Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Start of Something New

It can be a little terrifying, big changes in your life, and today marks a big change in our lives. My amazing, talented and wonderful wife, Debs, has gone to her day job at Waterstones for the last time after over sixteen years.
Debs at one of her successful Harry Potter Nights

After working in that bookstore for so long, from its early days as one of the new flagship Ottakar's stores (remember Ottakar's? Those were the days...) to being bought out by HMV and becoming Waterstones, to being sold off by HMV to become its own company again, she's been there.

Working the midnight launches of three Harry Potter novels (and the midnight launch of Cursed Child), dozens upon dozens of author events, and creating amazing displays for the windows, the author signings, and organising all of the Bloomsbury "Harry Potter Book Nights".

Back in the old Ottakar's days, when I used to work alongside her, we both contributed to the company's intranet, as editors and advisors - me looking after science fiction and fantasy, Debs looking after the mind, body and spirit section. A duty that had us working closely with publishers, and was rewarded by our MD with dinner parties and trips to HMS Belfast and the Globe Theatre.

She stuck with it through the change of company, and when Waterstones decided every shop should look the same, through to now when the shops are encouraged to create unique, exciting displays to promote the events.

Handwritten giant parchment poster to advertise Harry Potter Book Night 2016

Amazing display to promote Fantastic Beasts

It has been sixteen years of incredible highs, and dreadful lows, but in a move that surprised both of us, she's leaving. Even though I've suggested that she should leave for years, I never actually thought she'd do it - and I don't think she did either.

Window display for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book -
a display used (uncredited) by The Bookseller magazine as a cover!

Dementor and discover your Patronus activity for Harry Potter Book Night

Defence Against the Dark Arts display with quiz at Harry Potter Book Night

It is scary, but I've been trying to reassure her during her times of freaking out and asking "what have I done?" by reminding her of the opening of High School Musical - it is "The Start of Something New".

Handmade Sabriel costume and display for Garth Nix event and signing

Ingenious display for Ben Aaronovitch event and signing to promote
The Hanging Tree

What that is, she doesn't entirely know. It could be crafts, putting the skills she's honed in her amazing displays to work.

I hope that part of it will see her polish off the three novels she's written - the first part of three inter-connected trilogies of awesome urban fantasy. Stories that have been buzzing around her head for over twenty years.

She could go back to her amazing skills in graphic design - never have I seen a more pedantic and accurate page layout than when she was working for 64 Solutions magazine.

Debs can do anything she likes. Whatever she chooses, I just want her to be happy.

She still loves books, and is one of the most creative people I've ever known. If I have one request from readers of this blog post, I ask you to both follow Debs' future adventures on Twitter -


And check out her new blog, where she talks about writing, the creative process, and whatever else is in her mind. It's brilliant, and well worth following.

Dead Chapter Graveyard

Thank you. I look forward to seeing what she gets up to!

1 comment:

Rad said...

You know I think the world of you two.
This is a huge move for Debs, but I think the right one.
With her talents and portfolio she should easily get a job as a window dresser, but yeah, should do
Whatever the hell she wants to. Good luck Debs, go and kick some arse! X