Author returns to spiritual home’
Stephanie Hill calls Bermuda her “spiritual home”, which made it an obvious place to celebrate her book.
She’s to sign copies of Come Sleep With Me: An Adventure in Bed and Breakfast Land and Beyond at Brown & Co this weekend.
It coincides with the book’s second printing, seven months after its initial release in the UK.
“I really wanted to do a book signing in Bermuda because Bermuda is my spiritual home,” the author said. “It was important to celebrate the time I have spent here.
“I hope Bermudians will love it. I hope they will find humour and joy in it. I have had several Bermudian readers so far.”
The story tells of the nine years she spent at the helm of The Plaine Guesthouse in Somerset, England. Among the more interesting tales: the time a group dressed as Roman centurions turned up and when Robert Plant, the lead singer of the British rock band Led Zeppelin, checked in.
Feedback from her friends has been fabulous.
“Everyone has been so excited and is celebrating with me and recognising the achievement of creating a book and setting a goal and doing it,” Ms Hill said. “I have inspired many others to do it too.
“It is really exciting. It kind of blows you away. Some of the comments I have been getting back from [readers] all over the world have been really lovely.
“One person said, ‘This book is a life lesson in kindness.’ I thought that was just beautiful. Someone else said, ‘It gave me confidence to keep on going following my own dreams.’ It is a brilliant feeling having your book published and people actually loving it.”
Born in the British Midlands, she came to Bermuda back in 1990 for a two-week vacation and ended up staying for 16 years.
She bought the guesthouse shortly after she left the island in 2006. In 2015 she sold it, but the wonderful memories of her experience lingered and she started writing.
“I worried that people might dismiss my meanderings, but in fact the opposite happened and I had five publishing offers,” Ms Hill said.
“Publishing a book is putting yourself up for criticism. No one wants to be criticised. But it has given me more love and confidence and a belief in myself. It really has.”
Most incredible has been seeing it at Britain’s largest book retailer.
“When I saw my book on a shelf at Waterstones it was indescribable,” Ms Hill said. “To see it being picked up by people and enjoyed by people was wonderful. I sat in Waterstones and was looking at a copy that I was going to sign for someone. Someone came over and said, ‘Oh, it’s you! Can I get your autograph?’ Oh my gad!”
She holds the book up to clients of her life-coaching business, Grin and Tonic, as an example of what can be achieved when you believe in yourself.
“My message is that we are all capable of whatever we set our minds to,” she said. “Whilst I was writing the book it was a joy to remember some of the great people and places that have brought me such joy. When I finally decided to actually finish the book it was quite easy as I was clear and focused and when anyone gets focused it’s easy to achieve our goals. It’s usually not knowing what our goal is that keeps us from achieving our dreams.
“What I am realising is that everyone has a story that is beautiful and unique. It needs to be heard. What we end up doing is we control those stories and put them in a box and put them somewhere safe.
“To hell with that. Be the most beautiful version of yourself that you are. Shout about yourself and tell people about yourself. You don’t need to throw yourself in people’s faces. It’s about celebrating yourself and life.”
• Come Sleep With Me: An Adventure in Bed and Breakfast Land and Beyond is available at Amazon.com and at Brown & Co, where Stephanie will sign copies on Saturday from 12pm to 3pm. She is also hosting a private event at the store tomorrow night. E-mail email@example.com for an invitation
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