Failure to (photograph)Launch!

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

Happy people.

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!


21 Responses

  1. It was a great day Kaz!! Can’t wait for the next one xoxo

  2. Thank you beautiful Ree. At the next one we’ll have an extra pair of hands to help! LOL. Thank you for all your fabulous ideas and for all your work! xxxxx It couldn’t have happened without you.

  3. Oh, Kaz, that sounds absolutely wonderful. What a fabulous time you and all your guests must have had. Brilliant idea with the psychic readings and speaker, and what fun with the epitaphs. Looking forward to hearing more of those.

    Wishing you mega sales and much stardom!

    • Thank you Cathryn. We did have a load of fun. Wish I’d had more time to enjoy it!!! But you know what it’s like – held up by those pesky people who just need you to sign their books. It’s all about ‘them’ right? 😉 (she says with tongue super-glued firmly into left cheek…)

      No! All lies! Everyone was so generous and full of good wishes. I loved every minute.

      And super, super congrats on Friday’s release of ‘Heart of the Valley’. I’m heading of over to your blog (Cathryn Hein’s Friday Feast.) I’ve actually been once but I was rushing. Will go back for a more leisurely look. Can’t wait to pick up my copy!
      Thanks for dropping by – I really appreciate it! ❤

  4. Wow, what a hoot! That sounds like the very best sort of booklaunch, Kaz. Glad it went so well and congratulations on the release!

    • Thank you Louise – you’re always so gracious. I love your support – thank you!

      It was a lot of fun. I was amazed that people were having 4 readings and picking the one they liked the best! How hilarious! But I guess sometimes we just want someone to say we’re on the right track to keep us plodding along.

      Thanks for the good wishes for Dead, Actually! Fingers crossed! xx

  5. Man it looks like AMAZING fun!! But I could always tell you could throw a party – you only need to hear you MC to know that!!! Congrats, I can’t wait to get stuck into Dead Actually.

  6. Congratulations on your book launch, Kaz.. The photos are amazing.
    WOW, Over 130 people too!!

    I can’t wait to read Dead Actually!

    • Thanks Karen! Approx 130 give or take a few. But Ssshhhh – the venue was only supposed to hold 100! LOL.

      We were thrilled with the turnout, Karen – especially since we had to change venues at the last minute and AFTER we’d had some press coverage to advertise the original venue.

      There was no time or opportunity to change that information in the press – so we just had to cross our fingers and hope we’d reached most people. We had quite a few arrive that we weren’t expecting, and quite a few we didn’t know. Though we DID wonder if and how many people turned up at the other venue. Sigh…

      Thank you for this support, honey. I look forward to my copy of ‘Me & Her: A Memoir of Madness’ – and I hope you have loads of fun at your own launches and I wish you a tonne of sales! Enjoy this crazy time – you’ve worked hard for it!

  7. Thank you so much for posting this, have been wondering how it all went! Thank you for the great photos and of course I especially loved seeing my old friends from the Valley Girls. None of you look a day older than 10 years ago since I used to be able to meet with you all. Once again, sincere congratulations, Kerri, so glad it all went so well and again I wish so much I could have joined you You are a legion and do hope you will be at RWA in August for a hug!

    • So glad you enjoyed the photos Mary – it would have been perfect had you been there to share it too!

      None of us look older? Oh Mary you are the angel I always suspected you were.. But just the same, I;d get my glasses checked… 😉

      Yep will certainly be at RWA. I’m on a YA panel that should be fun!

      Thank you for dropping by xxx

  8. Kaz, the blog ate my comment! Will just say, in case this one goes west too, that it was a fantastic afternoon and lots of fun. All that hard work paid off beautifully. Thanks for such a great day.

    • I hate it when that happens Annie and it’s happened to me sooo many times. No lately though thank goodness. I must be on the good side of the Blog Fairy for a change.

      Thank you for sharing the day – it was great to have you there.

      Hugs xxxx

  9. would have loved to been there …I think Mr Paul needs to be taken on board as Official Photographer and paid accordingly also he needs a name tag to make him look official ..only because i remember him as a cute little munchin ..glad you had a great day 🙂

    • He’s still a cute little munchkin, Leah! And it would have made my day to have you there. Of course there are no surpriises to know that Anne won a prize! She’s so ikey that girl! She never walks out of anywhere without a prize…

      Didn’t get any photos of her though, but Kerry Stove pictured above is her niece.

      Thanks Leah – I’ll pass your messages on to Paul! he’ll love them. xxx

  10. Congratulations, Kaz on a wonderful book launch. Looks like it went well, regardless of the last minute hitches. Looking forward to catching up again at the conference.

    • Hello beautiful Chris! I always love seeing your smiling face turn up. Thank you so much for the good wishes – yes it was a great day. I was very fortunate.

      See you in August armed with hugs! xxx

  11. Kerri, it was a fabulous day and we all had a wonderful time!

    I know you mentioned the food but, seriously, it’s worth mentioning again. It’s such a shame you didn’t get photos because the tables were positively groaning under the weight of all those goodies! (And I want to know what happened to the cake!)

    Many congratulations on your launch, Kerri, but more importantly congratulations on writing such a fabulous book!!! I hope Dead, Actually takes the world by storm. 🙂

  12. Thanks Michelle! And thank you too, so much for all your support – AND for the great reading! ‘Everybody’ and I mean ‘everybody’ mentioned how fabulous you were – so again, thank you.

    The cake! LOL! Another major Delaney disaster. My gorgeous husband designed and ordered an amazing cake – but in the busyness and mayhem – we FORGOT about it!

    I found it at the end, when there were just a few stragglers left. Trust me – those stragglers, including our amazingly generous psychic readers – took home boatloads of cake!

    That cake had the bakers intrigued though. When the hub picked it up on Sunday morning, the girl timidly asked what ‘Dead, Actually’ – the words piped in read to emulate the font on the book – meant! Can you imagine their speculations!! Wish I’d been a fly on THAT wall! 🙂

    Thank you Michelle! Fun memories.

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