Back in 2019 when a box of contributor’s copies of my first ever book, London Undercurrents, (a joint poetry collection with poet Hilaire) arrived by courier, I had to hobble painfully to the door on crutches following a knee injury. Although I tried my best to get excited, I felt too low from weeks trapped indoors to feel anything other than ‘thank goodness they’ve arrived now I can elevate my knee again’. I felt robbed of this joyous moment. Thankfully I was helped to see the light through the power of collaboration – my lovely talented co-author and friend Hilaire was up while I was down, and her ability to see what an achievement getting our collection published was, pulled me through. Although it took a while for the real me, the happy, smiley, life-is-flippin’-marvellous me to emerge again, once my knee finally got back to a reasonable level of mobility I made sure that I jumped up and down for joy with Hilaire. We’ve been jumping up and down on various occasions ever since. My reading copy of the book is now well-loved after being used at many launches, readings, events, radio shows and blog recordings.
This book represents so much happiness. But this post is tinged with sadness as our wonderful publisher, Bernadette at Holland Park Press, plus her brother and their black Labrador are facing homelessness. I believe they have the tenacity and strength to come through this extremely worrying time. You can help them by buying a book directly from their site. It doesn’t have to be London Undercurrents (although of course, that is much appreciated). HPP has a whole range of great books on offer – short story collections, novels and poetry collections – have a browse and you won’t be disappointed.
I owe an awful lot to Bernadette, who believed in our poetry collection enough to publish and commit to a lifetime of promoting it. So the least I can do is send this post out into the world and hope it helps HPP to be #SavedByOneBook.