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It’s been a tough few months with a lot of ups and downs. In the last couple of weeks, I have launched the pre-order link for my debut children’s book and also said goodbye to my wonderful grandfather. Both of these things have triggered a wave of complex emotions that even now, I am still trying to figure out.

My grandfather’s passing reminded me of the fragility of life, and how we only get one chance to try and do the things we want to do, achieve the things we want to achieve. I wrote a eulogy for the funeral, and as I was describing all the memories and stories about his exciting life in Sri Lanka and the merchant navy, I realised, he had lived his life to the full.

When the link for my book went live, I told several of my friends and family that I was absolutely terrified. This was because it meant that for the first time, I was putting my work out there, to be judged by others. After writing my grandfather’s eulogy it occurred to me, that if I truly wanted to live my life and achieve something I had always dreamed of, the risk of being judged was simply one I had to take.

The launch of the book is only a few weeks away, and whilst I still get a horrendous twisting sensation in my stomach when I think of launch day, I comfort myself with the fact that this will be the realization of a dream. This is something I have sat and imagined ever since I was six years old.  There will be people that hate the book, that criticize my work and my ability to write. However I have promised myself that I will not focus on the negativity, not torture myself by reading bad reviews.

I am lucky that during the process of writing the book I have had some wonderful friends and family who have read the story for me, provided suggestions and even tested it on their children. You guys, I cannot thank you enough for your support and encouragement. There is an acknowledgement to you in the book, however I did not have space for everyone’s names, so I would like to publicly thank the following for seeing me through this process.

My husband Kaal. Being married to a writer takes love and patience, thank you for putting up with my endless analysis of plots, word choice, picture choice and everything else I have bored you with over the last year – your support means everything. xx

My Mum, Dad and sister – you guys have read several versions of this story and provided continuous feedback and support. Thank you for putting up with my insecurity! xx

My girls – Emma, Amy, Laurie, Cassie, Victoria, Caitlin, you guys in particular have been so great reviewing things and giving me your feedback – I am so grateful! xx

So what’s next? Well, like any good PR person I have been exploring ways to get news of the book launch out there to the masses, which is why Chris and I have set up a Thunderclap campaign.

This involves getting 100 people to sign up using either Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr and agreeing that at 12pm BST on 31st May they will allow Thunderclap to post a pre-written message about the launch of our book on their page.

The idea is that the more people who are talking about the book  on the same day at the same time, the bigger the social media splash on launch day.

Therefore, this is a direct request to please sign up to our campaign and donate a tweet / your Facebook status on launch day. Without a minimum of 100 supporters we cannot launch the campaign at all!

Please follow the link below to sign up! 

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/41343-zak-and-jen-hit-the-shelves 

And if you would like to pre-order a copy of the book, it is now available on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Zak-Jens-Astronomical-Adventures-Planet/dp/1786126192/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462525810&sr=8-1&keywords=Zak+and+Jen%27s

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