Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Tale of Two Book Launches

I have a confession. I have never launched one of my own books. I am just not a party-organising type person, even though I enjoy them during and after the fact, the before part kills me: is there enough food? Drinks? Places to sit? Will people have fun? Will they come? Will all my people mix? Will there be tears? And that's just for a four year old's birthday party. (You may think organising launches is the kind of thing your publicist does, between driving you around in limousines and topping up your champagne glass. Sorry to say this is not the case.) I often intend to have a launch. Kate and I planned to do something for Swoosie, but it came out in January and she was in Sorrento, then we were in Tassie, and January dissolved into February and the kids went back to school all got hard.

But this week I am involved in two launches.


See that? To be launched by ME! I am the famous person. I do hope Karen doesn't question her choice of launchers when she finds out how uninitiated I am in the ways of launching. Luckily I loved the book, and many things about it reminded me of Undine, Breathe and Drift. It has a wonderful magic system, looping around pimarily Maori mythology (embedded as it is in the New Zealand islandscape), but also interested in the base similarities between many different myths, basically arguing that people structure themselves through stories, and because we are made of stories, stories are true (through our investment in them, we make them true). Okay, you probably need to read the whole novel to get what I am saying here. It is a poetic idea, and it resonated deeply with me. Come on down on Tuesday and buy it for yourself, and see me say things and Karen will also say things and then there will be drinkings and you can say things to us and each other and to the shopkeepers like 'I'll take two Guardians, and by the way, do you have a copy of Penni Russon's Little Bird, which I hear was named a CBCA Notable book this year'. (See what I did there with the subtle self-promotion? Seamless.)

I have a piece in this new collection edited and published by Karen Andrews from Miscellaneous Mum. It has already received attention in The Australian, an article which was further discussed here and here. The collection is diverse, some 'writerly' reflective pieces, some cultural commentary, some literary criticism, pieces that straddle the borders of the personal, political, public, private, ephemeral, but strangely permanent - as is the nature of the blog. Laurie Steed is launching it on Wednesday 14 April at 6.30pm. The launch is at Readings Carlton, just like Karen's so I will be sleeping in the little picture book room at the back of the shop on Tuesday night of course, since it would be silly for me to drive all the way home.

I hear that sometimes people drink wine at these things. I of course will not be doing that because I am on my Ps, and an arrested adolescent (who does not want to be actually arrested). But you should feel free to drink wine.

Perhaps all this launching will inspire me to do one of my own. My next book isn't out till July 2011. So that gives me plenty of time to plan.


  1. Yes, yes, launch your next book! I love book launches (being an ex-bookseller). I think it's because it brings together all the people who love the author (like children and friends) and all the people who love the author's work, and they all have a big celebration together of how ace it is to have said author in the world. With snacks. It's like heaven, quite a bit. Have fun being the celebrity launcher in the meantime.

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  3. That made me laugh. I thought I was the only one that neurotic about party planning. Oh, the misery of that first birthday!

    And I am an arrested adolescent on Ps as well. Sadly no wine for me. :(

  4. And by then you should be off your P plates.

  5. That sounds so lovely! I wish I could be there to drink on your behalf and poke strangers in the side and say "that there's my best friend!"