The things you get up to under the heading marketing and promotion. Last Wednesday I persuaded my brother (I hate driving) to drive a 325-mile round trip to publicise the launch of The Houses Along the Wall – A Pembrokeshire poetry cycle by Karen Hayes.
In just two hours I viewed the splendid launch venue: the Boat Club House in Newport Pembrokeshire. Now there is a room with a view! And asked people I had never met before to put up one of our posters or take some of the leaflets announcing this event.
It was a lovely day, clear blue sky and quite warm so lots of people were out for a walk or sitting in their gardens. An excellent opportunity to ask if they lived locally. No, you can’t assume they would, because delightful Newport is one of these holiday destinations whose population doubles in size during the summer, luckily it was the end of September and we met a lot of local people.
‘Karen Hayes has written these wonderful poems, inventing a fictional history for sixteen of the houses along your lovely Parrog beach.’
‘Ah, you actually own one of the featured houses.’
‘No, I’m not the author, I’m publishing the book.’
Quite what they made of me is anyone’s guess. Maybe they said to each other: ‘Have you come across this woman dashing around with an odd accent who invited you to something to do with, I think poetry, and our Parrog? She gave me some leaflets too.’
My brother was left holding the dog, and he needs it, the dog, I mean, he’s called Harry and an extremely handsome (he knows it) seventeen-months-old black Labrador who wants to be friends with everyone he meets (please Harry don’t jump up at people).
In a very short time, I bonded with the lovely lady who lived in Ondara House, Suzy Lamplugh’s childhood holiday home, owners of several restaurants and pubs, Rose who runs the post office and the lovely gift shop and who promised to stock the book as well as the one of the beautiful librarians (thank you Sean O’Brian), because tiny Newport actually has a working library (applause!), and she was happy to take a poster and some leaflets.
A tiring but very productive day on glorious sunny, warm autumn day on the amazing Pembrokeshire coast. I once nearly bought a house in nearby Fishguard overlooking the harbour (featured in the film Moby Dick) but it turned out to be full of asbestos, but that is an entirely different story.
So, if this Sunday, you happen to be near this special tiny Newport,
there are several Newports in the UK but just one in Pembrokeshire coastal park, you’re very welcome to join us and raise a glass to celebrate Karen Hayes magnificent poetry collection paying homage to the Parrog and its Welsh community.