I don't often tend to venture Camden ways, but when I received the invite for the book launch of The Prophecy of Bees by R.S. Pateman (read my review of the book here) I was more than happy to make an exception. Ever since I read Rob's excellent debut novel The Second Life of Amy Archer (review here) I've been hoping to get a chance to meet him in person and this was the perfect opportunity to do so without having to travel to a faraway book fair.
We were welcomed inside the Cecil Sharp House in a themed room, which was decked out with bees dotted around on the ceiling and the iconic black and yellow stripes decorating the walls. Thankfully these were cute-looking creatures, rather than a swarm announcing imminent doom like it does in the book!
Also gracing the walls were some of the superstitions Rob had come across during his research for the novel - ranging for the peculiar to the downright horrific. I thought they were incredibly interesting to read, particularly as I hadn't heard of many of them before, though I'm glad I'm not a superstitious person because I wouldn't have wanted to follow all of the 'cures' listed.
As soon as we arrived we went up to Rob to thank him for the invite; he was incredibly kind and I'm so pleased we finally got to meet after having spoken on Twitter ever since I reviewed his first novel last year. We briefly discussed his first two books and the fact that his third one - another psychological thriller, but without the superstitious angle of his most recent release - is nearly finished. It always amazes me that authors are already writing their next novel when the latest one has barely hit the shelves, I don't know how they find the time to write one book while promoting another.
Not wanting to hog Rob's time as there were plenty of other people there wanting to congratulate him on his new novel, my friend and I sat down with some of the delicious canapes pictured below (I'm not usually a fan of chips, but these were lovely!) and listened to the beautiful folk music being performed live by Ben Moss and Laurel Swift.
The book launch wasn't just the perfect excuse to mingle with the author and buy a copy of the new book to get signed, as has been the case with previous launches I've been to, but there was also an extensive reading and bonus Q&A session, which was a great way to learn a little more about Rob's writing background and how his books came to be. Particularly fascinating to hear was that he is superstitious himself and he picked up some new ones while he was researching The Prophecy of Bees. It's probably a good thing his third novel does not involve any!
After the readings and Q&A I also got my books signed and Rob was so incredibly gracious and kind. It was a wonderful night, filled with interesting bookish insights, yummy canapes and good music - the perfect way to spend a Wednesday evening and unwind after a hectic day at work. Thank you very much Rob for the invite!