Please forgive me for yet another self indulgent blog promoting my book but in the week that I actually launched the project at a fantastic night of readings I thought you might want to hear all about it. So if you don’t, please come back next week. But for those of you who are interested, I’d been waiting nine years for this moment so I’m going to make it last! Normally I meet and interview celebrities and I never thought that one day I would be the subject of so many newsworthy stories. The reception of my book has been absolutely amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough.
As someone who loves television, you may be astonished to hear how few times I have actually been on it. An appearance in the front row of the 2007 Children In Need appeal and a fleeting shot on the BBC’s Holiday programme is the full extent of my brush with television. Yet last Friday I was overwhelmed when ITV Meridian news’ Richard Jones arrived on my doorstep ready to create a story about how I came to write my book. To think that I would actually be an item on Meridian Tonight was absolutely unbelievable and I just couldn’t believe my luck. Watching Richard and cameraman Mick arranging the environment to get the best out of the story was a sight to behold. It’s only when you wittiness this firsthand that you realise and appreciate the true art of broadcasting. A cameraman is required to consider all aspects which may affect the execution of the story including natural light, subtle advertising and the desire to capture everything as naturally as possible.
Embracing the obvious difficulties of me speaking on film, both Richard and Mick felt that it was important for viewers to hear my voice. My PA James is brilliant at understanding my speech so it was agreed that I would start saying a sentence and then it would gradually become James’s voice. I was conscious to attempt to steer the story away from the usual “against all odds” story because this is definitely not what the book is about. It’s about a man attempting to live in mainstream society in spite of the challenges he faces. This was something that I felt Richard and Mick captured perfectly and they very quickly understood what the tone of the piece needed to be. Such a rewarding experience encouraged me to feel extremely positive about the launch of the book and I just couldn’t wait for Tuesday! When I saw the Meridian Tonight story I could hardly believe my eyes and ears…I was on TV!
Me and my friends and family watched this report on a giant projector in the seminar room of the Quay Arts Centre in Newport Isle Of Wight where I was hosting the official launch event. Slightly bizarre and almost impossible to believe that I was actually on TV but it was so special to share this experience with my nearest and dearest. As soon as the report was over, it was all hands to the deck in a bid to prepare for the big launch. This event had been a long time in the planning, almost two years to be exact. Yet as a result of subsequent unexpected drafts and redrafts, it kept getting pushed back so it was great to realise that it was finally here. So all I had to do was sit back and watch the book being launched!
Selecting excerpts for people to read as part of the launch night was something that I found extremely difficult. I really wanted to match the excerpts up with the people who were reading them but soon realised that by the chronological nature of the book this would not be possible. So I decided to mix them up and have certain people reading about each other. Eventually the launch consisted of seven excerpts concluding with a poem which I wrote whilst at university. It was so rewarding just to sit back and listen to these excerpts being read out by some of the people I hold most dearly. This was presided over perfectly by my former university tutor and radio extraordinaire Jo Tyler who was able to gauge the occasion finding the balance between informality and professionalism…without a doubt the perfect candidate to MC this special event and she didn’t let me down!
Never before have I had such a satisfying feeling about a piece of work and Tuesday night was able to cement this for me. Finally I am able to call myself an author which is possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had and would encourage anyone to write their own book. The process of writing was very rewarding but seeing it being published was even better. Now I’m not an amateur writer, I’m an author and that just feels amazing!
If you want to buy a copy of Adapted it’s available on Amazon
I’ll also be doing a book signing at the Newport IOW branch of Waterstones on Tuesday 2nd October from 11am to 1pm. I’m also delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to be a guest speaker at this year’s IOW Literary Festival on Thursday 11th October from 4:15 pm at Ward Avenue, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8AZ
(more information here). So if you want to know more about the book please come along and you never know you might even want to buy a copy!
It seems somewhat ironic that a book about my greatest achievements in life could somehow become itself just that. Yet with the reception it has already received, I think Adapted will go some way to transforming me from a guy who talks to celebrities to a celebrated writer and author and for that I am very proud.