Friday, May 04, 2012

Book launch!

I had the most amazing time last night at the launch of my new collection, My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions, here in beautiful Bristol at the Arnolfini bookstore. Walking in to see the amazing display of about 60 copies of the book was fantastic! I was too flummoxed to take a picture...

 To be honest, I'd had a few book launch anxiety dreams, but it exceeded all my expectations, a gathering of people from all walks of my life here in Bristol - and some from much further afield, thank you Elizabeth Baines, Calum "Mr National Flash Fiction Day" Kerr and Elaine Chiew for travelling so far!

I didn't really have a minute to chat to people, from the first moment I was sitting at a table, signed copies...

Me signing books for Sara Davies and George Ferguson
The other special guest of the evening, who hadn't told me til a few hours before that she was coming, was....

Yes, she is no upright piano!
... my mother, who had fashioned this lovely hat for herself, although some doubted she actually was my mother ... :) The star of my book trailer, it was great to have her there, and she hadn't known that I dedicated the book to her, so I think that was a nice surprise for her.

Half way through, my publisher, the simply superb Richard Jones, of Tangent Books, made a speech, talking about difficult times for publishers and the need to support beautiful bookshops like the one we were in at the Arnolfini, and then he said some embarassingly lovely things about me.


I said some lovely things back, and talked a bit about how it feels to have a second book, and how this time rather than elated and deeply shocked, I feel really happy and very proud, a different sensation, very very nice. I mentioned how it's important to most short story writers that their stories find good homes, and how I feel that these 56 fictions have found a wonderful home and, although they were written over several years with no thought of a collection, I imagine them inside the book, having a conversation with each other... And then I read a few stories...which I thought were at the more cheery end of the spectrum, but look at their faces, poor dears!:



Some more attendees...
Fabulous writer friend Ally Kennon and wonderful partner Dan
Becky Jones the Biochemist, from the biochemistry lab at Bristol Uni that I was writer-in-residence in.
Wonderful writer friend Elizabeth Baines and her lovely partner John.

Professor Michael Berry, Galit and Robert

Dr Michael Short
My mother and my brother, Nick H
The excellent Joe "Mr Bristol Short Story Prize" Melia & the lovely Ali Reynolds, one of the BSSP judges

After the bookshop closed, we adjourned to the Arnolfini cafe and then the remaining few moved on to Las Iguanas for Mexican food, cocktails (and a cup of tea for me).

I'm not generally much of a party person, but last night was very special, just amazing - thank you Richard for throwing me the launch, and thank you to everybody who came and everyone who couldn't make it but was there in spirit! My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions is launched!

10 comments:

Sue Guiney said...

How wonderful!!! I'm so sorry to have missed it, but it looks like a fabulous party and a great way to send your stories off into the world!

Dora Dee said...

Congratulations!! It looked like an amazing time was had by all. Your mother is lovely and what a trouper. Wish I could have been there. I wish you much success.

Dora
(I can't wait to get my copy!)

Rachel Fenton said...

Your book trailer is a joy! Just made me smile so much - really quirky and lovely! Very much looking forward to reading and adding this book to the shelf with The White Road!

Marcus Speh Birkenkrahe said...

Hold on. Does this mean your mother is not actually an upright piano? Hm. Happy for you! (Both for the book and for the fact that your mother is a person.)

Kate Brown said...

I ordered my copy a few days ago. Can't wait until it arrives. Wish I could have been there!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Lovely to see these pics - not as good as actually being able to be there, of course, but great to see. You look HAPPY! And your mother 's hat! Wheee!
vxxx

The Divorced Lady's Companion to Living in Italy said...

Love your mother's hat too! Congratulations - it really looks like a special evening. Great work xxcat

Lauri said...

Oh Tania it sounds so very lovely! Big big congrats!

Tania Hershman said...

Sue - it was, and you were missed!
Dora - thank you!
Rachel - so glad you like the trailer, I think it's great, the good thing about having a partner who is a filmmaker!
Marcus, she has a touch of the harpsichord occasionally ...
Kate, thank you!!
V - yes, the hat! You were missed too. X
Cat, thank you!
Lauri, it really was. Thanks x x

WOMEN RULE WRITER said...

It looks fab. You look fab!

Nice shout out at Thresholds today from Steve Wassermna. Go girl!

Nu x