Today I want to talk about a subject which is very dear to me. It’s so close to my heart that every time I speak about it, my mood gets better, my day is brighter.
In November 2014, I’ve published my first novel. But what’s more, I’ve also had a book release! It was quite intimate since there have not been persons whom I didn’t know – 30 persons, if I remember correctly. It might sound like a lot, but it is not, as they were friends or family acquaintances. However, I can recall being both anxious and excited. It felt like a dream. For the most part of that day I was like “Is this really happening? Am I not dreaming?”.
Although financially speaking my parents could have helped me, I wasn’t willing to spend much money on my debut novel release. So, we’ve tried to find the best solution. Doing the now famous online releases wasn’t an option for me as I was unknown and I didn’t have a fan base or a community to support me. There was nobody out there waiting for my book except for my parents.
The most common place would have been a library. I’ve seen dozens of book releases happening there. With a little bit of research and help, we’ve managed to find a small one, which wasn’t famous but which was large enough for the guests.
Still, the setting proved to be perfect as it made everyone communicate and gave the impression of a warm atmosphere.
I invited about 10 colleagues and not even one of my teachers. I kind of wanted it to be a separate part of my life apart from school. Judgment, critics and any other “professional” opinions didn’t interest me. It was not due to my insensibility; I was aware the book was not addressed to those kinds of people – some high school’s teachers tend to be narrow-minded. What’s more, I did not want it to be a motive of fuss. It’s not that I am necessarily modest; yet, at fifteen-years-old, you’re shy and may not want all that attention.
My father works in a private university, so as the library was close to that place, he had to – and had been proud to – invite lots of university professors. I felt awkward at first. Those people were really intelligent and I was merely a teenager with high aspiration. Did they come out of politeness or of curiosity? I have no idea.
Moreover, one agreed to keep a speech and has even invited another two persons – a short-stories writer and an academic professor. I’ve been overwhelmed. Can you think about it? Having your very first work – which, for sure, won’t be the best from of your life – read by well-known people?
I felt like I was going to die.
Oh, I also called a person to film everything and managed to have an interview taken by a student.
It was epic.
A fifteen-year-old girl. A crowd full of respected teachers. A cameraman. A speech that had to be held by the respective girl.
This might be the scenery for a drama or horror movie – it highly depends on whether you’re the main character or the spectator.
Well… looking into retrospection, nothing’s gone wrong; but in those moments, it felt like hell because of the emotions. I’d prepared my speech the night before. It took me one hour and a half for one page!
Then, I repeated it about ten times. Ridiculous, I know. The words were mine, but I was so nervous I would screw it up.
The moment when I had to talk… haha. My insides were tangled, my heart was pounding furiously, and my head was dizzy. Never had I ever experienced such ravaging sensations. My mother told me that I had looked fine, calm – and looking at the filming I can say it too –, but the reality is that I was so scared! (you will find the film at the end of the article)
I cannot express in words what I felt then. It’s literally impossible for me to do so.
The happy end
In spite of me being anxious, everything went smooth and perfectly fine. I talked, I laughed, and I had a good time. My speech was met with a round of applause and many smiles. I received encouragements and from those who had read the book already – for beta and critics motives – congratulations.
I couldn’t have had a better day.
I have to say, though, that it was the next day I realised and processed what happened. Until then, I was in the phase of daydreaming.
*The video with my speech (turn on subtitles)