I was in London for publication day last week of The Girl in the Ice, and spent the morning visiting Waterstones in Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square to sign some copies, and then I had lunch with my publisher. It was such a fun morning, and a lovely lunch, but it all happened so fast that we didn’t get much of a chance to take photos. Around mid-morning it started to snow when we were crossing Trafalgar Square, and as the soft white flakes spun and whirled around our heads, I hoped it was a good omen for The Girl in the Ice.
This publication day was different to others. It’s the first time that The Girl in the Ice will be available in all bookstores and supermarkets, and whilst every publication day before has been full of excitement and trepidation, this publication day felt different.
I lived in London for many years, and you may have read in my previous posts what a long struggle it was to get published. So it was incredible to see my books piled up in the Waterstones in Trafalgar Square, and to see them in the WH Smith in Charing Cross station.
The Erika Foster books are set in South London, where I used to live in Forest Hill, Brockley and Honor Oak Park. For the 7 years I lived in South London, I commuted into the city most days, for auditions when I was an actor, or when I worked in offices as a temp, and for nights out at the theatre, or clubbing!
Charing Cross was the train station which took me home, and it holds so many memories for me; the times I arranged to meet family and friends under the clock, I met my husband Ján on our first date outside the Marks and Spencer. I spent many days on the station concourse, doing promotional jobs, handing out free samples of chocolate or shampoo to the early morning commuters. Regular commuters will identify with the hundreds of times I just made the last train by seconds, slipping into the carriage as the doors closed, and the times when I stood on the platform watching the last train slip away on the track!
When I wasn’t missing them, or running for them, I also spent so much of my time waiting for trains, and I would kill time browsing the books in the WH Smith by platform 5, and gaze at the shelves, dreaming that one day my book would be there. So it was a HUGE moment, when we went to the station, and there it was!
As I stood outside the store, holding up two copies we’d just bought, I tried to hold on to the feeling and drink it all in. A dream I’d had for so many years had come true… and then I saw that our train was about to leave (we were headed to Bromley to visit friends) so feeling like a Londoner all over again, we made a mad dash for it, fumbling for tickets as we ran to the ticket barriers, and onto the platform. Thankfully we just made it onto the train as the doors closed. It seems some things haven’t changed!
You can buy the new Sphere edition of The Girl in the Ice from all good bookshops – and there still might be some signed author copies in Waterstones Piccadilly and Waterstones Trafalgar Square.