Sunday, 11 June 2017

How to Launch a Book by Misha Herwin

First there must be cake. Launching a novel set in the 1940s a vintage theme seemed appropriate. Fairy cakes, decorated with hundreds and thousands would be perfect. Never having baked them before, I prefer muffins, I was a little nervous, but the recipe appeared to work for both.

The book said to use butter icing, but I wanted that old fashioned look and went with water-icing. Covered in a fine sweet mist of sugar, I sifted and stirred and spread, then held my breath and waited…
In the past I have watched as slowly, relentlessly, unstoppably icing has slid from the surface of my baking and onto the work top. This time, however, it held and there was time to decorate with a swift pinch of coloured sprinkles before it began to set.
Cakes, baked, decorated it was time to turn the attention to costumes.
 A land-girl’s outfit was purchased and I rooted through my wardrobe to find anything that was suggestive of the period. A hat from a long ago wedding, a blouse with padded shoulders, a straight skirt and a pair of peep-toe wedged sandals, plus a basket on my arm and I was ready in my role as the protagonist’s sister.

Invites had been put on FB, review copies sent out and everyone I knew, who would be interested, and even those who would not, had been told about the event. There had been interviews too on local radio and in the Sentinel.  
 The central library in Hanley was our venue for the launch.
Union Jack bunting had been purchased and was draped around the Tolkien Room, posters were put up, tables laid, cakes set out on stands and Glen Miller was playing to welcome the guests.
And finally we come to the book. There were piles of brand new copies waiting to be signed. Jan had prepared her reading and invited two of us to read from our WIPS set in the same period.
After we, supporting artists, had finished, came the main event. Jan read from the first chapter of
“Winter Downs” setting the scene on a bleak January day in 1940, when Blanch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. At first glance this is a clear case of suicide, but knowing the dead man as she does, Blanche is far from convinced…
Following the reading came the Q+A session then signings and sales.
The quote that made the day for me and showed how we’d got our priorities right, came from one of our audience.
“I enjoyed the morning and even if I hadn’t, it was worth coming for the cakes.”
As I said, a book launch begins and ends with cake.


1 comment:

Reb MacRath said...

Well, the book and the launching both sound like fun. I'll be sure to check out the book--knowing better but hoping I could have some cake to go with it.