There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…
Last night, I went to a party! I wore a dress and drank wine and ate cupcakes and made conversation with people (some of whom I had not actually met before!). I was very, very brave.
Here is a photo of me in the dress, pulling a silly face and overheating:
The party was for the launch of Fearsome Dreamer. Unless this is your very first visit to me here at thetoreadpile.com, you’ll have noticed me talking about this book before because I loved it! (If this is your very first visit, you can check out everything else I’ve posted about the book and Laure Eve on my fearsome dreamer tag)
I was very, very excited to have been invited to the launch party. Actually invited with an actual invitation sent to my actual email inbox, not just invited in an “everyone’s invited” kind of way. Before I had even RSVPed, I ran out and bought that dress that you see up there. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to dress up a little?
The launch was held at the original Daunt’s bookshop in Marylebone and I have to tell you all that I found the shop pretty intimidating. I know. I work in a bookshop. But mine is brightly coloured and inviting (I like to think) and not staffed entirely by people in Very Smart Clothes. Here’s a photo of it:
I guess it’s just in that part of London. There was also an hilarious shop window that I wish I had taken a photo of for you (It featured a fashion show of human mannequins with stuffed animal heads – it was terrifying and made me glad that (as far as I know) Doctor Who isn’t real and mannequins don’t come to life and kill people). Once I had armed myself with some caffeine, I bravely made my way inside Daunt’s to find the party.
I had sensibly worn boots on the train and tube and brought my heels in my bag, so I had an awkward moment of changing shoes in the toilet. This strikes me as probably quite a weird thing to do. Sorry, I’m quite weird.
At the party, there were Fearsome Dreamer cupcakes. Look at them! They’re so beautiful!
There were other small food items as well. But I was pretty much only interested in the cupcakes.
I got to talk to lots of very awesome people – some of whom I’d met before and some of whom I hadn’t. When I first arrived, probably looking slightly frightened-rabbit-ish, Sanne and intern Monique from Hot Key Books were happy to talk to me about stuff like how excited we are about the forthcoming Maze Runner movie, what we liked and disliked about The Hunger Games, standalone teen novels vs. series(es) for teens and how warm it was in Daunt Books.
There were a lot of other Hot Key folk who also talked to me at length and were super-nice. I feel like trying to mention everyone by name is a recipe for the kind of situation where I leave someone out and then there’s a sleeping beauty style curse. It’s safer not to. But you were all lovely and I very much enjoyed talking to you.
I also spent some time talking to the incomparable Tom Easton, who very gallantly brought me some cupcakes when I mentioned that I would rather like one, and the amazingly named Non Pratt. Tom’s debut YA novel (Boys don’t Knit, due in January 2014) features a male protagonist who knits and I can’t wait to read it and knit things in celebration of it and then convince lots of people to come to my store and buy it (and maybe also learn to knit). Non’s YA novel comes out in March 2014 and the premise as she described it to me sounds AMAZING. I’m hoping that I’ll get to read and review and recommend both books nearer to their publication(s).
Laure made a very adorable mini-speech from the gallery, thanking us all for attending and supporting the book.
People queued up to buy copies and then to get them signed by Laure. She was kind enough to sign my proof (because I wasn’t going to buy a copy in any shop but my own, obviously, and we don’t receive our deliveries until late afternoon – I bought mine today).
I briefly spoke to James Dawson before he headed out. He was very tired but also very fun to talk to.
After a while, the nice bookshop employees wanted to go home so we moved down the road to the pub. While we were there, I stole Laure away for a few minutes to ask her a couple of questions.
You can listen to the interview (because I think it makes for a pretty good listen) or I’ve transcribed it below.
Let me just set the scene for you:
EXT. LONDON. NIGHT.
A taxi idles on a London street. On the pavement behind it, two women stand against a wall to shelter from the rain. LISA looks at her phone for some way of making notes, but is too drunk to find Evernote. LAURE suggests just recording the conversation. A short distance down the road, noise, light and people spill from the open door of a pub where an after party is still taking place.
Let me just start recording and hope that it’s actually recording
Right, uuum, okay, Marmite. What are your feelings on Marmite? Love it or hate it?
I fricking love Marmite
You love Marmite?
I’m one of those! No. I don’t adore it, but I will have it on toast. It’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. I like Marmite.
(clearly running out of things to say about Marmite)
I’m a Marmite fan. You could say that.
Okay! UUUUuuum. One song you wish you could go back into the past and punch the person who wrote it?
Anything by the Venga Boys.
I think they, they, they, they had their time and whilst they were having their time, it wasn’t their time anyway. So I think they need to just, yes, disappear from history, please. Which they pretty much have, let’s face it, so that’s fine.
The Venga Boys. There you go.
Okay, UUUUuuum, think of some more questions…
(she begins to quietly panic)
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask yourself?
(let’s face it, that was an act of desperation)
Not really. God, I’ve answered so many.
I’m trying to think of, like, really different questions.
(an idea finally occurs to her)
OOH! Pirates versus ninjas. Who would win?
(some people talk in the background. rudely.)
Ninjas are badass
And they’ve got throwing stars
Pirates. Pirates have the bluster and they have the showmanship but ninjas have the stealth and I think stealth tends to win every time.
(stumbling over her words)
How do you feel your launch party’s gone?
(looking pleased and sounding surprised)
God, um. I mean it’s, it’s always nerve-wracking being a debut and you stand there. You know, you’re the first there and
… (unintelligible mumble)
Thinking: God, is anyone actually going to show up? What the hell am I going to do If no-one shows up.
But, actually, it was a pretty good turnout.
and I’m VERY, VERY grateful for everyone who came. It was lovely of them.
(she looks at her surroundings)
Especially on a rainy October night.
It is a bit rainy.
It IS a bit rainy. So that’s very lovely. Yeah, it was a very good, very good launch.
I had three cupcakes! I would have had more but I felt like… more than three would just be too many.
You’d probably die of some kind of sugar overdose later anyway so yeah
(still on the 3 cupcake decision)
So that’s wise
Okay. One more question! Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhm.
Best Harrison Ford role ever?
For me, it’s got to be Indy. He has:
the most beautiful one liners
and the face
the facial expressions are very…
In fact, I just did a blog post about.
Where I segued Indiana Jones into there.
It didn’t really fit but I made it fit.
You were like, I wanna use this!
It was all about endings of books and how you have to have faith that you’re gonna get there and I used the old, uh, bit from The Last Crusade where he has to have faith that the bridge is gonna be there…
And he sticks his foot out…
Oh my god, I had the video game. It was SO HARD.
OH MY GOD! I’ve never played it. I’d love to play it.
But, yes, I think that’s, for me that’s his defining role.
He’s done so many defining roles it’s kind of hard, I mean, Blade Runner is another. It’s astonishing in it that um…
At this point, a random stranger appears. She must have emerged from the party.
It’s so weird to see a bestselling author outside!
(they all laugh)
(to the RANDOM STRANGER)
Give me two seconds
Indy is my definitive answer.
Right, I’m probably just going to stick this recording on my blog. I’m really sorry!
Oh No, no. Only if I don’t sound stupid.
I’m sure you don’t
(At this point, the RANDOM STRANGER apologises. She didn’t realise that the conversation was being recorded!)
Introduce yourself, random stranger!
This is Kelly
My name is Kelly. I used to work at Hodder and now I work for a magazine called Woman and Home
Woman and Home. Woman and Home everybody.
Everybody go buy Woman and Home.
And also Fearsome Dreamer!
(there is some more talking but Lisa is too tired to transcribe it as it does not affect our main plot.)
Laure, I don’t think you sound stupid at all so I hope you aren’t cross that I have posted and also scriptified our drunken conversation. So, there you are, folks. Laure is just like you and me! I’m curious about her thoughts on Blade Runner but I can hopefully get them another time!
I shall leave you with a very blurry low-quality photo (hey, it was nighttime and I’d had some wine!) of the Fearsome Dreamer window at Daunt Books:
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Fearsome Dreamer at your local bookshop or library. If you like it, come and talk to me about it. I still (STILL!) have lots to say.