Ruth Symes / Megan Rix
With the weather outside cold and grey I thought I'd write about parties and in particular book launch parties - of which I’ve had precisely one. Before I was published I used to imagine what a launch party would be like - champagne, canapes, elegant people swanning about. But 20 books later and time for my own launch party the type of event I used to imagine wouldn't do at all, thank you very much.
After writing children's books for 10 years I wrote my first adult memoir ‘The Puppy that Came for Christmas and stayed Forever.’ It was about one amazing year when we were puppy parents for a charity called Helper Dogs that trains assistance dogs for disabled people. That year we had 3 different puppies, one after the other from only 8 weeks old - not bad for dog novices!
As soon as they heard the book was going to be published my friends from Helper Dogs said I had to have a party to launch the book - and they'd organise it. We'd have it at the Helper Dogs centre so the venue would be free and the publishers, Penguin, gave us £100 towards the food to drink. I provided the dog treats and found some amazing ones that looked like designer chocolates in elegant boxes. Dogs, of course, were more than welcome and the guests of
honour - as the book's stars.
At the party I signed endless copies of the book and stamped them with my pink paw stamp. Our local bookshop came along with boxes and boxes of them which was just as well as they almost all went and those that were left went at a book signing the following Saturday.
I read from the section where I was learning how to be a puppy parent - trained by a highly experienced older dog called Rusty, who was at the party too, along with Traffy who was the puppy we eventually got to keep and the star of the book.
Then Helper Dogs did a demonstration and were given a cheque for £100 towards their work. Helper Dogs’ friends made some of the food and we bought more with the money from Penguin along with wine and soft drinks.
I asked just about everyone I knew locally and was amazed at how many people came as it was on a week day and in the afternoon.
I couldn't have asked for a better party and it was well worth waiting for. I’m not sure if I’ll have another launch party - the next book that's coming out is set in World War 2 - I suppose I could have a 1940's party but then my Bella Donna books really deserve to have a party for them too and I suppose we could all dress up as witches... but where would we get the unicorns and dragons from?
What was/would your launch party be like?
Ruth's website is www.ruthsymes.com
Megan's website is www.meganrix.com