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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Any Excuse for a Party! A good old fashioned book launch...

Book launch 2007
When my first books were published - way back in the dark ages (2007), a friend insisted that there should be a proper book launch for the two books and promptly went ahead and organised one for me. I realised then that writing a book is a big thing, getting it published even bigger but celebrating it is so important.  This is the book baby you have slaved for months if not years over and it deserves a rite of passage that marks its transition from hope to reality.

There followed a long hiatus while I laboured away at the OTHER career which meant that my next book did not come out until 2012 (GATHER THE BONES). What a difference 5 years had made. This was to be a digital only publication but remembering that actual book launch, I felt it still needed a party to mark its entry into the book world so I organised my first "virtual" book launch - on my Facebook Author Page and I have to say I had as much fun as I did at that first actual book launch but by the time books 3 and 4 came out, everyone was doing FB parties and it was hard to engender the same sense of fun.  

So LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR came into the world on 1 May with very little fanfare... until my friend Beverley Eikli emailed me with a suggestion I could not refuse... a REAL book launch but with a bit of a difference. Let's make it an event to remember - books, music, wine, cheese... and so the ideas started flowing.

Beverley and I write similar books - historical romances with meaty plots so we are a natural fit - the only difference being her MAID OF MILAN has a print edition (and it will be in bookstores), while LORD SOMERTON'S HEIR lives in the cloud which meant I only had copies of my other books to sell on the day, not the book I was actually launching.

What the hell... let's do it anyway! 

Paramoor Winery was booked, a fabulous string quartet (La Fraternita Solisti) organised, cheese (Gippsland Cheeses) and chocs (from Daylesford's Chocolate Mill) purchased, my dear friend, award winning poet, Chris Ringrose bludgeoned into agreeing to read a couple of poems and on a cold, damp winter's afternoon the crowds arrived for the Eikli/Stuart book launch.

The lovely venue at Paramoor winery - perfect for a cold winter's day

It must have been a good party... because I can hardly remember anything about it! One glass of wine and one cracker with cheese was all I ate but so many people to talk to... so many wonderful friends who had made the trip up from Melbourne. Wonderful friends and family who helped out... children having a great time, people talking about books and writing. Chris set the mood with his poems and my lovely friend and multiple award winning writer, Fiona Lowe did the honours, officially launching our books.
Beverley and Alison standing in the wings...

Fiona Lowe sending the book babies out into the world.
Thank you Beverley for making the suggestion and thank you to everyone involved in contributing to such a fabulous afternoon - there are too many of you to mention by name but you know who you are! Two days later and I am still buzzing. 

And best of all, thanks to the generosity of our guests and our sponsors, we raised $300 for a cause close to my heart, Alzheimers Victoria

A brilliant day and I heartily recommend an actual book launch, even if your book is virtual!  And it is much more fun sharing the event with someone else. Thank you Beverley!

Eikli/Stuart... so excited they can't stand still long enough to get their photo taken!