We are in rehearsal for Launch of My Second Novel in a month’s time – opening night in Orkney and a subsequent performance in Edinburgh. Exciting, one might say – terrifying is more like it. Stage fright in spades.
Putting an about-to-be-published novel out for review is akin to putting one’s infant in a Bonny Baby competition –the fruit of one’s labours will either be declared a winner or, unlike the baby show when the unattractive child is merely unplaced, it will be denounced as rubbish. Having had some success and good reviews with my first production, A Small Town Affair, I should be brimming with confidence, but my inner Presbyterian is whispering that I am about to be found out. A more distant voice, the rational me, knows this is an extremely stupid way to behave, especially when I am not even certain who, if anyone, is going to review it. No reviews would be much worse, wouldn’t it? Perhaps the novel’s title, The Trouble with Keeping Mum, should be a mantra. All publicity is good publicity.
And the show needs an audience. A mid-summer launch means some friends will surely be away, but what if others use it as an excuse not to attend? John Knox be gone! And those who do come, how much will they drink? Not enough plonk is unthinkable, but with budget constraints in publishing houses, being left with bottles could be a disaster. There are only so many raffles into which one can offload the surplus.
There is still a month to go. Will the production be slick, the reviews excellent and the venue a sell out? Inner Presbyterian tells me, if this is the case, I will be heading for a fall. Failure is good for the soul. But I will be brave and head for the cliff. Only on the edge, is it scary. Once I step into space, rather than plummeting to earth, I might find I can fly. Aye, Right! says Mr Knox. Watch this space says I.