Display created by my husband Rob
Well wow – where did that month go? It seems like forever since I was here, and yet the days have flown. One of the reasons for my failure to appear was that my limited time and energy was taken up with planning - and enjoying – the official launch of Dead Actually on the 26th. You know – the important one. The Party! And then afterward there was the cleanup and the returns of all the hired stuff – and the thank you notes. After all that, I settled to excitedly give you a full report here. And that’s when it hit… We had no photos. My camera had stayed safely in its little pouch, in my bag ALL DAY!! Suffice to say it’s taken me this long to beg, bribe and blackmail guests into handing over the loot – aka their photos. Thank you especially to my beautiful son Paul. We had a great day despite mega stressful last minute venue changes.
Some of the 130+ people who came to party.
Were there things I’d change? Do differently? Obviously not every event is perfect and this had one had its stresses – so yes, there were things I’d tweak for the next one. As a matter of fact, I now have a whole new perspective and will blog on the dos and not-to-dos of a successful book launch very soon. However, the two only questions that really needs answering for an event like this are: Was it fun? & Was it effective? And the answer to both is a resounding YES.
With gorgeous Molly
So what did we do to make it a fun day? I’ve always wanted my launches to be fun – to offer something in return to the people who turn up to support you. So, yep, we had food; boy did we have food. And I wish we had some photos of that. And naturally we had drinks, but I wanted something more than just sustenance for this event — I wanted it to be
Heather Cleary for the VGs. Backgroud from L-R: Annie, Judy, Rob, Kaz, Mary, Lea and Michelle. venue: Charlestown Library.
Coming up with a theme was both easy and frustrating. The theme of the book is ghosts right? Like, dead people. So what do we associate with dead people? Funeral directors? Call me unadventurous, but I just wasn’t seeing the fun in that.
So back to thinking board and then I had the most ingenious idea. Well, I thought it was… No, it was. Truly… LOL. I decided to have a psychic medium as a guest speaker. After all, the character who almost shared the lead with Willow was JoJo – in fact there were times when JoJo almost stole the story! But wait – it didn’t end there… Once I had that idea – I was on a roll.
Great idea number 2? Offer free psychic readings!
A trio of authors: Paula Roe shooting (hehe) Shannon Curtis & moi. Foreground: Jo Ramsey, one of our brilliant psychics at work. Jo was also our Psychic Medium guest speaker.
We had four. Four beautiful people who gave readings to the 125-130 assembled guests. What a hoot! Some people lined up for all four and then chose the best reading! There was lots of laughter and lots of shared stories.
My youngest daughter, Ree, then had the great idea that we needed serving girls dressed as black angels. (If you’ve read the book you know the reference). Again, four gorgeous girls dressed in black and donned black wings, and served the food and helped my daughters Mel (who was also MC) and Ree run the games.
Signing, signing, signing! What a buzz! With Kerry Stove.
Yes! We had games. Well probably more like competitions, really. Nothing too strenuous like pass the orange or pin the tail on the author. No, we had games like: share what you’d like your epitaph to be. What would you like your gravestone to say? Sounds morbid? No! It was a hoot! My own isn’t original but it’s one I’ve always loved, so my offering was: ‘I told you I was sick!’ My husband’s was typical of his humour: ‘Get off!’ I’ll share some more in the next weeks.
Ree made small grey tombstone shaped cardboard pieces and we had boards to pin your entries on. In the spirit of sharing rather than comps, we drew the winners from a box.
We also had another that was ’what is/was the best part of being a
teenager?’, and those responses were so interesting I’m going to do a whole blog on the responses. And a third comp that was to name the next book. All had to feature the word, ‘Dead’ to stay true to the series, and I have to tell you that some of those suggestions were darned good!
Specific Deets? The bookstore chain Unleash supplied the book stall – and yes we sold a lot of books.
With Madi and fam. Madi was the star of some of our promo and one of our gorgeous black angels!
The book was launched by my crit group – the Valley Girls. Why? Well, I wracked my brain for months to think of someone who knew me and knew the book well enough to do this justice. It hit me one day that while I knew some high profile people, they didn’t know the book – and that to me was of the utmost importance. The second hit was harder and hurt more because I should have seen it immediately. Who knew the book as well as me? Those who had lived every word with me – the VGs: Heather Cleary, Leanne McMahon, Mary Brehe, Lisa Chaplin, Judy Griffiths, Tanya McGovern, Annie West and Michelle Douglas.
Suzanne Boyle - getting the finger, Lisa McKee & the beautiful Smith fam
It was a lovely day full of love and warmth. Lots of laughter and friendship and yes, my book and I felt special.
Thank you so much to my beautiful husband – who did everything and was everywhere. The amazing display was all his idea and he carved that 3D shoe! can you believe it!
And my gorgeous family – Paul, Lisa, Mel, Pete, Ree and Michael – I so, so couldn’t have pulled this off without you, especially given our last minute dramas (stay tuned for those in the next post).
Thank you so much to my beautiful extended family and huge hugs to my friends – old, new and brand new that I met on the day. Kimmy – we missed you!
Filed under: for readers, friends, family and animals, writing news | Tagged: Annie West, book launch, Dead Actually, Kaz Delaney, Michelle Douglas, Paula Roe, Shannon Curtis | 21 Comments »