What with the launch of Val Anne Lee's and my new children's book On The Banks Of Hatchet Pond this week, I thought I'd share a press cutting from my first book launch back in 1994.
Blimey, that seems a long time ago, now.
The launch was for New Forest Friends & The Litterbugs and it took place at Bolton's Bench in Lyndhurst and then across the road in the Lyndhurst Park Hotel. I was very lucky in that Chris Packham, at the time appearing on the Real Wild Show, had been kind enough to write a forward for the book - which he went on to do with both the other New Forest Friends books - and he also made it along to the launch to give a speech.
On the BBC at the time was an adaptation of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe with a spectacular large-scale Aslan lion puppet. The people that created it made four heads of the book's characters and these were worn by children from Beaulieu Primary School - asked because of the lead character in the book being Beaulieu the Hedgehog. To cap it all off, Beaulieu Motor Museum loaned their Rolls Royce Silver Ghost for the four children wearing the masks to arrive in.
The press coverage was so good that the initial print run sold out in a fortnight, and to date it has sold almost 15,000 copies - not bad when you consider it's only available in the New Forest. It's also appeared as story of the day on the BBC children's programme PlayDays.
I still feel tremendously fortunate that I made it into print so young and in such a manner. It's reached a stage now where adults introduce themselves to me, who were children back then, to tell me they now share the book with their children.
Thank you to all who've bought it.