This past weekend I finally, officially celebrated the release of Shards of History with a launch party. It went well, I had fun, the food was great, and the company even better. I got some excellent tips for throwing a launch party from Mary Robinette Kowal. I strongly suggest reading her post if you're going to throw such a shindig.
My husband talked me into having the party at a tea room called Special Touch, and I'm glad he did because it's a beautiful facility, as you can see here:
That's my little man sporting his jersey. The unfortunate part is that I didn't think to take any pictures during the party. I was in full blown hostess mode and thinking about my reading and making sure my son didn't touch anything on the shelves filled with delicate tea pots and cups and carousel horses. So this picture came after the party, when everybody had cleared out.
There were little sandwiches in the shape of hearts, delicate cuts of fruit, tortilla rolls, and an assortment of desserts, including tiny tarts topped with whipped cream and itty bitty pastry dragonflies.
I ate that one right after taking the picture, and it was delicious. And no, there are none left! Why are you looking at me that way? I always hold my hands behind my back!
I gave a reading, which went well. About two sentences into the reading, I realized my throat was extremely dry, and I thought, I can't stop for a sip of soda now! I was told I didn't sound nervous at all, but I couldn't quite contain my nervous energy and kept shifting my weight from one foot to the other. I've actually never read in front of a crowd not dominated by writers, and I was a little anxious about the response I'd get.
I didn't have physical books to sign, so I signed bookmarks instead, and I included those bookmarks in the gift bags that I gave to the guests, along with feather pens and tiny little notebooks made of upcycled paint sample cards, like so:
The pens were quick and easy to make and tied in with the theme of the novel, and also tied in with the theme of writing in general (as did the notebooks). I ordered the notebooks from One Stitch Designs on Etsy, and I also included chocolate in the gift bags, just in case my guests weren't hyper enough from dessert.
Some friends over at Frame-N-Art framed the cover art for me:
I have yet to hang it in my office, but believe me, it will have a place of honor!
Also, one of my guests mentioned that she and her family recently acquired some chickens, and they had named all but one. They named their last one after a character in the novel. As the 2007 Odyssey workshop class has a thing about chickens, and this novel began at the workshop, this seemed most appropriate.