Friday 22nd August saw the launch of The Oracles of Troy in paperback.
Although the book isn’t officially available until 29th August, we had the party a week early at the Market Harborough branch of Waterstones. The first three books were launched there and it was good to be back again. Like many Waterstones, the place is nicely laid out with lots of appealing features that make it feel more like a library than a shop.
The two floors are connected by a fairly grand staircase and I waited at the bottom to welcome guests as they arrived. It was particularly nice to see a few people I’d never met before. In previous years the launches have been attended by friends, family and work colleagues, but since starting a website and stepping into the world of social media I’ve had a lot of contact with readers of the series, some of whom were able to come along. Tony, the boss at Mereo – my new publisher – also put in an unexpected appearance, having driven all the way up from Gloucestershire (although the record distance travelled on the night was from Portsmouth!)
Book launches can be slightly nerve-wracking events, especially for the author. As the host and main focus of attention, you have to be on your best behaviour. You also want people to feel welcomed, entertained and informed. Waterstones laid on wine and nibbles, while I gave a talk about some of the tribulations I’ve face in getting Oracles out in print, followed by a reading. Choosing a reading is often harder than you might think, as you have to ensure it’s:
- clean – people bring their kids to launches, so swearing, sex and violence are best avoided,
- understandable – you can’t rely on your audience knowing all the twists and turns that have happened in previous books, and
- complete – it should form a little story in its own right, with beginning, middle and an end that wraps the passage up neatly.
Happily, everything went well on the night. I even visited the pub afterwards with a group of readers. Previous visitors to this website will know the difficulties I’ve faced in getting the fourth book in the series published, but I’m pleased to say that those obstacles have now been overcome. The launch party was a nice way to restart The Adventures of Odysseus after a four year break, and as I’m now halfway through the next in the series I hope to be holding a similar celebration next year.