My Crazy Week of Job Loss & Book Launch

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Jessica Redland - Searching for Steven - Front Cover LOW RESOh my goodness, what a roller coaster of a week I’ve had full of highs and lows, twists and turns!

Morning of Monday 1st June – LOW – I work flexible hours in the day job and normally take a Monday off, working the rest of my full time hours across longer days for the rest of the week. As I had Wed-Fri booked off as holiday to enjoy my book launch, my manager suggested I came in on Monday instead and took my flex day on the Tuesday, giving me four days off on the trot. I’d been out the previous week running a training workshop and she’d been on holiday so I was expecting our 10am meeting to be a catch-up and handover while I had the rest of the week off. Instead, I got made redundant! I completely and utterly had not seen that one coming! Last year, there’d been a bit of a cost savings and restructuring exercise and we’d been assured that HR weren’t being looked at and there’d been no redundancies. Hmm. I got really upset in the meeting because of the shock of it. Thankfully I was allowed to go home to come to terms with the news.

P1060369Afternoon of Monday 1st June – HIGH – Hubby picked me up from work and took me into town to collect a parcel we’d missed. I expected this to be my box of books which seemed very ‘one door closes and another opens’ but it wasn’t books. It was something equally fabulous, though – my very own Steven Bear from lovely writing friends Jo, Sharon and Alys. I love him.

Evening of Monday 1st June – HIGH – I’m a Brown Owl and, to celebrate the launch, we’d decided to complete our Booklover and Writer badges as a pack this term. I’d pulled together a short PowerPoint presentation for the Brownies followed by a creative writing workshop. I wasn’t sure how well this would work but it went down a storm with lots of questions and the creative juices flowing.

Tuesday 2nd June – LOW – Reality hit that I was out of work yet again and I felt so hurt at the timing. It was meant to be the week of my life and my employer had started it by making me redundant. I’d wanted to spend the Tuesday feeling all excited as it was, after all, book launch eve. Instead, I was job hunting.

CoversWednesday 3rd June – HIGH – Searching for Steven was launched (buy it here)! What an incredibly exciting day. I seemed to spend it solidly on social media, thanking people for supporting me, and grinning from ear to ear. I had a well attended Facebook launch party on the evening and I went to bed very, very happy

Thursday 4th June – HIGH – The high continued with more excitement around Steven but also around my novella. To celebrate Steven‘s launch, Raving About Rhys (buy it here) went on a three-day free promotion and was climbing the charts as well as gathering some amazing reviews. By the end of the promotion, I’d got to number 203 in the free Kindle chart on Amazon and number 26 in the romantic comedy chart. I was thrilled about it.

P1060374Another fabulous thing that happened that day was that hubby disappeared out and then returned with a set of three canvasses for me – the cover of each book, and a dedication canvas including a quote he’d recently seen in a film: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why” by Mark Twain. It feels so apt for me and my writing. It made me cry!

Friday 5th June – LOW – I received the devastating news that our printers had let us down. Despite expecting a box of books earlier in the week, it turns out they’d had problems with their binding equipment and hadn’t even printed my books. I was having a launch party the next day with nearly 100 guests, many of whom would have travelled long distances, and they weren’t going to get a copy of my book. I have to say, I was absolutely distraught. At one point, I even wanted to cancel the party, but my lovely hubby gave me lots of hugs and encouragement. I posted a private message on Facebook to  friends and family explaining what had happened and the outpouring of support and understanding was really quite overwhelming. I was genuinely touched at how proud people were of me and how excited they were to be coming to the book launch, with or without the inclusion of books!

11401385_10206847816496801_2560504648333263427_nSaturday 6th June – HIGH – Launch party day had arrived and what an amazing day it was. My publisher had managed to send me their two sample books by special delivery. These had a page missing and a few errors but it was a thrilling moment opening the box and putting my paws on a copy of my paperback for the first time. I’d have captured it on film but I was still in my PJs with no make-up on so that wouldn’t have been a good look!

The party was fabulous. The only downside is that I needed it to go on about ten times as long as I tried my best but it was impossible to get round everyone. I had family, old friends, new friends, former work colleagues, writing friends and it was so lovely to have everyone together to celebrate this unique occasion.

I have so many people to thank for making the day so special: hubby and munchkin, my sister-in-law Vanessa for the amazing cupcakes and cake (which I completely forgot to cut and hand out!), my mum for the scones, biscuits and caramel shortbread (nom nom), The Scarborough Anglers Social Club for such a friendly/flexible venue, Jon Mancrief for a delicious buffet, and everyone for coming. I got cards, flowers and gifts which was very unexpected. And people paid for books too! I really appreciate all your support and your positive comments. You’ve helped make a horrendous start to the week with a few dips along the way, end on a high xxx

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7 thoughts on “My Crazy Week of Job Loss & Book Launch

  1. Lovely post, Jessica, which really tells it like it is and that even realising your dreams can sometimes be a rollercoaster ride! Your career is only going to continue on an upward path though. Congratulations on Steven and Rhys, but this is just the start xx

    • Thanks Jo. I could certainly have done without the drama at the start of the week but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! Clutching a paperback in my paws helped eclipse that. It might not have been the proper final version but that didn’t matter – it was still a paperback that I’d written. Can’t wait to hear how it feels for you, too, to have a full-size novel in your hands 🙂 xx

  2. What a week you’ve had! You could have just curled up in a ball at the horrible redundancy news and the non-appearance of your books, but you didn’t! I was honoured to be a guest at your launch party, and you shone! (Great speech, by the way). My only grumble is, I didn’t get any cake! (The cupcakes were lovely, though! 🙂 ) Jo is quite right, this is only the start of a fantastic writing career. Onwards and upwards for you, young lady! xxx

    • Believe me, Sharon, curling up in a ball was very tempting. It all got to me on Friday and poor hubby’s t-shirt was drenched with tears! Saturday was amazing, though. So sorry I completely forgot to cut the cake! It’s very tasty. Very. I’ve been overdosing on it. Hubby says it has to go in the bin tonight before I turn into a book-shaped cake! Thanks for the lovely wishes xx

  3. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing your week’s turbulence with us… you are a gifted author and I have no doubt you will find something fitting in the work arena. Until then, don’t let the lows get you down, and keep perspective!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Pam. Gifted author? What a lovely thing to say. I’m blushing! My dream was always to have readers enjoy my writing as much as I enjoyed the act of writing so I’m thrilled that you’ve enjoyed my work. I’ll definitely keep perspective. I actually find that blogging about the lows is very therapeutic and it also helps keep me grounded. Things don’t often go as smoothly as we’d have hoped, but sometimes the reality can be better. I’ve been given a couple of extra days off work to come to terms with job loss and to job hunt. That’s never a bad thing! xx

      • We all experience a mix of highs and lows, daily! Staying positive is the key, so I’d say you’re on the right track!!! 🙂

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