At 7pm on the 10th October 2012, Dandelions and Bad Hair Days: Untangling lives affected by depression and anxiety was officially launched at Brendon Books, in Bath Place, Taunton.
With books to sell to what is generally a capacity crowd of around fifty people at events in the book shop it was a nerve-wracking time. All the organisation was coming together and I had
to say, as we stacked the chairs at the end of the evening, that it could only be described as a triumph. It was standing room only and as people filed in and took a drink – admiring the cupcakes donated by the wonderful Charlotte Jane Cakes on the way in – the count grew to well over sixty people. Friends had travelled from as far as Norfolk and Brighton and I saw many ex-colleagues from Mind and Somerset County Council in the crowd. Wonderful.
Psychotherapist Anna Colgan introduced the evening, tying it in with World Mental Health Day, also celebrated on the 10th. She gave a fascinating insight into the nature of our emotional pain and our responses to it and introduced the ‘panel’; me, and the brave contributors who had agreed to read excerpts from their pieces in the book. I went first – thanking all those people good enough to come and describing how the book came into being and why I feel it is so important. Then Lucy Nicholls, Jo Middleton, Rin Simpson and I read our own words, leaving Vivienne Tuffnell to round off the evening with her literally inspirational piece ‘Dandelions and Bad Hair Days’ which gave the book its title.
Lots of applause, chat and numerous signatures later and a count revealed we had sold more than 70 books – a great result for one evening. Obviously we have to work to maintain sales – especially online – but we are in profit which is brilliant news at such an early stage.
So thank you to everyone who came, Anna, the contributors who read and all those who helped behind the scenes -especially Lionel Ward of Brendon Books, my daughter Evie and her boyfriend Alex who ran the bar, Charlie of Charlotte Jane Cakes and my wonderful sister Jane Earthy who took some photos.
But the biggest thank you has to go to my lovely husband Peter who acted as host and who has supported me every step of the way. This couldn’t have happened without him.
Here are some photos from the night. Don’t forget that the book will be up on Amazon soon and is already available direct from the publisher at http://www.dotterelpress.com/online-store.php