On the road with Becoming Julie

As well as the huge amount of media interest in my life story and book, which as many people have said, you are everywhere and you’re on everything, be it newspapers, magazines, radio and television. This has been very much the case, and as I’ve said before, I love every moment of all that attention.

However there is another aspect of my life on the road as an author which is every bit as important, if not more so and that is my meet the author book signing events including my appearance at a major book festival.

After Becoming Julie was published there was a lot of interest and a lot of chat locally and beyond. After the official launch of the book where I would be signing a large number of books at each event in Waterstones stores from Oban to London. I also found me signing books in the most unusual places.

My job at the Isle of Coll ferry terminal means that I meet and deal with a high number of people every day, and it’s not unusual for people to approach me asking if I’d sign their copy of my book which they’ve either purchased on the ferry or in the local craft and bookshop which is part of the Isle of Coll post office. Often I’m asked to sign books when I’m collecting their tickets to board the ferry and I’ve even signed books leaning on the bonnet of their cars. Other times when I’m off duty and travelling on the ferry to the mainland people who’ve bought the book in the shop on the ship will approach me to sign their book after been told by staff in the shop that I’m on board the ferry.

During one of my signing events at a Waterstones in Glasgow a lady from CalMac Ferries marketing department who had come along to see me said, would you like to do this on board one of our ferries? I thought that was a great idea and said yes. It was the first time it had been done on a CalMac ferry and the company put out a press release to the Scottish press and two journalists came along and interviewed me and I subsequently appeared in the Oban Times.

The event its self-took place an board MV Clansman over two days in June on sailings to the Islands of Coll, Tiree and Barra, and both were a big success, so much so that they’ve asked me to do the same again on 21st & 23rd July.

  • CalMac Ferries press release

    CalMac Ferries press release about on board signings

  • Julie Clarke by the CalMac office

    Julie Clarke by the CalMac office

One of the highlights of my 2015 Becoming Julie book tour so far was my appearance at the Aye Write Book Festival on 18th April, where I would appear alongside some big names in the literary and celebrity world. Our gigs in front of an audience were one hour in duration, where you had to read from your book, be interviewed and take a Q&A session. I took all of this in my stride as I’ve become very confident having done dozens of in depth interviews over the last few months.

For me one of the best bits was spending time in the green room with other authors and celebrities. Some people might think that authors are very reserved, well I can tell you the ones I rubbed shoulders with that day were not. As is in many green rooms the wine was flowing, and as much as you liked too. So it was a great place to meet people I never thought I ever would, such as novelist and playwright Allan Bissett, Mark Ellen of Radio One, Old Grey Whistle Test and Live Aid fame, who’s written his autobiography. Alex Norton who’s also written his autobiography and is famous in the acting world for his appearances in Gregory’s Girl, Local Hero, Braveheart and famously as DCI Burk in Glasgow detective series Taggart, as well as countless theatre and TV parts. A favourite for me was to meet comedienne Helen Lederer, who’s written her debut novel. Don French famously said: Helen Lederer is the 3rd funniest woman in the world. I got that right away, how about you?

Later in the evening a dinner party was thrown and I sat rubbing elbows in-between Alex and Helen with mark next place along with crime novelist Stuart MacBride and others opposite including the programmer of the Aye Write, Bob McDevit. If I’d been a journalist I would have had a few exclusive scoops that night as some of the celebs stories were real jaw droppers, absolutely hilarious in fact. It must have been the wine talking, that’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it.

See you next time,

  • Julie Clarke in the Aye Write festival booklet

    Julie Clarke in the Aye Write festival booklet

  • In the Weekend Magazine advert

    In the Weekend Magazine advert