Well, it’s certainly been a busy couple of months.
On July 3, Casting Off went on general release and shot straight to the number one slot on Amazon for sailing books. It was also number 17 for travel writing and #632 overall on Amazon – out of 6million books, which was a pretty astounding achievement.
At author events – Lowdham Book Festival and Daunt Books in Marylebone, London – I had a full house of audience and I sold out of copies. I also got hand cramp (a happier version of RSI) from signing so many books.
I debuted at #5 in the Waterstones Nottingham chart and I appeared (well, spoke) on radio in Ireland, Europe and the East Midlands.
My ugly mug gazed out from the front cover of the i paper and I graced the pages of The Independent, the Derby Evening Telegraph, the Buckingham Advertiser and Arts Beat magazine. I filmed a video for Marisha Pink’s Escape Artists series and auditioned three narrators for the Audible audiobook version. All this within two weeks.
Casting Off got great reviews in The Independent, the i paper, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, Closer magazine, The Lady, Prima Pregnancy and Baby and Yachts and Yachting. It was released in Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of August and comes out in the US in March.
Kind readers started posting 5* reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and Waterstones websites and I even received my first official piece of fan mail – a 600-word email typed up by Di from Horsham. I’ve never received fan mail before (only loony mail when I was a reporter at newspapers) and the fact that someone had enjoyed my book so much that they’d taken the trouble and time to write to me to tell me moved me to tears.
Lovely comments have been coming in via Twitter and Facebook from people who have read Casting Off and they all seem to be demanding the same thing: “I need to know what happens next!”
So you’ll be pleased to know I am writing a sequel.
When I wrote Casting Off, I wasn’t planning on producing a follow-up. In fact, I was turning my hand to fiction, instead. But there seems to be enough demand – and I have plenty to tell – so I have started on a book provisionally titled Untie the Lines.
If you want to find out where I went next, or if I ever made it to the Caribbean or Papua New Guinea, or what happened with me and Guy, watch this space.
And in the meantime, I’d like to thank you all for your support and please carry on spreading the word about Casting Off – word of mouth and personal recommendations are the strongest marketing tools there are.