A blog by Nikki Dudley about the gaps in everyday life...


Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ellipsis launch at the Camden Arts Centre - the verdict

So, the launch has now taken place and Ellipsis is officially released into the world. Here's my overview of how the night went, should anyone wish to know or other authors find it useful...

1) Getting everyone and everything there

Luckily, I knew the books had arrived in advance as I checked with the Camden Arts Centre in advance. One less thing to worry about... Next thing was arranging the drop off of glasses, napkins, wine and other items which didn't need refrigerating. This went suprisingly well, but perhaps because my mum is so organised! After this came the inevitable drop outs on the day. I wasn't too concerned. I'd invited around 140 people and around 80 said they were coming, which meant a few last minute drop outs wasn't too upsetting. Most suprising was my brother and sister-in-law turning up all the way from Ireland!

2) Signing books

I think I spent around 70% of my night doing this! It may be because I didn't want anyone to miss out on a customised and personal message though, so damn myself for being so meticulous! It was a good idea to pre-sign, with the option of adding a personal message on top though, and most people went for this. It meant they could carry their book around with them, which seemed to make them happy! I managed personal messages in about 40 books, with some additional ones being made the next day, when I wasn't hyperventilating... My family were nice enough to wait in an orderly queue, although I felt a bit bad about that, I guess they were most likely to demand less of me at a time like that!

3) The reading

The venue was booked from 6.45 for 2 hours. Suddenly at nearly 8pm I though, ah! I'd better read something! Full speed ahead. A quick intro from my publishers, Sparkling Books, and then straight in. I told a little story regarding 'The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck', which my dad has made into a rhyme over the years and said it was the reason for me being a writer! Luckily, it had the desired effect and got people smiling and chuckling a little. After this, I chose 3 chapters. I have 2 narrators so I chose one for each of them, and one where they were together in a chapter. They seemed to go down well and people were listening. I remembered to speak slowly, despite my hands shaking mercilessly, because if you're going to do something like that, you may as well do it right! After that, the mood was lightened with an Ellipsis giveaway. I used first and last lines of chapters, plus chapter headings, to do the raffle. Prizes were very small chocolates but people seemed to appreciate it! After a lovely impulsive message from my boyfriend, Joe, my publisher closed proceedings and I invited everyone to the pub!

4) The closing

It was a great feeling having people come up to me at the end and say they were excited to read the book, the launch went well, or some still asking for last minute personal messages! I think my family, Joe's family, Joe and other helpful friends did us proud. The event was a huge success. Books were sold, people were smiling, apparently the food and wine were great (I didn't get to sample either until the next day!), and people seemed genuinely interested in the book and me as a writer.

A few days before the launch, I kept getting a poem in my head. A lot of people will know it: When I have fears by John Keats. Here it is for those who don't know it or want to be reminded...

When I have fears that I may cease to be

Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,

Before high piled books, in charact'ry,

Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;

When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

And think that I may never live to trace

Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!

That I shall never look upon thee more,

Never have relish in the faery power

Of unreflecting love;—then on the shore

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think,

Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

Thinking about this poem, I feel quite happy. Keats spent all his time worrying about not being able to achieve his goals before the end of his life (when he did actually achieve some without realising!) and here I am at twenty-four, having achieved a goal I never thought I would! No showing off here, just surprise and appreciation that I'm lucky enough to have something in print at this age, whether it sells well or not.

All in all, a great event and things are still going well. Some online reviews, a local paper mention in the next week, and I'm working on the rest. Slow progress but definitely progress...

Thanks to all for your contribution to the launch - I just hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

I hope you all enjoy the photos too, I think we got some great ones!!!

Nikki x

PS: Any requests for photos, I can send them over... Email me.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Interview featured on website

I have an interview on the Essential Writers site. Some interesting questions asked and answered here:

EW interview

Thanks to Judy Darley for supporting Ellipsis!

Latest review of Ellipsis

Hi all,

latest link to a review for Ellipsis:

Sam Ruddock - Books, Time and Silence (Same review posted at: Vulpes Libris)



Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Favourite First Lines- the answers!

Right, here are the answers for my first lines competition. Not too many guesses but still, here it goes...

1) It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell madly in love with him. - Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

2) The beginning is simple to mark. - Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

3) If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. - Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

4) The gunman is useless.I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it. - I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

5) If I had smoked, it might have been easier. - A Matter of Death and Live by Andrey Kurkov

6) On November 11, 1997, Veronika decided that the moment to kill herself had-at last!-arrived. - Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

7) It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. -The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

8) One day in August a man disappeared. - The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

9) When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along to and FM broadcast of the overture to Rossini’s “The Thieving Magpie,” which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta. - The Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami

10) 124 was spiteful. Full of a baby’s venom. - Beloved by Toni Morrison

11) I am telling you this just the way it went/ with all the details I remember as they were,/ and including the parts I'm not sure about. - Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

So, which ones did you get? And what are your favourites?

N x


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