Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Book Launch Day by Marie-Louise Jensen
My fourth book, Sigrun's Secret, was published at the beginning of January. But it's today, with a launch party at Bath Waterstone's for friends, family and any members of the reading public who decide to come along, that it feels like the book is real at last.
The current climate is not optimistic for books or for reading; we have a coalition government who seem determined to wreck our public and school libraries with destructive cuts, and it's difficult not to fear for diversity of books and widespread access to reading acoss the population in the years ahead. When libraries are closing wholesale and librarian friends who've worked hard to promote reading in state schools are unjustly being made redundant, it's hard to look to the immediate future with anything like hope. I have depended heavily on school and public libraries in my own life, and have been taking my children to libraries since they could hold a book. For my youngest son, it was a lifeline to books. He read late and we kept his interest in stories alive through borrowing countless audiobooks until he became a confident reader. I could never have afforded the variety and number of audiobooks he needed during those years.
So I'll be supporting my local library this Saturday like so many other authors. And trying not to lose hope.
But today, I'm going to be positive. A new book is always a fresh start. It's another story out there which I hope lots of young readers will enjoy and I intend to celebrate. It's a celebration of a year of hard work researching, writing and editing by me, and of careful editing, copyediting and wonderful cover design from Oxford University Press. May there be many more such celebrations. Party time!