In the late 1960’s Andy Warhol predicted that we would all have our 15 minutes of fame. I have had a damn site more than fifteen minutes of fame but for all the wrong reasons! As a result of my accident, fame was thrust upon me and that is not the sort of fame that anyone would crave.
But, when my book My Plunge to Fame was published it was a different matter completely.
My pride knew no bounds. Anyone who has their book finally published is proud. They are “chuffed” beyond measure. But as a person that has Traumatic Brain Injury that does not completely describe the feeling that I carried within. Pride, yes, there was certainly pride but there was almost a kind of awe. An awe that I had managed to create this book. “Oh, but you aren’t really brain damaged, Gaynor.” Yes, my friends, I am! And one of the many ways it is revealed is in how long my writing now takes me. I used to write with ease. The words simply flowed. Nowadays it is a different matter. It takes me simply ages to produce these weekly blogs. Having said that, the satisfaction is inestimable! I have discovered that writing is something that I simply love.
With my book, I would sit there working for three hours and at the end would have written about two paragraphs. I would know the word that I wanted to use but it would nestle quite comfortably at the back of my brain refusing to come out onto my keyboard. I could have screamed in frustration. I would then leave my computer for my afternoon nap. I would return again that evening and lo and behold that word would have roused itself from it’s deep slumber and would be waiting impatiently to leap out of my brain onto the keyboard! So, yes, I am enormously proud of my book.
But, I am a hopeless case!
Following a very successful book launch in Durban, I set off to see how my book was selling. When I walked into Exclusive Books I saw a cluster of books, MY books, glowing on a shelf under a sign saying: Latest Release! And sure enough, there was a woman looking at it. She picked it up and read the back cover where it finished with Athol Fugard’s words: If you have lately been doubting the capacity of the human spirit to overcome calamitous misfortune, I urge you to read Gaynor Young’s story. It will restore your faith.
She gave a smile and walked to the counter to pay for it. Whoopee, my book seemed to be selling! At Musgrave Centre, across the road from where I lived, they is a well known bookshop, Adams, where my book had sold out in the first week. They had ordered more! There was also a CNA. For people that are unfamiliar with CNA, they are very popular book and stationery retailers. A perfect place for my book, I thought. I was told by my publicist that this shop would only stock My Plunge to Fame if it appeared to be in demand. Right. Fine. No problem. I went in and my book was nowhere in sight. I decided to remedy the situation.
I went up to the shop assistant and politely enquired whether they had a copy of My Plunge to Fame?
“A copy of what?”
“My Plunge to Fame,” I replied. “I believe it’s a wonderful book!”
“Let’s have a look and see,” she said tapping away at her computer. “Mmnnn…no…no we haven’t,” she said looking up. “But I can try and order it for you?”
Ha, haaa! Success! “Oh, thank you. That will be marvellous.”
“Right, what is this books name again?” she said typing it into her computer.
“My Plunge to Fame.”
“And who is the author?”
“Gaynor Young,” I answered proudly. “I believe she’s a wonderful new author,” I added for good measure.
“Right,” she said, “Gaynor Young…,” as her hand clacked their way over the keys.”And your name is?”
“Yes,” she said a little impatiently, her hands poised. “What is your name?”
“Oh, my name. It’s…uh…it’s…Gaynor Young,” I said in a small voice.
All typing ceased. She looked up. “Gaynor Young,” she drawled.
“Yes…uh…thankyou,” I said and scuttled away in embarrassment.
CNA never stocked My Plunge to Fame!
Exclusive Books no longer stock my book (you may order it directly from me via my blog), but they have kindly given me a number of copies of the latest Bridget Jones Diary – ‘Mad About the Boy‘ to give away to my blog followers. If you would like to enter a draw for one of these, please post a ‘Reply’ at the end of this blog post saying why you would like a copy! I will contact the winners via email for postal address details. The draw will take place on Friday 8th November. I am afraid because of postage costs this ‘giveaway’ is only open to SA residents.