It was an historic day yesterday at Te Ara, where I work. We’re a creative bunch of people, and quite a few of us have published books at one time or another. But yesterday was the first time two of them had been launched in one day!
The first launch was my colleague Carl Walrond’s. He’s written a book called Survive! Remarkable Tales from the New Zealand Outdoors. It’s full of accounts of people who got lost in the bush and elsewhere, and survived, or not. Carl says he’s been lost in the bush before, and once got lost in Invercargill (the city, I think, rather than any wilderness area), so had some inside knowledge to write it.
Carl was kind enough to bring his launch to us at work (he had another with his Ngaio neighbours, but couldn’t mix them with us urban sophisticates apparently). He also brought his family, booze, snacks and ribena. When I found out it was 6.30 already, and had to scuttle off, I quickly sculled my wine-glassfull of ribena. My colleague Olivia guffawed at me, and reminded me: ‘Dignity at all times’ (which is my motto), thinking I’d just sculled a glass of red wine.
What I had to scuttle off to was my own launch – well, launch number one – at the Winter Readings. I had a great time hearing the other readers read, especially Harvey Molloy, who went first. And I had a great time reading too, and was delighted at people’s response. It was fun signing books, and getting Harvey to sign my copy of his book, Moonshot, which were hot off the press.
Another highlight was meeting a couple of people, Mary and Elbowlina, who I’d only met online before.
So I feel that My Iron Spine is now half launched, and I’m now looking forward to launch two – next week at the Arts Centre, in the middle of this intriguing exhibition: Outside Culture.
Also next week, the final Winter Reading, featuring Michael O’Leary, Marilyn Duckworth and Bill Dacker. Wednesday, 7 pm, City Gallery.