17 May 2013

Russell's Vintage launch

On Tuesday night, I had one of the most delightful literary experiences to date, and not only because of the cake pictured above. (Yes, that's a cake! It was huge and delicious.)

As a writer, I hope to launch many of my books over my life, but to launch a bookshop, especially in today's environment, feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The much loved Russell Books in Victoria just opened their newest store exclusively featuring rare and antique books and it's so beautiful.

The evening itself was fun. There were tonnes of giveaways, cake, wine, and I had the honour to share the stage with Esi Edugyan and Steven Price. I have to say, that they are both so kind, gracious, and charming, sitting with them I forgot what superstars they were until they had their turns to read. They're fantastic writers and readers, which made the evening even more special.

The crowd itself was huge. One person counted ninety-eight (98!!) people and they were attentive and generous. Vanessa Herman will be hosting a reading series in that space every second Tuesday of the month. I'm guessing it won't always get the numbers we got that night, but if the audience is similar, it's going to be a stellar series.

One woman in the audience not only bought my book (always a treat!) she has already read it and reviewed it in two(!) places: her blog and on YouTube. I'm incredibly grateful and a little bit stunned by her generosity.

I walked away with a gorgeous antique book, signed books by Esi and Steven, cake, flowers, and lots of Russell's swag: bag, t-shirt, pen, and mug. But the best part was the warm joy that came from that evening. What a community, what a store. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it.

(The photo above was lifted from Russell's FB page. I'm not sure who took it, but my guess it was Will Johnson. You can see more photos from the night at Will Johnson's blog which you should explore a bit, he's got some great interviews there.)

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