Book Launch - Marbles (and the end of my university degree)



As mentioned in a few of my previous posts, I was given the opportunity to write and publish a book for university this term. And yes, when I say publish I do mean that it is a real life, physical, purchasable book! All purchase information will be detailed below.

I’ve written a book that comprises three of my favourite stories that I've written for university - Marbles, Silence and The Girl She Knew. The first one is the one I launched for my university module. It follows the story of a girl called Jasmine, exploring her childhood as it becomes stained by the effects of her parent’s divorce. The second is a story about a young couple who are separated by one of them going missing and is written as a series of emails to the missing person. The final story is a slightly longer piece about a friendship between two women - Melanie and Jenna.

As a whole, it's a book that has lots of little personal bits woven into it. Marbles is inspired by parts of my life that I talk about often in a jokey way, but that I decided to write a serious story about because at the end of the day they are serious things and do have serious effects on many people, not just me. My favourite story is Silence because it's so different to anything I've ever written before, as it is literally formatted in emails and I absolutely love it.

Yesterday I attended a book launch for Marbles on campus. It was possibly one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life, as I haven't had to perform anything since my A-Level music days. My hands would always shake whenever I tried to play the piano and even when I sang, I would feel myself tensing up and rushing to get to the end of the song. For the launch, I had to give a five minute reading of the book to an audience of friends and teachers. Worst of all, my seminar leader was right beside me marking my performance.

The reading wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Once I was up there I started to really enjoy everything. Unfortunately, the room I launched the book in was really small and my friends weren't able to get photographs of me actually giving the reading, because there were too many people blocking their view. However, I did get some pictures afterwards to commemorate the experience.

Launching this book was a huge moment in terms of my writing career. I can now say that I'm a published author, with a book available for purchase to anyone who wants it. And even if no one wants it I really don't care because it's such a huge achievement and just one of those surreal moments that you never think will really happen.

But this launch was also a colossal moment for me because it marked the end of my degree. As of today, I no longer have any assignments due or any pieces of work to be handed in. I am completely finished with university for the rest of my life. Which is not only the closing of one door, but is really the opening of a very big one into my adult life. My five most important years of study (A-Levels and then my degree) are now over and in the next five years I'll have a full time job, be living somewhere else and potentially be thinking about starting another chapter in my life too.

I've had such an amazing time at university these past few years. I always expected it to be full of drunk people that I would never get along with, sitting alone in my room reading books and trying to imagine the rest of the world disintegrating around me. There have been nights when it's been exactly like that, but there have also been nights where it hasn't. I've shared experiences with people from all over the country. I've had new experiences with amazing people - a handful of whom have turned out to be the exact opposite of what I expected them to be, others who have turned into what I know will be some of my best friends for life.

I'm so proud of myself for actually writing this book and finding the courage to read it out in front of such a daunting sea of people. The book is available for sale here. Unfortunately I've noticed two print errors in the book, but thankfully they are both very minor. To change these, I have to upload a new copy of the book and then go through the long process of listing it for sale. It also means that the ISBN numbers will keep changing, which I don't want. I also have to repurchase a copy (I already have eight!) within fifteen days, otherwise it expires from the bookshop. This is something that Blurb need to look into changing, it's not worth paying an extra £10 to change a paragraphing issue and a deleted word! Blurb, if you read this - please sort this out! Thankfully the errors do not effect the stories themselves.

If you use the code WELCOME20/sign up to their newsletter to receive a 20% off code to use at checkout, then your order should come to £8.71 including shipping - if you're wondering how much goes to me directly, I make a £4 profit from each sale which is much appreciated! Thank you to everyone who has helped with this book, you already know who you are!