Book Launch at Goldsboro Books for the Excellent Leopard Sword by Anthony Riches and The Bleeding Land by Giles Kristian.
The final day of my 2011/2012 annual leave was saved and rolled over to 2012/13 just so I had the ability to attend this launch, My projects were tidied away, my team set to report to a different manager and the wife organised to look after and pick up the granddaughter. I had freedom.
Laden down with gifts for what would not only be a highly anticipated double book launch but also a meeting of many of the review twitterati and many of the authors and publications people they admire and respect. to say that this was a highly looked forward to day would be to put it very very mildly.
I arrived at Charing Cross nice and early wanting to find where the Goldsboro Books shop was, out came the iphone, and up came Google maps. Anyone who has used this function will know that it puts a pin in your location and one in the destination and you just walk until they meet. Its a great idea…except when Google thinks Goldsboro is right outside Charing Cross station, literally about 10 steps to the right of the main entrance. So after binning that plan and also discovering that the tourist maps on the bus stops are about as useful as…well as a Google map app. I rang Nick B. and before long we were ensconced in the Spice of Life in Soho having a drink and some lunch waiting for the rest to arrive.
In True Twitter style the progress of all, Kate, Simon etc was monitored and updated online each person arriving to the strange half not sure look around the pub, The I sort of know who I’m looking for but not 100% because we have never met approach. But once met it was the same as online everyone gelled immediately, that shared love of reading and books making conversation so easy. Also joining us in the pub was a true gentleman Angus Donald, the second time I have met the man, and the second time I have been left thinking what a really nice man., and how much of the plot for the next book can we ply out of him with drink.
Time marched along at a rapid pace and before we knew it the pub was pointing out that the table we were at was reserved and we had to leave at 6.15pm, which was a timely reminder because none of us wanted to miss a minuet of the book launch.
I always find book launches strange, because I go as a fan, but also as a reviewer. But the with reviewer side of me I find myself so often feeling blessed by the fact that all the wonderful talented authors give me access to speak to them and ask questions, and look at their work, at these events I let the fan take the back seat, there are so many others who don’t have that access, who don’t get to chat to them, and so I hang back and watch. ( no I’m not a stalker, just being courteous). When standing back though you do get to observe just how nice and genuine these people, these authors are, and also how much they do get on as a community. In the same way as a corporate office on a night out, these authors share all these drivers, writing problems & passions and skills and they get to share those issues and successes. It makes the whole business so much more human and normal, rather than the celeb status it is so easy to ascribe to them.
The launch itself was a fun affair, with period costume for both Roman and civil war, With wine and nibbles (mmm cheese and pineapple on a stick). Goldsboro books its self is a fantastic venue crammed with wonderful books from the new to the old. Making me think I need to increase my house insurance because of the value of some of the books.
As the night went on the great and the lovely arrived at the launch, and I know I will forget some people, so to name a FEW! Conn Iggulden, Henry Venmore-Rowland, Ben Kane, Michael Arnold, The lovely Manda Scott and Robyn Young all on great form, and great fun to talk too.
Tony Riches as usual his normal outgoing boisterous self, one of the funniest authors I have met, and one of the most genuine people I have met. And well he might have been having fun last night as Leopard Sword is an absolute triumph. As I have put in my review, ‘his best book so far’ and I meant it.
Giles on the other hand was not what I expected, a SUIT!! I have only ever seen him in his great coat and looking like he is off to survive nuclear winter. The man still scrubs up like the ex boy band member he is, Cutting a very handsome figure in the crowd, schmoozing away like a man born to the task, but always with a genuine smile of enjoyment from another true gent. I suppose the change in dress could mirror the total change in book for Giles, away from the blood and guts and violence of the Vikings to the British gentry and Pre civil war society…ok and then some blood and thunder etc.. but in a more gentlemanly fashion. Again my review is on my web site and on Amazon for what is an exceptional book and one I think that will surprise his army of Viking fans (but in a good way).
And for me the star of the night Elizabeth Swain, the lovely lady who invites us to all of these events, who sends us reviewers the books to read, but most of all who is always there to welcome you with a genuine smile and to make sure you are ok and comfortable and have what you need. Truly the nicest person I have met in the business so far, and who seems to manage all this amazing hard work and make it look effortless. Thank you.
For all you readers out there the future is bright, the future has many many books in it, as long as we keep buying from these fantastic authors, men and women with great talent and vision, backed by hard work and dedication to get it all down on paper so that we have the next in the series. Given some of the conversations on the night there is so much more and even better to come.
Anthony Riches Page
Giles Kristian Page
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