Last week was the book launch for British author James Dawson's new novel, Say Her Name, at Waterstones in Islington. I absolutely loved his latest creepy offering (find my review here) and his previous novel too (read review here), so I of course jumped at the chance to attend the book's launch party. As I already knew that Vicky was going as well, so we met up slightly before and made our way over together.
As soon as we arrived we were greeted by James himself - who even remembered our names (I assume as we'd both been Tweeting about going earlier that day). Despite meeting authors regularly, every once in a while I do feel a little starstruck and having just finished the AMAZING Say her Name, this was one of those occasions. We did shake hands and I'm pretty sure I muttered a 'Nice to meet you'.
There were drinks and cupcakes (James joked there were only 12 cupcakes and since we - and the other people there - were the first 12 people arriving, we'd better be quick), which of course we'd happily devoured. That was dinner sorted.
Funnily enough, Vicky and myself both opted for a different style cupcake which ended up matching the book each of us brought to get signed! And yes, we got them signed by James, who was incredibly nice and generous with his time despite Waterstones quickly filling up with lots and lots of people celebrating the book launch with him.
It soon was time for a speech and none other than Bloody Mary (the character referred to in the book's title and pictured on the cover) showed up! Oh dear, I guess James said her name five time in front of a mirror at midnight resulting in her taking his place...
The speech that followed was really inspiring and I particularly loved how he compared the journey of writing a book to the struggle of a newly hatched baby turtle:
"Sometimes publishing can feel like a bit of a fight. I was thinking the other day that it was 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 sort of have to flipper their way down to the sea before the giant seagull can eat them. And it only feels like every 1 in a 100 books is a little turtle that makes it to the sea and so it feels like you're the little baby turtle desperately trying to make it there."
In all it was a fantastic evening with lovely people and cake (can't go wrong when there is cake), thank you very much to James for making the book launch a public event so we could be a part of it!
Kudos to the person who baked this gruesome creation
This was right before 'Mary' cut the cake Psycho style
Vicky and I with the one and only Bloody Mary