Tuesday 6 May 2014


One Big Book Launch

I was delighted when Sarah from CompletelyNovel contacted me to invite me to their new initiative called "One Big Book Launch". She found my details through my review of Last Bus to Coffeeville by J. Paul Henderson (a brilliant book by the way which you should all check out, find my full review here) and while I did primarily attend for the opportunity to meet the author, I was pleasantly surprised by how many other brilliant novels I fell in love with on the night.

First of all, I have to congratulate CompletelyNovel and Literally PR for organising such a fantastic and well-executed event. One Big Book Launch was born out of the idea that when authors have a book launch usually only friends, family and those who are in a way connected to the book or author attend, however if you combine the book launches of 10 different authors and all those friends and family members attend they'll be exposed not only to the book of the person they know, but also to those of nine other authors - expanding their horizons and providing a great form of publicity for each of the chosen titles.

Each author was given five minutes to present themselves on stage, there was a strict deadline enforced with the help of party poppers, and each one of them did so brilliantly and in their own unique way.

Particular highlights for me were Sabrina Mahfouz, who got completely into character during her reading, bringing the pages alive in front of our eyes with her different voices and accents, and Simon Fairbanks, who mentioned that he wrote his debut novel The Sheriff during NaNoWriMo - which means in just 30 days!

All authors were inspiring and engaging and if I didn't already have a towering to-read pile waiting for me at home I would've bought all their books on the night.

And of course I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet Coffeeville author J. Paul Henderson. He was lovely as we spoke about his inspiration for the novel (he lived in Mississippi for a while and he knew he wanted to feature the place in his story and combine it with his own experience of a parent suffering from Alzheimer's), the real Coffeeville (I had no idea it actually existed) and what he's working on now (his third novel, the second one is already being scrutinised by his publishers).

He was also kind enough to sign my copy of his book and since I was the first (or one of the first) people to ask this, he asked what I'd like it to say (bless him) and I said whatever he felt comfortable with. So he signed it with just his first name and said that makes us friends now *beams*

I also had a chance to chat to lovely Frances and Amy from No Exit Press (Paul's publisher - see me just using his first name now), which was such a nice unexpected surprise (I've been following Frances on Twitter for a while, but didn't realise she'd be there until just before the event).

In all, it was a great evening filled with bookish fun, mingling with like-minded people and most of all celebrating new authors and novels. Many thanks Sarah for the invite and I hope you guys will organise another one of these wonderful events in the not too distant future!


  1. Anonymous6/5/14 10:49

    Absolute pleasure! Glad you enjoyed and got to meet Paul - I cannot wait to start reading his book. It sounds totally brilliant and having experienced Alzheimer's in our family it will be close to my heart.

    1. If you have personal experience of Alzheimer's in your family it may be more difficult to read about it on the pages, but the heart-breaking story is told with a lot of flair and (surprisingly) humour, so it doesn't become a depressing read. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Hello Zarina, glad to hear you had fun at the launch. I really enjoyed reading your review of the event. Those party poppers were ingenious!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment on my post, Simon. It was a wonderful event and you did a brilliant job. Here's to the next one!


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