Thursday, 28 June 2018

Lily & Laura Update

It's been a few months since we last heard what author Laura Hamilton and her Golden Retriever, Lily, have been up to with regard to promoting Lily: one in a million ... a miracle of survival. That doesn't mean that things have gone quiet though: oh no!

Laura has been working extremely hard to get Lily's story out to the world, and her efforts have certainly paid off! So, in today's blog, we bring you up to speed on all that this dynamic duo have been up to.

Stop Press!

Lily has appeared in a number of print articles since the book's initial release back in March. First off, she featured in the April issue of Hampshire WI News. Lily also featured in the Southern Daily Echo on April 20. More recently, Lily appeared on the front page of the Portsmouth News on June 13, with a splendid article that makes up most of page five!

Portsmouth News, June 13

This last article proved a major turning point in Laura's efforts, as within a couple of hours of the paper appearing on newsstands, Solent News and Photo agency was on the phone, requesting a telephone interview there and then! It also led to a lengthy photo shoot at Laura's home, all whilst Lily was eating her lunch. Fingers crossed this may lead to more national coverage for Lily's inspiring story.

Lily and Lauren – with an added piggy!
School visit sparks inspiration

As Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs, Lily and her mother, Pilot, are regulars at local junior and infant schools. One such visit inspired a student so much, that she decided to write a short story to enter in a national competition!

Seven-year-old Lauren wrote a 500-word short story from Lily's point of view called A Canadian Saved my Life, which was then entered in the National Young Writer's Awards, judged this year by David Walliams. Lauren received plenty of positive feedback on her work, with it being described as original, having a sophisticated style, and great character development. She was awarded one of the highest marks, and was even shortlisted for the regional final. A huge well done to Lauren!

Book signings galore!

Fareham Library poster
Lily and Laura have had a whole host of book signings over the past few months, with Lily's custom left-pawed stamp at hand, starting with Locks Heath Community Centre on April 25. Next was a talk at the Litchfield Abbey Women's Institute on June 12, which was such a success that Laura got so involved with the talking side that there wasn't enough time for a lot of signing! A week later saw Lily and Laura at Fareham Library. Attendance was good, with one lady waiting for three hours in order to meet the stars! The librarian who co-ordinated the event then got in touch with other libraries, to see if any would be interested in holding a similar event: watch this space!

The Portsmouth News article was published in-between the last two book signings, and it certainly helped spread the word, and elicit interest for other events! Waterstones in Fareham, which is close to the library, was motivated by the article to consider stocking Lily's book, to follow on from the book talk Laura gave. Branches of WH Smith in Fareham and Whiteley are also interested in holding their own book signing with Lily and Laura, which is great news!

Laura spotted on June 27 that Waterstones, Fareham, has stock of Lily: one in a million, displayed on a table for all to see. She even signed a few copies, so if you want an exclusive signed edition, you'd better be quick! Laura described seeing her book on sale in a major bookshop is "a great experience that I had always hoped to have."

Lily in Waterstones

A Royal connection

Laura is keen to do her bit to publicise her book, and she has her hopes set high, as she plans to send a copy of Lily: one in a million to the newest member of the Royal Family. It's well known that the Duchess of Sussex has a love of dogs, but Laura has a fair few other things in common with Meghan, prompting her to share Lily's story with her:

  • Toronto is a big part of Laura's life, having been where she was born and raised. It's also where the new Duchess lived whilst filming her last acting job, Suits
  • As did the new Duchess, Laura left the United States to marry a British man, and has happily embraced this country as her own
  • The Duchess' father worked as a lighting director on American soap General Hospital, and Laura's uncle worked as a sound technician on the very same show! Laura used to spend a great deal of time on the set with her uncle; it's a small world! 

Fingers crossed that the newly-wed Duchess has a chance to read Lily's story in amongst her busy schedule as a Royal; we're sure that she will love this miracle of survival story!

Visits and musings

Laura has been pro-active from the get-go about getting Lily's story out to the world, and to her, there is no such thing as aiming too high! In her own words, she says she "won't stop until Lily is on The One Show!"

In amongst all the amazing feedback Laura has been receiving, many people have told her that they can 'hear' her voice as they are reading the book, with several asking if she has considered doing an audiobook version! It's something that has crossed Laura's mind before, and here at Hubble & Hattie, we "never say never!", so watch this space ...

May 5 was a very special day in the Hamilton household, as Lily celebrated her 4th birthday!

Happy birthday, Lily!

On June 21, whilst taking part in her weekly PAT Read2Dogs programme at Sarisbury C of E Junior School, Lily met – and had her picture taken with – local councillor Sean Woodward. They spent an hour together, whilst reading with the children, and Laura gave Sean a copy of her book. Much to Laura's delight, Sean revealed that his family has a German Shepherd; Laura's first miracle dog, Ty, was a German Shepherd, and he is mentioned in the book's preface.

Say cheese! Lily with Sean Woodward

The dynamic duo, along with Pilot, were back at Sarisbury School for their annual summer fete on June 23, where both dogs had an intergalactic encounter! Check out this great picture of the pair with a couple of Stormtroopers! Hopefully, these were the dogs they were looking for, as who wouldn't want to meet this adorable pair!

The force is strong!

Phew! That is quite a list! Be sure to keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and in Animal Magic, as no doubt there will be plenty more to come from Lily and Laura!

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