowing I made it. I’m one of the few that follows through, as Ocean said on Saturday, and published my book. Then begins the hard work of building my audience, spreading the word about Hostage and me as a writer and selling these books sitting here in my studio. For those who have their copy and who have read Hostage and loved it, please help me by spreading the word. Jump onto my Facebook page and write a review about the book, leave a review on Kindle if you read the eBook, and tell your friends and colleagues about this fantastic new book you just read and that they too need to read, or their lives with be severely and desperately lacking. Drill into them the very real threat of FOMO and most importantly, spread those all important hashtags on social media - #caroljarvisjacksonauthor #hostagenovel #Hostage #MarkWahlbergtoplayRobbie (that last one is imperative for my plans involving a movie deal)!
Once again, thank you to everyone who’s been on this journey with me thus far – be it as a review reader, a fan on my social, a purchaser of Hostage or someone who has thrown encouraging and positive words my way – this wouldn’t have been possible without all your support and I look forward to having you all beside me as I continue working towards getting Hostage out there to the world and then…
Well, unless you received the chapter one sneak peak email the other night, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what’s next.
With Love & Gratitude,
Yes, that is a horse's head you're seeing there! My brother threatened to wear his latest costume on the day, so I dared him to go ahead. As you can see, he did!