I didn't go to any book launches last year. Why? Because it's extraordinarily difficult for me to get to them:
1) They're typically in London and I live in Bristol
2) Even though I work from home the day job doesn't finish until 5pm which is when I have to pick up my toddler son.
The planets pretty much need to collide for me to attend a launch party but, luckily, this year they have (in no small part thanks to my wonderful partner) and what magical launch parties they've been.
The first was Mel Sherratt's launch for 'WATCHING OVER YOU'. Although this isn't Mel's first book (she's had astonishing success with her self - published 'Estate' series and Amazon bestseller 'Taunting the Dead') it is her first to be published by Thomas and Mercer. Mel's excitement and delight was infectious and her speech was one the most touching I've ever heard (and she called my new book THE ACCIDENT 'shit hot' which was nice!).
We share an agent (Madeleine Milburn) so she made a speech too and it was great to catch up with both of them afterwards. I also chatted with fellow Maddy author Talli Roland, lovely Liz Fenwick (not a Maddy author! ), an editor I knew from my Orion days, and some Tweeters and aspiring authors. The biggest surprise of the night was when a heavily pregnant lady came over to me and said how much she'd enjoyed 'The Accident' and that she was my proofreader! We ended up chatting for ages - and not about my book.
I stayed at Mel's do for much longer than I meant to and didn't end up rolling into bed back in Bristol into 2am. My toddler woke up for the day at 5.30am. Ouch.
Me and Mel!
(My signed copy - a limited edition as the knife has been removed in the second print run!)
I didn't make the same mistake last Thursday even though I had just as much fun at the brilliant Rowan Coleman's book launch (I was in bed by 12.30am. Result!). Poor Rowan had the gods conspiring against her what with the floods and
the tube strike but she still had a brilliant turn out.
Talk about author spotting - I talked to Kate Harrison,
Lucy Robinson, Rosie Blake, Julie Cohen, Katy Regan, Ali Harris, Rebecca
Chance, Alex Marwood, Tamsyn Murray and Veronica Henry. And Rowan's competition winner! And lovely book bloggers One More Page and Rea and Anne. And Fabulous magazine's book blogger Claire. And even Rowan's husband!
Rowan's launch was her first with her new publisher Ebury and we were lucky enough to hear her read an extract.
There was a real fizz of excitement and anticipation about Rowan's new book 'THE MEMORY BOOK'. I think it's going to be huge.
The best launch party goodie bag EVER - postcard, notebook, forget me not seeds and CHOCOLATES!
p.s. This has nothing to do with book launches but, if you're on Goodreads, I'd love it if you could friend my CL Taylor page there. She's looking a bit short of friends compared to my Cally Taylor page!