“Black Cat Books is a treasure of a place, where writers and readers can come…” Stephen M Irwin
As I sat attentively at the back of the crowd at the book launch for Brisbane writer Stephen Irwin‘s The Broken Ones, it was that statement that really struck a chord. I think book launches can be funny things, and I don’t just mean that the author has a sense of humour and can light up the room with his or her witty repartee – but that does help. What I’m really referring to is the potential awkwardness – for the author, for their fans, for the publishing house that has invested time and money etc – that might arise should the whole thing fall on its arse.
So with that in mind, I think one of the most important things for a launch to be successful is to have it in surrounds where those attending, including the author, feel a sense of comfort. And this is where Stephen (and perhaps more likely, his marketing team) got it SO right!
Thanks to Renee Zellweger (and Jerry McGuire) we’ll forever have that cliche’ ‘You had me at hello’, but that’s exactly what it was like when I stepped in off the street in Paddington to Black Cat Books & Cafe. From the initial greeting there was a strong sense of being completely welcome. I started to wonder, as Stephen continued to introduce his latest literary work, if by being in the embrace of such a warm environment the author felt more at ease about the task at hand? He was certainly surrounded by many friends, and just a few of the local public who had come together to celebrate and promote his book. Add to the mix the popping of champagne and light finger food being served – not to mention the number of attendees who lined up to have their book signed (myself included) and I think Stephen can say his launch was a wonderful success.
But what about the book?
Well you can forget all that ‘warm and fuzzy’ stuff I was just talking about. The Broken Ones is a spine-tingling thriller; a mix of the supernatural and criminal. Stephen Irwin conjures up images of horror, and ghosts lurk the streets of Brisbane, in what is a dark and disturbing tale. I am hopeful that Stephen’s wit makes its way onto the pages, otherwise I’ll be saving the suggestive imagery of The Broken Ones for daytime reading… In the company of others.
Find out more about The Broken Ones from Stephen Irwin’s publisher, Hachette Australia: http://www.hachette.com.au/books/9780733627132/.