Apologies for the lateness of this report (I was getting to it, Thoraiya!) but suddenly I blinked and half a week had gone by. This happens to me a lot.
On Tuesday night, the ever wonderful and community-minded Hobart Bookshop hosted a launch for me and The Shattered City, Book Two of the Creature Court. As a delicious bonus, Love and Romanpunk was also available for sale. I had been a little uncertain about whether to launch this book – considering each volume of the trilogy are coming out so close together, I had fretted a bit about whether I was over egging the pudding, or expecting too much of my family and friends. But I was talked into it pretty easily, and as I said recently to someone else – you have to celebrate the wins. After several years of no book to launch, I absolutely need to mark the successes while they are happening.
Also, as it turns out, my family & friends have been developing a bit of a taste for book launches. Bonus attendee points to Isabel, who since the last launch has bobbed her hair, acquired a pink flapper dress, and on the day itself scored herself a cloche hat as an early mother’s day present. Now that’s commitment!
The reliable and mighty-voiced Dirk Flinthart drove for three hours to launch my book, and I was startled to realise afterwards that he had never done so before (the launching thing, not the driving thing) – what with Craig Wellington last year, it looks like I have a habit of giving people their launcher debut! Dirk gave a lovely speech, showing how long we have known each other (TEN YEARS) and how familiar he is with the development of my work, as well as his utter faith in where I’m going next. It was exactly what you’d want from such a speech, and considering that the majority of people in the bookshop knew me, it was nice to have something so personal.
There was wine and book chat, and general loveliness. I am terribly grateful for my rent-a-crowd, who can comfortably fill a bookshop, but are also willing to buy books – not only the pile of The Shattered City, but the pile of Love and Romanpunk was beautifully eroded, and I got to sign many, many books. Thanks to Mel A for giving me a head’s up reminder beforehand that I was going to have to think of new clever things to write in the books! Being witty on cue is terribly stressful.
Then of course there was what has become a family tradition – the dressing up of the children! After several experiments, Jem proved to be less than keen on a costume, so I put her in a jungle t-shirt and a tutu. Raeli meanwhile had known for ages what she wanted to be: having dressed up as a mermaid for Seacastle and a black cat for Power and Majesty, she had her heart set on a lion costume. Unfortunately, what with one thing and another. I ended up having to source the costume on the day itself, and was faced with very limited choices. Luckily she is a creative little thing and was happy to think outside the box for her lion-y look.
I was also excited that there were a few (only a few, admittedly!) people there who I didn’t even know personally! Who also bought books! Bless their little cotton socks. There was even a committed future reader from the US who contacted the bookshop to order Power and Majesty and The Shattered City ahead of time, so I could sign them for him! With so much love & support, it’s no wonder that I’ve been feeling terribly inspired to get on with writing the new book this week…