Ladies Who Launch

The Dance of Love book launch by Angela Young

(C) Veronika Hyks

(C) Veronika Hyks

Last Thursday my second novel, THE DANCE of LOVE, just published by Buried River Press, was launched from the Barnes Bookshop (which is owned and run by a wonderfully enthusiastic bookseller, Isla Dawes). May the book travel far and wide, gathering readers as it goes. It certainly had a good send-off.

One friend, in her enthusiasm, arrived on Monday and couldn’t understand why the bookshop was closed, but she returned on the right night along with many others. Gill Jackson, MD of Robert Hale, said lovely things about the book (thank you, Gill) and I’d told Isla I thought we’d be about sixty-five people but then, or so I’m told, 10% of invitees to any party never turn up and that turned out to be the case – some were stuck in the traffic jam from hell (I mean from Hammersmith) – but others brought unexpected but exceedingly welcome extra friends, so we ended up with the number of friends I’d thought might come, despite the traffic gods.

My nephews and nieces poured wine, or elderflower, and they’d read the book, bless them, so they promoted as they poured. At least five people said they’d recommend the novel to their book groups (Isla tempted them by offering a 10% discount to anyone buying six or more copies at the same time – and that goes for any book for book groups, not just mine! If you don’t live near Barnes you can order online, here, but speak to Isla first about the discount if you’d like it).

It was a very happy, joyful family occasion. All my family were there because my two younger sisters managed to smuggle my American sister into the country for the launch, which was a gorgeous surprise.

The family of people each book needs to begin its journey out into the world of readers was there: my agent, Heather Holden-Brown; one of the book’s two editors, Celia Hayley; Gill Jackson, representing all at Buried River Press who designed, typeset and printed the book; the book’s promotional filmmaker, Jim Burge, and so many others, too numerous to mention, except for my long-suffering partner, Peter Wise, who listens to me on the bad writing days when I tell him I’ll never write another word, ever again, and then he makes me laugh and so I find my way back to my writing desk. On the morning of the launch, he told me I’d become the latest member of an exceedingly exclusive club called Ladies Who Launch.

And the family of readers, without whom no book lives long, was there in force. So many of them bought the book that Isla sold the fifty copies she’d ordered, long before either Gill or I stood up to say a single word. And one of the last guests to leave said he’d been practising his dance-of-love steps: he waltzed home down Church Road.

So, may The DANCE of LOVE waltz out into the world and stay there, merrily, for a long time to come.

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