Tag Archives: Ariel Books

How not to write a launch speech…

2 Feb

It’s not easy, penning my thoughts for tomorrow night. I don’t really like being the centre of attention (OH SHUT UP, I DON’T!!!!) and reading aloud to a room full of people is something I’ve hated ever since a primary school teacher made me stand up and recite the alphabet on my first day, and I could only pronounce the letters phonetically. Everyone looked at me like I was weird, which I may well have been, but as I’ve said before, Elmo and Big Bird seemed to think that was the best way to teach me, and who argues with them??

I still don’t know how many people are coming to the launch tomorrow night, but the sudden realisation just struck me that while I have always been a pro at organising events, I usually only organise them for people I know. And when it’s people you know, you don’t really mind if you come across as a bit inarticulate (read: PISSED). When it’s people you don’t know, however, it’s probably not a good idea to grab a mic and slur ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart” like you’re in a karaoke bar, or expect the audience to think you’re funny when you try and burp the names of your most honoured guests. Of course, I wouldn’t even think of doing either of these things. Well, that’s a lie, of course I’ve thought about it, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this whole paragraph, but I probably SHOULDN’T, and that’s my point. Dammit.

It’s been a bit of a mad couple of days… yesterday I signed some books for the store Angus and Robertson and watched them stick these little shiny ‘signed by author’ stickers on them, which was so weird. And then when I walked past again they had put them in the window! I wanted to take a piccy to document the occasion but nerves got in the way and I thought the lady in the shop might think I was a moron. When I went to snoop in Dymocks, they had put three copies on the bottom shelf of the travel memoir section, which we all know no one ever looks at. I stood there for a while, fighting disappointment. It’s kind of tough you know… knowing how much work you’ve put into something, all the hours, all the heartache, all the hangovers… and then when the end result appears, it’s shoved below a MILLION other books with no hope of ever competing. It’s not something you can really moan about though. Because as soon as you moan, everyone just says you’re lucky it’s there at all, which is true. Very true. I shall not moan… but I won’t lie either. I want a Burqalicious SHOP. I want t-shirts and airplanes printed with golden, sparkling wings to match. I want a Burqalicious charity for abandoned black items of clothing. I want special edition Burqalicious Marmite and Burqalicious Arabic tea bags by Tetley. I want a Burqalicious theme park, like Harry Potter got. These are all things I also won’t be saying in my speech, by the way. So sssssssh…

Today I got my first Amazon.com review, which was also pretty cool, and my good friend at the Telegraph wrote a lovely piece and posted it on the website along with that burqa photo. It’s all a bit bizarre, seeing things like cool promo style shots, considering I started out taking stupid photos like the one above, which I just dug out again for amusement value. (It’s actually a painting, but doesn’t he look real?!)

I suppose my speech tomorrow will just end up being one of gratitude really, more than anything else. Because in all seriousness, that’s the overpowering emotion I’m experiencing right now, regarding all of this. Gratitude for all the people who’ve supported me so far, to my friends and family who’ve bought the book already, to the amazing people in the diary entries themselves, who I loved and sometimes lost; who inspired me and when it mattered most, loved me back. And gratitude of course, for the magnificent team of people who pulled together and turned my random scribbles into the book that’s now on the bottom shelf of Dymocks.

Thanks! And see you tomorrow at the launch! xox

One day to go…

31 Jan

WOWEEEEEE, time flies! It’s hard to believe my first (maybe only) book will be on the shelves this time tomorrow! I’m sure nothing will change. Nothing drastic anyway. One minute it won’t be there, and the next it will. No big deal. But I’m going to have to document the occasion, obviously, because one day, when I’m old and grey and Dubai is a distant memory in my fuzzy head, and I’m one of those really dippy ladies who only wears beige and only talks about the weather as she peers weirdly over the fence at the “youths” making too much noise at their “wild party”, I’ll probably want to look back on all this and remember how I once did something sort of cool.

Yesterday, my amazing photographer friend Autumn took a host of fab promo shots, like this one above, to be used in various mags and stuff. I love this one in particular because it’s the same position as the sexy girl is sitting in on the back of the book, and because, thanks to the glasses you can’t see how despicably hungover I am. (Saturday night was pretty massive, involving Japanese (food not people), overly tall transvestites and a 2am food platter involving toast and old salami that quite frankly I’m ashamed to have presented to my friend).

I also like this shot because I’m just far enough away that my teeth don’t look too crooked. YAY!

At this point I don’t actually know how many people are coming to the launch party on Thursday night at Ariel Books. Error. I started keeping a list in Excel but as my friends all know, I am SHIT with numbers, even when there are names attached to them. I started getting confused 😦

I know… I am totally crap. But honestly, work has been really busy and just seeing that green blobby ‘X’ thing flashing on my screen as the programme starts up gives me the shivers. I have a rough idea though, and have had lots of lovely emails from the wonderful people coming, so hopefully it will be a good turn out on the night and not too many people will cancel at the last minute.

All that matters is that people have fun, because seriously, the excellent peeps at Ariel must be getting sick of me now. The shop is on the walk from the Fringe (my fave bar) to Crown St (where good things always happen at night), so I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to stop with whoever I’ve been with since they put the poster in the window, to get a pic or something (like this, urrrrgh). And I haven’t always been one hundred percent un-drunk.

Well, it’s exciting!!! Bet they can’t wait to get rid of it though. And me.

Roll on tomorrow! You can buy buy buy and read read read! Oh but if you’re coming to the launch and want to wait till then, you can also get your copy from Ariel on Thursday if you like. xxx

The official invite to my book launch (yay!)

24 Jan

Come one, come all! Although I’ll be sending an email invite out around Sydney very shortly, consider this your official invitation to my book launch, for Burqalicious – The Dubai Diaries on Feb 3rd at 7.30pm, at Ariel Books on Oxford Street. SYDNEY! Don’t forget to RSVP to beckywicks@me.com if you want to come, so I know how many packets of crisps to buy.

No seriously, I’m meeting with the lovely Steven at Ariel Books tonight to discuss things like catering, so no one will have the misery of experiencing my cooking/soggy defrosted scotch eggs and supermarket-own-brand biscuits. I’m hoping to get some lovely Middle Eastern nibbles and some even lovelier bubbles for everyone. Hopefully, you’ll all get so tipsy you’ll buy my book – HURRAH!!! (sssh)

Tell your friends and bring them too. It’s gonna be a fabulous night… and oh… are you a guy who’s thinking this really isn’t your cup of Arabic tea? Well, think again. You might just meet your soul mate here if you’re single, as I have lots of hot friends. I do like bringing people together.

Speaking of hot friends, the awesome Michelle is going to be doing a little speech on the night, (thanks Michelle!). She’s really funny… way funnier than me. So there’s really no excuse. Book it in your diaries!


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