St Albans author celebrates launch of 'relationship mystery' novel

PUBLISHED: 15:35 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 22 October 2019

St Albans author Nikki Vallance at the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Xanthe Nimmo

St Albans author Nikki Vallance at the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Xanthe Nimmo

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A debut author from St Albans celebrated her book launch with a surprise tango class.

St Albans author Nikki Vallance, who recently celebrated the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Alison BurrowsSt Albans author Nikki Vallance, who recently celebrated the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Alison Burrows

Nikki Vallance, who is 54 and has lived in St Albans since the late 90s, held a book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal' on Thursday, October 17.

The book tells the story of four women, all seemingly unconnected, whose lives are disrupted by receiving a bequest and not knowing where it has come from. The characters have to decide whether they accept the bequest, which has some strings attached, while seeking support from hypnotherapist Dr Kath O'Hannon.

Nikki described the book as a 'relationship mystery', and said: "Once you know the ending, you can't un-know it. You really don't see the ending coming, and you look back across the story and see the clues are there."

She also said she wanted to focus on characters who are women in their 40s, as she feels they are frequently underrepresented in fiction.

St Albans author Nikki Vallance, who recently celebrated the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Alison BurrowsSt Albans author Nikki Vallance, who recently celebrated the book launch for her debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Alison Burrows

The novel opens with a character launching a career as a ceramicist at a gallery in Sydney, and so the book launch took place in a gallery at the Royal Institute of British Architects, with around 90 people attending.

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As tango dancing features in the book, Nikki held a surprise tango class for the book launch guests.

She said: "I'm really interested in learning how to dance the Argentinian tango, and that's something that features in the book.

St Albans author Nikki Vallance's debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Xanthe NimmoSt Albans author Nikki Vallance's debut novel 'Pivotal'. Picture: Xanthe Nimmo

"I kept the tango as a surprise and everyone went 'oh my God, this is amazing!'"

While writing her novel, Nikki worked full-time in recruitment, but now runs The Writers' Pod from her home to help coach other aspiring writers.

Nikki also held an event in Waterstones on Saturday, October 19, and has plans to write more novels after Pivotal, with one already started and three more in the pipeline.

Speaking about the book launch, she said: "It went really well - I was really pleased. I didn't feel nervous, I was just enjoying it.

"I sold more than 50 books on the night, and other people who were there had pre-ordered it or were going to buy it in a bookshop.

"It was really a celebration - you want to sell books but really you want to share the moment with people."

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