This is it! Tonight is my book launch party for my debut novel, London Belongs to Me. All the prep—the hunt for a funky venue, the search for decorations and gift bag goodies, creating themed playlists, the consultations about food (Mmmm-mini fish and chips!)—reminds me of organizing my wedding. All the feelings I’m experiencing do, too. I’m excited, happy, nervous … I hope people come! I hope people love my book.
Tonight is the culmination of so many dreams, hopes, fears, and hard work. Since I was a kid, I have wanted to write a book. School, jobs, life—all got in the way and I never made time to give it a go, but the idea of sitting down and creating a story that I would share with others, never faded. I talked about doing it. My mum always said I should do it. But I never did.
Until last year. And once I started, I couldn’t stop. The result? London Belongs to Me, a story that I’ve always wanted to read, and I hope you do, too.
Writing is the ultimate solitary exercise. It’s just you and your computer, notebook, or pen and paper. But I didn’t take this adventure on my own. So many wonderful people encouraged, assisted, and guided me. I’m forever grateful to each and every person mentioned in my novel’s acknowledgements for helping me reach where I am today. Some nagged me, some quietly checked in from time to time, while others shared their own experiences, trials, and successes, feeding my imagination. Their kind words made me think, ‘If they took a chance, I should, too.’ If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Hey guys, I did try, and I’m so happy that I did.
London Belongs to Me is dedicated to one special person, my mum. She was my everything. Mum encouraged my sister and I daily. As small kids, she refused to buy us colouring books, so we would scribble and be creative (to this day, my sister, Heather, is an amazing artist, just like our mum). She applauded my early attempts at drawing cartoons, and when I was an adult, read my hockey newsletters, and online and magazine lifestyle articles over and over again. She was my biggest fan.
A few years ago, Mum passed away. To say that I miss her everyday is a huge understatement. I know that she would have been tickled by the inclusion of family names, and places of familial importance inside London Belongs to Me’s pages. But more than anything, I hope that I have made her proud. I’ll keep trying, Mum!
Tonight, friends and family will gather in Toronto to toast London Belongs to Me. We’ll share drinks, pass trays of appetizers, and dig into yummy ice cream tubs and cookies (I think Alex Sinclair, my novel’s protagonist would approve of my dessert selection). I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on my book. I can’t wait to hear yours, too! Please don’t be a stranger. Share your shelfie pix with me on Instagram and Twitter (#LBTM), drop me a message via social media, my author’s FB page, or through this website’s contact form, and let me know your thoughts on London Belongs to Me. This book is for you. Enjoy the journey.
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