Last night I went to my first book launch — Claire King, author of The Night Rainbow (published today by Bloomsbury) was kind enough to invite me to Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street for the event.
Unlike many of the people at the launch who’d read preview copies, I bought my copy of The Night Rainbow (plus a gift copy) at Daunt’s on the night (see photos) so I can’t yet give my verdict on Claire’s novel. However, as can be seen on the cover, the book is endorsed by quotations from some very well known authors and every review I’ve read of the novel has been very complimentary, as were people I spoke to last night who’d read The Night Rainbow in advance.
The novel is set where Claire lives, in the south-west of France and tells the story of five year old Pea and her sister Margot. Bloomsbury have produced a charming trailer that also builds on the cover’s distinctive artwork, which can be found here.
I’m very much looking forward to reading my copy.
There was a healthy turnout at Daunt’s for the launch and all evening Claire herself was surrounded by a scrum of people waiting patiently for her to sign their copies. But what was fascinating about many of the guests was that it was the first time that they’d met Claire in person (me included), as the event was a huge literary tweet-up.
I’ve exchanged tweets and comments on Claire’s excellent blog (I can’t remember which came first now) for quite a while now and have gradually come to know many people online who were also invited to the launch. Even though I’d come to know several guests’ virtual selves very well, I’d only actually met one other guest in person before last night — Debi Alper, whom I’d had a chat with at the York Festival of Writing gala dinner.
By the end of the evening, I’d managed to say hello to a number of my most regular Twitter friends — who, in turn, introduced me to several fascinating new people I’m now following. I had a very enjoyable conversation with Isabel Costello, writer of the wonderfully titled Literary Sofa blog. And all evening I’d been hoping to bump into Pete Domican, a fellow Lancastrian, football fan and writer, whom I eventually met when we were both getting our books signed by Claire at the same time.
So thanks again to Claire for inviting me and giving me the opportunity not only to eventually meet her in person but also so many other Twitter friends — and, as we all said to each other, we all seemed to get on just as well in person as online. And it was a pleasure to share in Claire’s obvious pride and pleasure about the book’s publication — clearly the culmination of much perseverance and hard work — and a great example to those of us currently toiling away ourselves.