Since I last checked in, I spent Christmas in Iceland, which was delightful. 2020 has begun in a way that I cannot believe. I keep consciously reminding myself to make the most of it, to enjoy it.
STAUNCH comes out in hardback and audiobook on 19th March. If you are considering reading it at any point, preordering it is a MASSIVE help to writers and I will be eternally grateful (thank you). It's available from all the usual places, but I like to buy books from Hive if ordering online.
I spent two days in a small room in Kilburn with a view of a graveyard, recording the audiobook. I was really nervous and thought reading my weird book out loud in its entirety might feel really uncomfortable. In fact, it was a very positive, fun and quite cathartic experience. This was mostly down to Jack Beattie, the producer, who was a joy and to whom I am very grateful. If the idea of hearing my actual voice for 6 hours and 43 minutes is remotely appealing, the audiobook is also available to preorder!
After that, I went straight to the Roundhouse (where, ridiculously, I had never actually set foot inside before - it's such a lovely venue). To see California's finest beach goths, The Growlers. That was really fun.
From there, I went pretty much straight to the BBC, where (in a real 'what even is this crazy wonderful life?' experience) I was a guest on Radio 4 Saturday Live! I was interviewed about STAUNCH by the lovely Reverend Richard Coles, who was just as delightful in person as you would hope. He is just as interested in people whether the microphones are on or not. I was a guest alongside some really cool people: Zawe Ashton, Amit Patel (and Kika, who made the whole experience extra fun) and a guy called Bob who lives off-grid in a converted bus and kept trying to sneak off to smoke. It was awesome. You can listen on catch-up here!
After that, I went home for a very long sleep. Having had an early morning at the BBC and a lot of coffee, I was home by lunchtime, which felt very surreal!
I ate vegan pancakes on pancake day (the most wonderful time of the year). I did yoga every single day in January.
I am now gearing up for publication time. I am having a launch party at The Feminist Bookshop (the place of dreams) on publication day. There will be (vegan) cake (and vegan gluten-free brownies).
I am still not drinking, almost nine months now. I am in phase 2 of my evening classes.
I have a piece in Red magazine this month (April), as part of their 'family' issue. A bit of another dream come true, really - it's such a lovely magazine with great writers.
With a bit of luck in the current climate, I will be going to Abu Dhabi next week. Then back just in time to launch my book into the world.
I'm booking future holidays, as I might feel depressed when the book is out there and that's it (but I'm not sure I will, this time). I think the key to happiness is having things to look forward to. I know I am very, very lucky to be able to live like this. I haven't always been able to and I appreciate it. As someone who is so focused on the future, these days I also make an effort just to be happy in a quiet moment. It's amazing how much the ordinary can delight me these days. Coffee, cats, a book, clean bedding, gratitude every morning. Again, it hasn't always been so. I am very, very lucky.