It’s rare that I use this blog to give advice to other writers but on this occasion I’m certain you will forgive my presumption. Are you about to go on a reading tour? Are you on the festival circuit? Do you simply like to be flamboyant from time to time? Yes? Then I counsel you to fix yourself up with a Novelist’s Media Tour Kit (like mine) (okay, maybe not exactly like mine because I’m pretty sure mine is unique).
I’d love to say the inspiration came from me but, as with most of my best work, it wasn’t my idea. When The Backstreets of Purgatory reached its funding target (two years ago already!) my friends assembled the essentials for a media trip (should such an event arise) so I would not flounder in debut novelist’s hell. Next week, I head to Unbound headquarters to sign the special editions of my novel before they are sent out to my supporters and all I can say is thank goodness, thank goodness, I’m well prepared for my venture.
Let’s take a look.
Of course, neither the tiara nor the flamingo pen is an absolute requirement but I would suggest they add a je ne sais quoi that will set you apart from other novelists.
In a good way.
The box itself is easily small enough to take as hand-held luggage should you be flying to your tour destination while at the same time being large enough house all necessities. Plus, it has an extremely satisfying catch and fold-out mechanism that will keep you amused for hours should the journey be tiresomely long.
As you can see, the box is packed with everyday essentials. Who doesn’t need oversized, diamanté studded sunglasses for day? A pink and black-lace eye mask for night? But there is more. Much more.
Sadly, I didn’t realise until today that the caramel-filled and mint-filled chocolate frogs are out of date (best before though, not use by, so I can safely scoff them tonight). In case of nerves, if the candle and gold bath bomb (that’s what the big egg-jobby thing is) don’t help me relax, there is always the whisky and some French not-so-sweet sweets (shut up). Mints, two extra pens should the flamingo fail, and tissues (I hope they require no explanation).
Not only will this box (minus the frogs who will be long gone) accompany me to the publisher next week, it will be there by my side when I eventually get my reading events organised. Meanwhile, if you are in London next week and you happen to spot someone in glasses big enough to hide an elephant behind, wearing a tiara, and signing random pieces of paper (with a pink flamingo) because she can’t see through the sun glasses to find the books, that’ll be me.
Or you. If you take my advice.