Well, it has been three weeks since Popular hit the shelves in the UK and Ireland and twenty-four hours since it appeared in South Africa. I've been meaning to write this since then, but everything has been so hectic. Anyway, Popular was published on July 7th and that night, I had a gathering at my house at which my mate Robbie was apparently planning a heartfelt toast at midnight for the moment when I technically became a published author. Sadly, he was too drunk to realise when it was midnight and so here's to you Adam for being the first person to congratulate/remind me at 1:56 a.m. Lad.
I've loved doing the interviews to promote Popular and so far there have been interviews in The Sunday Times, The Down Recorder and the radio shows Good Morning Ulster and BBC ArtsExtra. There are going to be quite a few more up ahead and I'll also be writing a guest post for Between the Lines, Penguin Australia's amazing on-line blog for when Popular is published there on August 29th.
I've also been doing some book signings at the Waterstones store in Belfast city centre, which has been awesome and it's been great fun seeing people buying so many copies of the book. Keep an eye out for the store's promotion of the Belfast stage show of Popular which I've adapted for the theatre and am co-directing. It's being produced by the Belvoir Players and it'll be on stage with the most incredible cast in the first week of September. Rehearsals have been long, but really rewarding and I really hope that anyone who's a fan of the novel is going to enjoy what we've done with the storyline and characters to make it ready for the theatre! I can't tell you how proud I am of the cast and the humour and the drama is all still there. I'll be posting interviews with some of the cast members and lots of photoshoots and information about the stageshow, along with information about the performance dates and any more news on the novel.
Perhaps one of the most surreal things about the last month has been the process of actually becoming published. It's a very strange sensation to explain, because I've lived with these characters and this book in my head for so long now and then, one day, it's available to buy in some of the biggest stores and online sites in the country. There's also a definite thrill that comes from people talking about the characters in Popular and telling you their favourite bits, whether it's the funny or sad moments, and demanding to know when the sequel's out. It's been a wonderful three weeks and I do certainly feel incredibly lucky.
A big, big thank you to all my friends and everyone who's been so supportive of Popular, either buying the book online or in stores and to Sarah Houghton, who caused a scene in the Waterstones in Manchester by trying to move all copies of Popular over into the bestseller aisle. Finally, everyone at Penguin UK and Penguin Ireland has been so much help and a lot of fun. It's been great to be out there talking about Popular and, obviously, Meredith (main priority, obvs) and the rest of the summer is shaping up to be v. beau.