The Hobart launch of ‘Ice Breaker’
October 31st, 2013
What you need for a good book launch is a group of extraordinary people – creative, hard-working and clever. (It helps if they have theatrical experience.) And that’s what I had. An hour before the launch started, the Founders Room was bustling with people building icebergs out of cardboard boxes and white plastic, other people testing the lights and computer, others turning the windows into portholes, and others rehearsing their parts. It was chaos, but by the time people started arriving, everything was in place.
The MC was Mel King, who is a puppeteer and actor. She set the pace with some games, then introduced the reviewers, Elena, Sophie, Gus and Max.
Then author Danielle Wood (who co-wrote Finding Serendipity) talked about my books, and what makes them interesting. Here’s part of what she said:
‘Another thing Ice Breaker asks us to chew over in our minds is the concept of belief. What do we believe most deeply, right down in our hearts? And why do we believe it? What happens if everything we have been told about ourselves and about others is not precisely true? This is the journey that is faced by the two main characters in this lovely novel.’
After that, things got a little strange. For a start, there were penguins all over the place.
And my reading from the chapter ‘Nothing Girl’ turned into a performance, with Petrel suddenly waking up and dashing through the crowd, chased by Dolph and her friends with a clanging metal bucket.
But the most surprising moment was when the lucky door prize was interrupted by the unexpected appearance of Chief Engineer Albie, who insisted on tying up the winners (accompanied by loud protests from the author).
Things settled down a bit after that. We had a countdown for the big launch moment, then I signed books. The queue for signing was pretty long, and some people couldn’t wait to start reading.
All in all, it was a terrific morning. I even got to meet some new cousins (I knew they existed, but had never met them before).
Now it’s all over. Phew! It took a lot of organisation and many willing helpers, but everyone thought it was worth it. ‘The best launch yet!’ That’s what they said, and I agree. The other thing they said was, ‘How on earth are you going to top that next year?’ My reply? ‘I have no idea, but we’ll do our best!’
Tomorrow I’m off to Launceston for the northern launch – though that one is a quieter affair with no major surprises. All the same, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll do my best to take some photos. The ones above were very kindly taken by my niece Gwyneth.