The first launch was in Palmerston North at the City Library. Rather than use the typical ‘stage and lecturn’ set-up, I wanted something more intimate, so we put the audience on the stage, and in a U-shape around a small circle made of fairy lights on the floor which became our ‘stage’. It was at night, and there was wine and cheese platters.
About 50 people came, which I was thrilled about. The speakers were Helen Rickerby, my editor, Thom Conroy, friend and creative writing professor at Massey University, and Natasha Allan did a beautiful blessing of the book.
This one felt like a slightly more formal, ‘family, colleagues, local community’ (and friends, of course) one. People bought books, I had my first experience of signing books, like a proper writer and it felt weird and really wonderful all at once. I tried to write something meaningful in each book I signed, so by the end of the launch my hand was really sore.
Afterwards, a bunch of family and friends went to Mao bar for wine and mojitos. I sat there like a slightly stunned mullet. A very pleased stunned mullet.
Launch two was the next day in Wellington at my friend Emma Barnes’s house in Aro Valley. Wellington turned on the sunshine for us and it was a stunning day. This one was at 3pm in the afternoon and because of the perfect weather and all the women who obliged my request for floral frocks – it felt like a luscious garden party, (Emma McCleary said it felt to her like a wedding!).
There was good food, plentiful wine, The Comforter cocktail (recipe tomorrow!)…Simon (Emma B’s partner) played live banjo, which was just beautiful. The guests (we think around 40) were many different kinds of lovely!
For the ‘formal’ bit at this launch, Helen spoke again, then Pip Adam and Maria McMillan spoke about my writing and said extremely humbling things, then I read poems and all that, and then Natasha Allan did a closing blessing, which set me off crying a lot and Maria had to come and give me a supportive hug and a tissue or ten.
After formal bit, more lovely milling about in the garden, drinking silly pink drinks, more banjo music plus a bit of mandolin music by Emma Barnes, some signing of books and general good times. (Oh, and a notable earthquake.)
Both launches went without a hitch and were just (as far as I’m concerned) perfect. I really couldn’t be any happier. Sometimes dreams come true. Check out this cheesy grin:
If you want to see more photographs, I made a set on Flickr HERE.
NEWS! My poem ‘Garlic Planting Time’ is the Tuesday Poem on the Booksellers Blog today, HERE.
Tomorrow I will share with you the recipe for the official Comforter Cocktail & then I promise to hush up about the launches already!