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Light at the end of the Lockdown Tunnel

I hadn’t been in any shop since the book launch for Bombshells on 16th March 2020 so I never got to see my book baby make it on to the shelves in a real-life bookstore!

When lockdown restrictions eased, my first thought was to ‘visit’ my book! So I took a trip to Waterstones Brighton on 18th June 2020.

I truly wasn’t prepared for the feelings that hit me like.... a ton of ‘books’!

Going into the shop in complete fear, scared of a potentially lurking invisible droplet of the virus, I felt uncomfortable and frightened but most of all I felt compelled to find my book – to see the culmination of years of research and study, to see the reality of being an author, to take joy in the long-delayed moment.

I didn’t think anything could beat the feeling of being accepted by a publisher, and then... I didn’t think anything could beat the feeling of printing off the completed first draft of the manuscript in its entirety for the first time... but it was nothing compared to receiving the finished book from the publishers – how can you possibly top that? That was as good as it could get right?

This has been a journey of many ‘firsts’ and each 'first' has felt like the highest high that it’s possible to achieve (legally) until... I saw my book for the first time in a bookstore on the shelf and it utterly thunder clapped my emotions!

I’d entered the building surreptitiously, making sure I barely breathed and didn’t touch anything (thanks Covid19!) as I climbed the stairs with speed swiftly like a ninja, eyes darting in order to assess if I needed to avoid any oncoming persons... until I reached the top of the shop where the ‘Biography’ section is housed and there she was... directly in front of me, my book baby on display.

This is not the same as seeing your book online – it doesn’t even compare and it shocked me to the core emotionally.

Had it been normal circumstances I’d have delighted in telling everyone around me – customers and staff ‘I WROTE THIS – THIS IS MY BOOK’ – I’d have done a little jig of joy but the circumstances were eerie, the shop was near empty and the sparse few that were around were keeping their social distance, and no one to be seen on the top floor at all.

I could physically feel my emotions rising up within me until tipping out of my eyes in a stream of water, it was a joyous moment, and after I’d snapped a couple of photos – I swooped down the stairs and out of the shop as quickly as I’d entered.

Driving home, what had now become a deluge of tears continued, peppered with sobs of happiness but also sadness. My book baby had sat in a closed book shop for months and had not had the best start in life, Bombshells deserves to be seen, the women in the book deserve to be heard and their lives deserve to be remembered, as my first glance of Bombshells on the shelf will never be forgotten.

I'm focusing on the light at the end of the Lockdown tunnel.

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