It's always a thrill to hear an author read their work aloud. It's even more of an honour to be at the author's début.
Last night, 100 people crammed into the function room of Canal 125 for the launch event of Girl With A One Track Mind Exposed by Abby Lee aka Zoe Margolis.
Sitting around her in a semicircle, it was like Jackanory for adults. Despite never having read her work in public before, Zoe's voice rang out loud and clear. She relished the innuendo and succeeded in making her audience dissolve into fits of giggles on several occasions.
This is the sequel to her extraordinary first book, Girl with a One-track Mind: Confessions of the Seductress Next Door
In with the smut, the London A-Z of where she's shagged, and her thoughts on Rampant Rabbits, was unexpected heartbreak.
Anyone who has followed her blog knows the disgraceful way the Sunday Times treated Zoe. Their obnoxious pursuit of her and the lengths they went to for a "scoop". I knew the story well. But hearing Zoe reading it aloud brought home just how terrifying it was for her.
The abuse - and there is no other word for it - is evidently still a raw subject. This new book is the product of emotional distance from a traumatic event - hence its delay in release.
It takes supreme courage to survive being exposed in front of your peers. Even more courage to take that experience, craft a book around it and then stand up in front of a group of strangers and ask them to listen to you.
Massive congratulations to Zoe for her outstanding blog and her brilliant second book.