Thursday, October 2, 2014

After the party's over ...

Well, this week I am resting up after the fun and excitement of the book launch party for The Wolfe Widow, the third in the book collector mysteries that I write with my daughter.  I really wished that you all could have been there.  Some of you California and Ohio and Indiana folks did mention how the odd thousand miles or so journey might not work out this week.  I’m sure I shouted back, “But there will be chocolates!  And nachos! And chicken wings … And Peachy the Pug (aka Walter)  in her tutu!”   

  Never mind! It was great to welcome to our new book alongside Book Fair and Foul, my very good friend(and former business partner)  Erika Chase’s fourth book. Here's the poster that Victoria did up:

 I often wonder if we should keep on having launch parties. It’s a lot of work with the planning, finding a venue, deciding on refreshments and making invitations and posters.

But after all, it was my sixteenth book. Or maybe that is only book 14 ½ as I am only half of Victoria Abbott.  Math might not be my best thing.  But never mind that, I was also celebrating the fact that fifteen years ago, my first book, Speak Ill of the Dead: a Camilla MacPhee mystery, was released and I thought I would die from excitement.


 Now I had to ask myself, once again, if there might not be a limited number of times you could drag your friends out to buy your latest book.  In the end, I always go with it.  A book takes close to a year to write, involves many ideas, takes much staring at the computer screen, plus pacing in the office and possibly a bit of nail-biting.  A new book has to be celebrated!  That’s why I always attend the launches for my friends’ books too. 

 Victoria,  Erika and I had a great time.  We were glad to see familiar faces and new ones.  Writing can be such a solitary experience, even when you write together as Victoria and I do.  Or even if you spend quite a bit of time together as Erika and I do.  Looking around the room we saw many friends who are involved in the book business: librarians, booksellers, publishers’ representatives and other writers, published and not published, but mostly we saw readers. It is always a thrill for us to connect and reconnect with readers. It is very gratifying and even emotional to see people who love books and think they are worth leaving the house for. That’s why we do this: to tell the best stories we can in the best way we can to people who love to read them.  Our readers are very important to us.

Let me also say, a book launch party is also a great reason to get out of the slouchy writing gear (too often involves pajamas and slippers) and put our best foot forward. 

We were lucky to have our friend Cathy (a bookseller) as emcee.  She kept things moving and ensured the mood stayed high. Those rowdies in the back of the room (many of them librarians) behaved! That's Cathy on the left, Erika with the mic, me and Victoria next. Our friend Terri T. is in the background.

Now the party’s over and it’s time to buckle down and finish up the fourth Book Collector mystery, The Marsh Madness.  As many of you know that involves reading the fabulous stack of Ngaio Marsh books that my friend Nancy Reid (a regular reader here too!) gave me.  
 So here are some questions for you: do you ever go to book events: Launch parties? Readings? Conferences?  Bookstore events? Library happenings? If so, what do you like about them?

 And here’s the most important question: if you had been at ours, would there have been any chocolate left?  Tell the truth!