The launch of my book, "My Plunge to Fame"

I was nearly sick with nerves for the Durban launching of my book. I had to give a speech. Well, Gaynor has been doing her speeches for years, you’re thinking. Yes, I have but the speech I have been doing for years is actually my show. And before my show opened I had 4 weeks rehearsal. I had to give a totally new speech at my launch about my book. For weeks beforehand I tossed and turned in bed literally paralysed with fear trying to unscramble my thoughts about what I was to say.

It’s pathetic the way I always turn to the Lord in situations like that. When I was an actress every time I went onstage my entrance would always be preceded by prayers of extraordinary heat and fervour. A similar situation occurs now that I am a speaker. You can only imagine what they were like when I had to step forward as an author! I don’t know how to be an author. Authors, I imagine, should be able to utter remarks of great philosophical relevance. They should have this incredibly dry, cynical wit. Can you honestly see me fitting into that category?! So I had to appear as Gaynor Young presenting herself as Gaynor Young. Before my speech that didn’t exactly cause my confidence to overflow.


Yes, but. My speech went too wonderfully for words. I didn’t once have to look at my points that I had taken up with me. The things that I meant to be funny the audience laughed at and they also cracked up with hilarity at things that I hadn’t meant to be funny. Made me wonder!

At the launch we had an extraordinary turn out of people. Far more than we had anticipated so people had to stand at the back of the room. And they all bought books. Everyone did! And some bought more than one. Some bought three, some five. I know one person that bought ten! I couldn’t believe it. They were buying my book!


We filmed the whole of the next day on Carte Blanche. They had a divine crew and I really get on well with Derek. I now have found that by holding a person under the chin I pick up the vibrations of their voices and this helps me so much with deciphering what they are saying. I obviously did it with Derek the whole time. I was terrified that I would miss what he was saying. People that saw the programme accused me of flirting dreadfully with him. What utter garbage but I must say that he’s got a beautiful chin to clasp!


My Jo’burg launch also went amazingly. I was even more nervous for that launch than the one in Durban. All of my theatre friends were there and I was terrified that I would dry or express myself badly. I didn’t want to do that in front of them. But as with the Durban launch it went fantastically. My entire family was there. Megan had flown out from NZ , Liz came up from CT, Mum and Dad from George and Patch was in Jhb. They sat in the front row so my eyes instantly fell on them. Mum was crying but knowing Mum that was to be expected. But Dad…! He was a complete basket case! I went up on stage, smiled at everyone, looked at my family and saw my father in this little puddle on the floor. This is the man who 15 years ago was very reticent about showing his feelings! My precious, beloved father. At the end of my speech I got a standing ovation and everyone in my family was weeping. I think it’s because for them this is the final rounding off of my recovery. Des and Dawn Lindburgh then sang a song that they had composed for me. Naturally, I couldn’t hear a thing but felt honoured that they had gone to that trouble. Afterwards I felt positively drunk with happiness. I mingled with all my friends; a few of them I hadn’t seen for absolute ages. Yet they had all turned up, wishing to see me through this new start to my career. My friends have been a large contributer towards my recovery. When I had my accident I thought that after a year all my friends would turn their backs on me, get bored with having to talk slowly, impatient with having to put up with this spastic child. Oh, ye of little faith, Gaynor! Today I not only have all of my old friends but also a host of new ones.


The next six days were packed full with interviews. I got back to Durban exhausted. But oh, I had had such fun. There were 55 e-mails waiting for me. A lot of them were birthday messages, people congratulating me on my launches and some were from people that want me to speak for them. I had six offers. Isn’t that too wonderful for words.


You know, throughout our lives we all go through ups and downs. At the moment I am riding on the crest of this massive wave and the feeling is quite exhilarating. I am aware that soon it will run down but that's okay. I'll just tread water until the next swell gently lifts me to the top once more.


And my book seems to be selling. I am so unbelievably proud of that book. Because I have got brain damage and I managed to produce it. Oh, but you haven't really got brain damage, Gaynor. Yes, I have. I would sit there working for about 3 hrs and at the end would have written 2 paragraphs. I would know the word that I wanted to use but it woulld nestle quite comfortably at the back of my brain refusing to come out onto my keyboard. I could have just about screamed. I would leave my computer for the afternoon, come back again that night and lo and behold that word would have roused itself from it's deep slumber and would be waiting impatiently to leap out onto my keyboard. So, yes, I am proud of my book.