Two days ago, Cheryl Rainfield, Deb Ouellet, Charlie Hnatiuk and I launched our Dragon Speaker trilogy at Another Story bookstore in Toronto (if you haven’t been there, you need to go. Lovely bookstore, great staff. Cheryl and I are already planning to go back on a day when we can look around properly).
To be honest, I was dreading it. I was afraid no one would come and we’d feel silly. I was afraid too many people would come, and we’d run out of food and have no room in the bookstore. I was afraid of getting up and reading even the little 200-word chunk of text that I’d selected. We hadn’t ironed out quite all the details, and none of us really knew exactly what needed doing, and I was nervous.
Still, one of the perks of being part of a team of three writers is that you never have to go through any part of the process alone. We read and commented on one another’s work, and we planned the launch together. It was a lot easier to stand up to read our work knowing that there were three of us there.
It was a wonderful day. I’m so very, very grateful to all my friends and family who came, and to the people I just met that day who came out to support Cheryl and Deb and Charlie. One of Cheryl’s friends, I recognized from her Twitter picture! (Hello, @claudiaosmond, nice to meet you in person!)
Most of my writing group was there, and my wonderful family (from Whitby and Hamilton and points in between), and friends from university and from DapaSoft, where I used to work. Cheryl and I were both thrilled to see friends from Peter Carver’s writing course there–no one ever graduates, so the class builds a nice sense of community as people come back year after year.
The bookstore was crowded, but we didn’t run out of food. My mom made the cake, decorated with images of our book covers, and we had an entire back-up cake left over at the end. (Hiding under the table, in case it was needed. You never knew it was there, did you?)
People seemed to be having a good time. I think the door prizes were fun–we had book bags that my mom made, a lovely framed picture that our artist, Charlie, made up specially, and gift certificates for Another Story. My sister-in-law, artist Stephanie Vegh, won the jar of chocolates (sorry, “dragon coal”) by guessing closest to the number of chocolates in the jar (128, btw–her guess was 113). Who knew she was a math whiz?
A lot of the event was kind of ad-libbed. We never quite figured out how to handle book signings, or where to put a table, or even if it would be needed, so we ended up just signing books as asked, when we ran into people we knew. It led to messier handwriting, I suppose, but I liked it better than being stuck in one place. It gave me the chance to visit with more people. And for me, at least, that was the best part of the day.
Thank you, everyone who came out, and everyone who couldn’t be there but sent their best wishes anyhow! 🙂
Our publisher, Paul Kropp, shared some good news with us. The books are doing well, even better than expected, and he would like a second set to be published next year. Cheryl, Deb and I are already brainstorming, and Charlie has agreed to do the illustrations again. These books will be linked, but not a series–they’ll share a common world, but we’ll each write our own characters and story. Deb came up with a great concept, and I’m excited to get to work.
Pictures to follow! Check out Cheryl’s blog post on the book launch, as well.