Yesterday I was tweeting about a gig I had in Sydney. I wasn’t too sure what I was allowed to say because I’d been told it was all under wraps. However, I soon let it slip that I was at the Harlequin Escape launch (Twitter# goescape).
I thought people might think it was my amazing smooze power that had secured me an invite. But alas, I was invited because I am one of the authors. (to clarify not the goddess like debut imprint authors). My day will come in January some time. I realised I was allowed to say stuff when Pollina, the Harlequin Escape twitterer, tweeted a shot of me as the new young adult author. Then the questions rolled in.
So I drove up from Canberra and back again yesterday. It was worth the whole six hours in the car and the 2 am home time. What an amazing thing that launch was and what an amazing amount of author love (for the imprint’s debut authors!). Alas I am not one of the imprints debut authors but never mind because I don’t.
So the tweets came early in the day about hair getting done and a white limousine to show the four authors the highlights of Sydney and cosy chat with Harlequin staff. I was thinking wow, this is some launch build up.
I invited my youngest daughter to the launch cocktail party. On arrival we had a photo taken on (maybe red carpet) and then we went into to get our name tags. I was listed under author, which threw me a little bit. Then we chose a key. The picture below is the Key(s) and the lovely invite I received.
There were four cocktails through the night all named after the books, plus wine, beer etc and stacks of people. I had met two of the authors launching their titles so I went over to meet them and congratulate them etc.
I met straight up, the lovely Jane who asked me what my title was. She was like “Hey, I’m going to illustrate that one next. I really want to read it too. And can you give me some ideas for the cover?” It was great, wow.
Then there was food. Oodles of food. The food was still going at 9.30 when I left (it started at 6.30).
I met Rosie from @Fangbooks and Abigail @Bothersomewords. I also met other editors.
Rosie from @ Fangbooks and me
Abigail from @Bothersomewords and me
My daughter took photos and found people to talk to, like Nina who has a book coming out the same month as me. It is a medical romance and my daughter works in a hospital. They hit it off!
Pollina and I slurping cocktails. #goescape twitter stream
My daughter made me pose for this pensive shot. I’m impressed she got the Harbor Bridge in there.
Erana’s shot of me being pensive.
Here is one of me in my lovely dress. (I love this dress and the shoes). Shot taken by Pollina Harlequin Escape.
Me in my party dress! Photo by Pollina, Harlequin Escape
The big announcement moment came. The MD, Michelle LaForest, gave a great talk on what the Harlequin were trying to do with Escape. Also that answers were within 2 weeks and if accepted published in 3 months. A lot of work and corporate ingenuity was behind this imprint. After speaking to the staff, they are all in there working hard and getting it done. Awesome bunch of people.
So remember that photo with the keys above? Well the shiny one is actually a USB with the four books being launch on it available for free. ( I believe you get to download tem for free). Anyhoo what a clever idea! Who thinks up this stuff. Wow!
The other key, it was revealed, was for the Treasure Chest. I’m not sure exactly what was in there. My key didn’t fit. My daughter didn’t either but she said the girl behind her had her key fit. Part of the prize was a $200 voucher for Red Balloon and the surprise was an Iphone 5. Wow. Impressive.
The photographer wandered around snapping shots of people. I got a quick word with Kate Cuthbert (my editor/publisher). Here is a shot of her with Rebekah Turner. They had tired feet.
Kate Cuthbert and Rebekah Turner
My tired feet encased in pretty shoes.
For me it was great to see such pizzaz and marketing might behind this new imprint and also the innovative approach to selling the product. It was also great to speak to people who were excited about what I wrote. That just encourages me to send them more.
I managed to get a shot of my daughter in the lift as we were leaving. She said I was to invite her to the next cocktail party.
And one final word, Harlequin Australian and Harlequin Escape are bringing Australian voices to international markets. Escape titles will be available in all the big stores, like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ibooks etc. All DRM free. As well as direct from http://www.escapepublishing.com.au. Link is here.
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