Let the Book Launches Begin!
It's that time of season again. THIN AIR 2008 is right around the corner (put on by yours truly at the Winnipeg International Writers Festival of course) and that means lots of new books to be released in the Fall!
Some of the writers launching in August and September will be appearing on our stages at the festival...I can't say more until September 3rd, when our official press conference takes place, but suffice it to say we've got lots of great local talent this year!
Two nights ago I attended perhaps this city's most anticipated book launch of 2008: Andrew Davidson with his first book, "The Gargoyle." Why so much anticipation? Because he received a 1.25 million dollar advance from Random House. Oh, and his book has also been sold in over 20 countries, so after all those advances he's now looking at more like 2.5 million in advances.
We call him the "Million Dollar Man" at the office. And I can safely tell you that he is coming to THIN AIR 2008.
Anyhoos, the launch.
Well, it was quite the party. Close to 250 people packed into the McNally Robinson (Polo Park) events alcove, and it was very roomy (the new location kicks ass, quite personally). Most of the people there were family and friends, but that's what most first book launches are, right? And this one, as he himself mentioned in an interview and at the launch, was perhaps his most important event because of that.
I got to meet with him briefly before everything started. He seems really nice, down to earth, and he's excited as all hell to be part of the festival! As for his reading, he was quite animated, funny, played the crowd really well, and read nicely. Exactly what you hope for in a writer! (many times a writer is great on paper...and not so great a performer).
Next up on the old book launch list: Daria Salamon's Bitchy Bridesmaid...sorry! That should be "Prairie Bridesmaid." (heh-heh) Quite a good book, although the narrator is quite the pessimist, hates everything and everyone, and kinda gets on your nerves by the 3/4 point. But, that's who she is and you better deal with it as a reader! Overall, very well written, and to quote a phrase from David Bergen, perfect "Prairie Angst!"