The launch of a novel by a Falmouth-based writer and journalist saw nearly 70 people crowd into Falmouth Bookseller.

Despite high winds and driving rain last Thursday, people travelled from around the county to celebrate Nicola K Smith's A Degree of Uncertainty, and the bookshop even sold out of existing stock.

A new batch of paperbacks was hastily delivered to the bookshop the next day and sales continue apace.

“The story and its characters are purely fictional, but I have drawn inspiration from living in Falmouth and watching the shift in dynamics as the university has grown,” said Nicola.

“As with many things in life, there are pros and cons, but its expansion has certainly changed the face of the town and divided opinion.”

Nicola, who contributes to titles including The Times, Guardian, BBC, Coast and Cornwall Today, says the success of the launch event exceeded her expectations.

“I was certainly encouraged by taking over 100 pre-orders, but the wild Cornish weather on the day of the launch made me nervous about the turn out! I needn’t have worried. People made a huge effort to be there — I was really touched.”

Nicola’s debut novel is set in a fictional Cornish town inspired by Falmouth and tells of a community divided by a rapidly growing university, pitting residents, students and businesses against each other, and spawning some unlikely alliances.

Eloise Rowe, manager of Falmouth Bookseller said: “We were delighted to support the launch of Nicola’s debut novel. The event was really successful and it was great to see so many people in the bookshop enjoying themselves. A Degree of Uncertainty seems to be proving popular and we hope sales will continue as they've started.”

Signed copies were in demand on the night, with many attendees requesting personalised messages for friends and family as Christmas presents.

“I was honoured to be asked to write dedications in so many of the books,” said Nicola. “People seem to have really embraced the story and I am already getting some great early feedback.”

Nicola is happy to personalise more books as Christmas presents and can be contacted via her website.

A Degree of Uncertainty can be bought from the Falmouth Bookseller for £6.99, or online at It will also be available as an ebook on Amazon from December 1.