There has been a children’s book launch frenzy in Bath in the first half of this year. Bath has become quite a centre for children’s writers – partly, though not exclusively, because of the Writing for Young People MA at the Bath Spa University.
I kicked off the string of launches myself with my second teen novel The Lady in the Tower, which was published by OUP on the 1st of January. There was a party kindly hosted by the Oldfield Park Bookshop and later in the month, an event in Waterstone’s. Both were great fun and it was lovely to see so many friends as well as some people I hadn’t met before.
Rachel Ward then launched her debut teen novel Numbers at Bath Waterstone’s in January, drawing a big crowd of supporters. Then there was a bit of a break, before Steve Voake launched his new fantasy adventure Blood Hunters in April. Sadly, I didn’t make that one, due to a clash with my taxi duties for my sons, but we read the book, which my fourteen-year-old describes as ‘awesome’.
Julia Green followed with the launch of her Breathing Underwater at Mr B’s Emporium of Delights. A wonderful, crowded event, everyone crammed into both floors of the shop for a party, a reading and a signing. I’m half way through Breathing Underwater and urge everyone to read it. It’s a beautifully-written, haunting and mysterious tale of grieving and growing up.
Just this week, Lucy Christopher launched her debut teen novel Stolen, at Bath Waterstone’s. Again, a big, lively crowd, lots of excitement and a fun, sparkling event. The book looks great too, though I’ve not had chance to read more than a few pages yet.
In two weeks, Sarah Singleton is signing copies of her new book The Poison Garden in Bath, which I’m looking forward to as I’m a fan of her previous books.
Is that all for 2009, or are there more books to come? I wait with bated breath, because I’ve started to depend on a party a month. I love my own launches, but other people’s are so much more relaxing.
It seems to me that Bath is the place to be. It’s all happening here for kids’ books. Oh, and if I’ve missed anyone out it’s because they forgot to invite me – they’ll know better next year. :-)