In The Beginning..The Water Doctor’s Daughter’s
When I was writing my true crime book, The Water Doctor’s Daughters, I had a moment of panic and said to my husband Rob, ‘Oh dear, what if someone publishes this one day and I have to give talks about it?’ He was quite amused and answered, with complete justification; ‘Well I hardly think you need to worry about that!’ BUT, against all the odds someone did publish it, and thanks to Robert Hale Ltd. I ended up thousands of miles from home busy promoting my debut book. Oh my word!
The snowbound launch at Great Malvern (home of the water-cure doctor and his family) was stressful enough, but a couple of months later I blithely agreed to speak at the new Worcester Hive. It is an innovative concept where a university shares space with a public library. The Water Doctor’s Daughters was to be on sale at the Archive & Archaeology Department’s bookshop…quite a lure for an author in the competitive world of book selling.
The event was advertised in the local press and just before we drove out to Worcester I had an email from BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester inviting me to take part in a chat show the day before my talk. Now I had only ever spoken on radio once before …a brief spot on BBC Sussex’s breakfast show about the same book via telephone from Australia. I was almost paralysed with fear by the time we arrived at the studios …how would I cope with earphones and a mike? Would I actually be in a separate booth from the host? If so, what if I missed my cue? To make matters worse, I was recuperating from a nasty cold.
Fortunately the presenter, Tammy Gooding, was absolutely delightful; warm, friendly and the complete professional. Nor did I have to wear earphones, we simply chatted across the studio desk with me speaking into an overhead mike. Now I can’t say that I wasn’t (very) nervous but the lovely Tammy did her best to put me at ease. We chatted for a very generous 15 minutes without interruption. I refused to listen back to it when we were given the link (I would have been ill!) , but other people did. They were most kind, even about my Aussie accent.
It was a bit disconcerting to see my event being advertised at The Hive next day on their hi-tech media screens but hey, I was an old hand at the media game now! Mind you, they did reduce Dr Marsden’s daughters from five to one.
I should point out that, as is always the case, The Hive has created some controversy. People have criticized the architecture in particular, but I think it’s great. The golden ‘honeycomb’ exterior reflects the purposeful activity within, as does the name…The Hive.
In a year when over 100 public libraries closed in the UK, how brave this project was. It was opened in 2012 by the nation’s queen bee…Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. I didn’t spot her in the audience at my talk, but her great-grandmother Victoria features strongly in the story of The Water Doctor’s Daughters . I might send a signed copy to the palace.
Oh dear, writing a book is definitely the easy part my friends!
If you would like to know a little more about The Water Doctor’s Daughters, click here.
The is also a self guided, Water Doctor’s Daughter’s literary walk around Malvern
Have you had to speak on radio? Come on, share your experience by leaving a message in the comment box below! COMPLETE THE LITTLE MATHS QUESTION FIRST THOUGH OR YOUR PRECIOUS WORDS WILL VANISH INTO THE ETHER.