I’d hoped to have a box of Happy Tango books to sell to a few tango dancers at the fun-and-fabulous TangoUK Tango Tangk, organised and hosted by Steve and Debbie Morrall, at Bramshaw, on the weekend of the 26th June – last weekend. Steve has read Happy Tango and given me a great endorsement for the book, which you will see on the back of the book cover and on the website here, and so it would have been very fitting to have been in a position to hand him his very own real copy, in person, wouldn’t it?
Two weeks ago, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. The Universe didn’t want to play ball - and we are even talking stormy weather in Argentina playing its very own dramatic part. Sometimes you just have to accept that a grand plan ain’t gonna come together in your time frame (as you know, I’ve said it before a million times). But that isn’t to say you give up entirely — well, at least, you don’t if you are Sallycat. I adjusted my goal — one copy, the proof copy of Happy Tango, out of my dreams and into by hands by Saturday 26th…
Remember folks, I’m publishing this book myself. In the effort to try and make that approach work for me, I’ve had to get my head around some fairly techie stuff; I’ll be honest, it’s been a little nerve-wracking in these ultimate stages. Friday the 18th saw me upload the files to the printing company from my base in Shropshire. Monday the 21st saw Me and C. on a train to Winchester, with no word yet as to whether the file had been accepted. Tuesday, we were in the green of the southern-England countryside, and after tea with my past neighbours in the gorgeous village of Itchen Abbas (where I lived one of my nine Sallycat lives), I got back to my lodgings and to the thumbs up message for the file and thus, the green light that the proof copy of Happy Tango was to be born. Wednesday, I received notice that the book had been printed. Thursday, it was posted to Pirotta Press Ltd. Friday, my most valient assistants Mr and Mrs T. (my beloved parents who remain my constant inspiration) took delivery and made the dash to the Post Office to request a next day postal service to deepest greenest Hampshire.
By Saturday morning I was staying with some much-loved tango buddies (who first welcomed me into their lives back in the days when I was taking my beginner, backwards steps in high heels) and was in my PJs when the postman arrived. He found himself surrounded on the doorstep. It’s my friend’s first ever book! I overheard as I hovered in the kitchen; I was using the excuse of the PJs, but truly I was nervous. It’s one thing to see covers and interior layouts on screens and printed by humble inkjets on A4 sheets; it’s another to see your wildest imaginings turned into a 6 by 9 inch paperback with a glossy cover. I found myself holding two years of my working life (and actually, the last fours years of my clock life), in a small cardboard-wrapped package, in my hands. In the few moments when I saw the book for the first time, the rush of relief was strong enough to propel me straight into the arms of my friends and Carlos, all at once I think. There were some tears of joy. It was cool.
It wasn’t that easy for me to look inside the book. On Saturday I only flicked through it and spent the rest of the day thrusting it under the noses of everyone I met (er sorry people, but I am sure you understand!), and in the evening I was thrilled to spontaneously share my delight with a few tango mates who knew me back at the very beginning of my tango journey, when I truly was a ‘leaf caught in the wind’ (as someone said to me this weekend, very accurately) and had no idea that I would even go to Buenos Aires, never mind write a book with a mission to help other people do it too. I did show the book off a little at the Tango Tangk milonga — even though doing so meant that there just wasn’t time to dance with everyone, alas. On Sunday, I made myself open it up and read the whole thing again… it needed some tweaks, so the file is now back with the printer and I await what surely must be, the final proof copy, which I intend to sign off prontísimo.
Yesterday in some kind of miracle moment (only looked the once to check the page count had been updated, I promise), Happy Tango got up to an amazon.co.uk Sales Rank of above 25000 in Books, and reached #6 in the category Dance, appearing on the front page there. I know that these are just figures, and they sure do go up and down like yo-yos every day, but you know what, I don’t really care. You have to celebrate the joys. And, a few people must be pre-ordering, which is completely wonderful. What I do care about, is getting the book to those people as fast as I possibly can. It’s true that Happy Tango is going to be a little later than my original target date. I’m sorry about that, but honestly, I don’t think it will be very late. I can say that now, because I have indeed seen the proof…
And here — my friends, at long last — it is.
You’ve gotta admit, that after all the talk since the day I first wrote this post in 2008, a photo of the first ever copy of the book actually being read, is a bit of a result! No?
Meanwhile, on the subject of great and mighty scorelines, to all you lovers of Argentine tango out there, on Saturday night you might have to forget tango shoes and think golden boots instead. What can I say but, Go number 11! Go Tevez! Go Messi! Go Maradona! Go Argentina!!!
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