Every writer dreams of hitting the big time, of finding an audience of millions enjoying mini celebrity status for a while. Well, maybe not all writers but it has certainly my dream ever since I began writing in 2009.
You can imagine my excitement when I learned that I would be appearing on BBC Breakfast television. It has an audience of approximately seven million. For weeks I didn’t dare tell anyone in case my slot got pulled. I kept quiet about it even when a hotel room was booked for me and trains organised. After all, it is never certain that an appearance will actually happen. Major news can flare up at any time and you can lose that precious slot.
As you know, the big event has happened. For a couple of days, I revelled in the life of a celebrity. I arrived at Manchester station where I was met by chauffeur-driven executive car that whisked me off to a hotel at Media City where I was blown away by its impressive structures and modernity. I loafed about with a glass of wine in a well-appointed comfortable bedroom with a view of the BBC building. Researchers and journalists clammered to know more about me. I spoke so long on the telephone that I got a sore throat. My ego loved every minute of it.
The big day lasted longer than I intended. I couldn’t sleep. I tried to work out every question that would be asked of me. I attempted to come up with witty responses. By 4am I was satisfied that I would be able to hold my own. This would be my five minutes to tell a public of some seven million about my book. By 6am I was so tired I had forgotten all my witty answers and wanted to go to bed.
By 7am I was bleary-eyed but ready to go to Quay House for my radio interview with BBC Radio WM. I was met and escorted to a small tardis shaped booth where I donned headphones and waited for a light to illuminate announcing the beginning of my interview. By 7.15am I had dozed off. The squeal of the microphone alerted me to the presenter. I managed to answer in a sane fashion, I think.
Interview over, I was met by one of the team who prepares you for the BBC Breakfast show. He took me to The Green Room where croissants and delicious fruit salads sat on a table untouched, as nervous guests chatted to each other. I was very fortunate as I was in with Leon and June from the show Gogglebox. They are an adorable couple (Leon is going to be 80 next year) who have shot to fame and are still the most unassuming couple you could meet.
Time flew by and makeup called for me. I half expected a cement mixer filled with heavy duty foundation to be waiting for me. No, it was a pretty girl called Sam who expertly made me up with a few swipes of a brush and some concealer. I have never looked so good! To finish me off, she tousled my hair and sprayed it to within an inch of its life.
The sound crew arrived. I was miked up and chatted to by various members of the team who could not have been friendlier. I felt strangely important. Before I knew where I was, I was on set shaking hands with the presenters, barely aware of all the auto cues and cameras that were being operated. I saw a huge image of my book that was to stay behind my head. Bill Turnbull smiled and told me he particularly enjoyed the jokes in the book. I grinned like an imbecile.
The rest is a complete blur. I have no recollection of what I said and I still haven’t plucked up the courage to look at the interview. I guess the fact that the book shot to #1 in three categories for both Kindle and paperback on Amazon speaks for itself. By the time I went to bed it had rocketed to #47 in the best selling books on Amazon.
The high continued well into the day. My phone froze because of all the congratulatory texts on it. My email account boasted 785 emails by the time I got home. I had further calls from presenters and journalists and my twitter timeline was saturated with tweets some good and some bad.
Fame had landed well and truly, at my feet. Everywhere I looked online, people were talking about the book and the interview.
So, I have tasted fame. I have felt its tentacles and the unbelievable high it brings with it. The adulation and praise makes you heady. However, I am a realist. Today is a new day. and today I an a nobody again. The tweets and messages have ceased. I no longer feel important.
Yet, deep down inside me, a new flame has been fanned and is beginning to burn a little brighter. I want to feel that way again. There is only one way that can happen. Yes, write another good book and hope that Lady Luck favours me a second time.
For those of you yet to experience such a high, I have some advice: Never give up. If you want something badly enough, you will get it. It will take time and infinite patience, but stick with it. One day, I shall be tweeting about your appearance and slapping you on the back with pleasure.