Last Thursday I had the opportunity to attend James Dawson’s book launch for his newest novel, Say Her Name. Being a massive fan of one of his previous books, Cruel Summer, I knew I had to be there. So, armed with my copy of CS, which I desperately wanted to get signed, I was heading to Islington to meet James and fellow book bloggers.
I met Zarina before the event and we made our way to Waterstones together. We were a tiny bit early so we had the chance to say hello to James, get our books signed AND grab a cupcake before the crowd arrived. (Mine happened to match my book’s cover. #madskillz)
Before the speeches began, we spotted Sabrina in the crowd (who has the cutest, most awesome tote bag and coin purse ever) so we had a little chat. I’ve been following her on Twitter for quite a while so it was lovely to finally meet her in the flesh. I also met the lovely Faye who, I think, is one of those few people who I’ve known pretty much since this blog exists but don’t seem to meet too often so it’s always great to see her.
After we’ve been chatting and stuffing our faces with cupcakes for a while, James reappeared. Dressed as Bloody Mary, in tights, a kilt, a black wig, terrifying contact lenses and blood all over his face. And then the speeches began. I’ve never met James before last week but all I can say is, he’s such a genuinely lovely guy. He made all of us feel welcome and he was so, so funny. I’ve been to a few book launches in the past couple of months but this was definitely the most fun so far.
And his speech was spot on. Talking about the process of publishing a book, he said:
“Sometimes – and the authors here will know – publishing can feel like a bit of a fight. It’s a bit like those BBC nature programmes where the tiny little baby turtles are hatched out of their eggs quite high up the beach and then they have to make their way down to the sea before the giant seagull can eat them. And it only feels like one in a hundred books is a little turtle that makes it to the sea, and you’re the little baby turtle that’s gotta be trying to make it there.”
I loved this bit. I think we all did.
After the speech, a Say Her Name themed cake appeared on the table, which James tried to cut ever so elegantly… but failed spectacularly. (Best moment of the night right there? Yup. )
I had a fantastic time and I’m so, so glad I got to meet James. He’s doing a panel discussion with Cat Clarke and Non Pratt at YALC next month so I hope we’ll meet again soon.
*whispers* Are you going to YALC? Whose panel or signing are you looking forward to the most?