Bell's Book Creates its Own Drama as he Prepares for his Fringe Show

The plan was that I would do an Edinburgh Fringe show to promote my book, Peak Water. This would provide the necessary buzz to catapult the publication from the remainder bin to the best-seller list. So far there is only one problem. There is no book.

The book was meant to arrive long ago, but I’ve learnt that they don’t come on time. Between first draft and printers proofs, there is a black hole of tedium, in which everything is changed, very slowly. I had hoped, however, that the draft volume would turn up in time for the festival. It is
Monday morning, and nothing.

Parachutists say that when you no longer feel nervous, you shouldn’t jump. It’s the tingle of anxiety that keeps you alert and safe. It’s the morning before the show and my stomach and throat feel like a parachute is stuck down inside of me. I want to vomit up a great bellow of nerves. My worry capacity is full and I’ve no space left to harass the damn publishers and printers, to shout at them to go take a jump. Gavin from Luath says not to worry, the book will arrive during the performance.

As I run through my gags and stories, every passing van outside the window holds the promise of the books, but pulls away again in a puff of exhausted hope. The show is coming to an end, a show promoting a book, and there is still no flaming book. I end by urging people to visit Amazon in a month. As a pay-off line, I feel it will result in little pay.

But come Tuesday, just before my second performance, the books arrive; boxes of pre-publication copies, first drafts for review and editing. The idea is that I can amend the content based on some of the feedback from the show. It is all working. I have a show, and a book, and a full house. For once, a plan has come off.

This makes me feel nervous… co-founder, Alex Bell’s show Water Wars is on Schop, on St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, at 1pm. It is free, but he will accept money, if you insist. Peak Water will be published in late September. 

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