Organising a book launch is both exciting and stressful, especially if you are trying something new or different. A couple of weeks ago, I had this brilliant idea that I would ask my friend, Kristi Holl, to launch my novel, One Perfect Pirouette. Kristi is a great writer with lots of experience, and we've been Skyping and critiquing each other's work for quite a few years now.
However, Kristi lives in the USA and the launch was in Melbourne, Australia, so my idea was to do the launch via Skype! Even two years ago, this would have been too much of a challenge, but now, with Skype and mobile broadband on my laptop, I was able to take everything to the launch at the Sun Bookshop, in Yarraville, set it up, and away we went.
Of course, anything to do with computers and connections can go wrong at any moment, so we had planned it and experimented and tried out everything we could, but we still knew it could all go pear-shaped! In the end, it went smoothly, everyone could hear Kristi clearly (even if she couldn't see us properly a lot of the time) and my first international book launch happened. We ate lots of cake (including the ones above - the blue one is chocolate, which was the favourite, of course) and everyone took lots of photos.
Then it was on to the next event of the day - the Write Out! We weren't sure how many people would come, but I think there were about 80 people, all together in the cafeteria at Werribee campus of Vic Uni, writing all kinds of things. Down my end, we all worked on our own projects, and with music playing in my ears, I managed around 1500 words in the two hours. I actually didn't ask anyone around me what they were writing! We all just revved up our laptops and got stuck into it.
The rest of the writers got to write all kinds of things - every 20 minutes someone gave a writing exercise and they all wrote madly. There were competitions, lots of laughter (most of which I didn't hear with my headphones in) and I think some people didn't want to go home! I'll be surprised if there aren't more Write Outs organised in the near future, so stay tuned.
Some of the 80+ writers, busily working, thinking, typing, dreaming, pondering, writing....