Over the labour day long weekend, I attended Conflux SF Convention. It was a local SF convention with a nice, cozy crowd. On the Saturday morning, I was being the timelord for the pitching sessions. This means I wrangled the editors taking pitches and the authors pitching novels. It was a really good space to be in. Full of hope and anticipation on both sides. It also stopped me being nervous about my launch.
Just after that was my scheduled book launch for Shatterwing. Shatterwing is a dark, epic fantasy, set on a post-apocalyptic world where mankind is at its lowest ebb. It has dragons, but maybe the humans are the worst kind of beast on this world.
In the lead up I wasn’t sure I was going to get books. But they arrived on Friday. I was so excited I couldn’t sit still. Yes, I almost wet myself. A guy I work with helped carry the boxes up to my office and then he bought the first copy. I liken it to receiving my first degree. Something I’d never thought would happen to me and a great personal achievement. So publishing Shatterwing is up there with that.
I’ve had ebooks published before, and that was amazing. The launch for Rayessa and the Space Pirates was so much fun and real highlight in my life. Here is the picture of the UFO cake I made for that launch.
There are two things that make this launch extra special for me. This is Dragon Wine. The book I’ve been working on the longest, the book that I poured a lot of myself into. It is special to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my stories and the characters, but this has my blood, sweat and tears in it. The other thing is that this has a print copy! Like wow! I can hold this, wave it about and I can see it. This is useful when you know a lot of people who don’t read ebooks, don’t get ebooks and don’t really think you have published anything.
Me with the first copies of Shatterwing
So even though I didn’t think there would be books, I wanted to have the launch anyway to celebrate with my spec fic buddies, because well why the hell not. As it turned out there were books. Thank you to my publisher Momentum Books. They look lovely btw.
In a previous post I talked about the launch shoes. I didn’t quite organise the dress so I wore this lovely retro dress.
Launch shoes from the UK (Irregular Choices)
Me in my dress and shoes
I stole Keri Arthur’s shoe mojo when I got those. I was also inspired to buy them by Nik Vincent in Maidstone, Kent. The dress is my own kind of weakness. The swing style hides a lot of flaws.
The launch was heating up. The books were on display. The drinks were arriving. My son, Taamati and my daughter Shireen (Beans) came along. Beans isn’t in the photo as she looked liked she’d been a the gym. My friend Deb Kelly came down from Queensland to be at the launch. Waves to Deb. That was an amazing thing for her to do. Thank you so much Deb.
Taamati and me
The wonderful Cat Sparks agreed to launch the book for me and good buddie Nicole Murphy was the MC and my lovely partner manned the receipt book.
Nicole, dragon, me and Cat (photo by Robert Hood)
Cat just happened to have this amazing dragon at her house, which matched the colours of Plu in the book. Here is a shot with Cat and her dragon. It is beautiful and enormous and I have envy.
Cat Sparks and her dragon
Cat launched the book, highlighting some of the world building elements and stuff about me. She gave people a warning about the darkness in it. Nicole made me read while people got their drinks and pizza.
Me signing Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)
Then came the signing. People bought books and I signed them. People who I knew and some of whom I didn’t and that was very touching. Thank you all for coming and celebrating with me.
Me reading a scene from Shatterwing (photo by Cat Sparks)
Nicole chose a scene for me to read because I hadn’t prepared anything and I couldn’t decide in case it was a spoiler. A bit pathetic of me I know.
And to finish a shot of me signing again. A great photo by Cat Sparks. I am very grateful to Cat for reading and launching Shatterwing. I know she is very busy with her PhD and writing so I appreciate it, heaps. Many thanks to Nicole Murphy for MCing and being a great support. Hugs to Russell and Kylie for making the launch. And Keri Arthur and Tracey O’Hara! Thank you to my Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild buddies. Thank you to those of you who attended who were too many to name. I really am humbled by your support.
Donna Maree Hanson (photo Cat Sparks)
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