On Thursday, my new series, Tales From Big Spirit, was launched at McNally Robinson Booksellers. There are so many things I love about book launches. There is a palpable sense of excitement for the entire day leading up to the launch. A huge adrenaline rush that doesn’t stop until the launch is over. And then, of course, you are exhausted. Arriving at McNally’s prior to the launch is amazing, not only because McNally Robinson’s always feels a bit like magic to me. It’s a beautiful book store, and they’ve always been incredibly supportive of my work. It’s the best place to have a launch.
This year, my launch was in the atrium. When I arrived, the chairs were just being set up. That’s the most nerve-wracking moment for me: empty chairs. There is always a fear that the chairs will remain empty. That’s never happened for me at a launch yet, but there’s always a first. Thankfully, this launch wasn’t the first. The chairs filled up quickly, and staff even had to bring in more chairs. That was a great feeling (even though, afterward, I realized that Wai had brought a million fans!).
The launch itself was great. Monique did an amazing job hosting. She was articulate, funny, and very well prepared. She’d done her homework. My one regret from the whole night was her first question, which totally stumped me. I felt like an idiot, but with my kids shouting out the words I should use, the moment became really genuine and funny. The problem with writing six graphic novels at once, and all of them delving into history, is that you forget some of the history (especially when the script was written well over a year ago). After that, however, it was smooth sailing; an incredible discussion about the series, the work that was done for it, and what it all means. My favourite question from Monique involved the concept of family, its meaning within the series, and its meaning for me in my personal life. What a great question.
We sold a lot of books at the launch. I love signing my very messy autograph. I always wonder, as people leave with their books, what journey will that book take. Because they’re alive, books are, and have their own stories, apart from the stories they tell within their pages. I found out the next day that two of my books made it onto the bestsellers list. I love that feeling, too. Check out the list here.
After the launch I spent time at the Prairie Ink Cafe with a few staff from my publisher, Highwater Press, and the host with the most, Monique. It was the perfect end to a great launch.
Thanks for everybody who came out! It’s always such an amazing and odd feeling to know that people are reading the words I wrote, and that they would take time out of their day to come and see these books. What a privilege.
Thanks to my illustrators too, of course. I’m at a disadvantage, at least I thought so when I started out, because my illustrations are stick drawings. Without my illustrators, Scott Henderson mostly, I’d be screwed. I thought I was at a disadvantage because I have to rely on others to bring my imagination, my words, to life. Turns out, the people I’ve worked with have done that beautifully. I view it now as an advantage.
So now I wait until the next launch, which will be for my novel, The Evolution of Alice. That’ll be in the fall. Let the anticipation begin!
That’s all for now!