The official Hobart launch of Cary J. Lenehan’s epic fantasy novel, Intimations of Evil, was held on Thursday evening 2 December 2015 with a great turnout at Amor Bar on Elizabeth Street. It would be easier for Cary to recount the event:
During the afternoon our house began to resemble a CWA kitchen as four trays of quartered sandwiches were assembled. It had started in earnest. The launch was happening. At 4.30 I realised that I had not yet picked up the business cards from Xerox. Why was I just sitting around answering queries on the Book of Face? Into the car, get those, to our son, Brenden’s place to get him and he is playing World of Warcraft (bloody geeks), to Woolworths to pick up some more nibbles – four trays of them and then to pick up my mother. To her, as to me, it is still not real. Her son is actually a real author and her friends want to buy books because they like the cover art (as do I – good choice of artist by Gerry at IFWG).
We arrive at Amor Bar at 5.45. We said 6pm, but there are already people moving around. Is everyone early? Is this all that will come? I set up the banner with the cover on it. It stands taller than I do and looks great. Marjorie and Alice already are setting up a sales table and people are buying books and wanting me to sign them. Out goes the first food. I know my customers. Quite a few are students or not far removed from it and so hunger is never far away. The serious bit of greeting people and thanking them begins. I get given a martinus (my first Manhattan for years). Coffee and drinks are being bought and it looks like the bar is adding people behind it. How Irish to launch a book in a bar. I am sure that James Joyce is smiling at me. I might even write a limerick.
It is 6.15 and I give a short speech. It may be hard to believe, but I am nervous and someone asks me to speak up. Because we hurried things to get the book out well before Christmas we ended up with only me to launch my own book. It was unusual, but it seems to have worked. At any rate the applause was a little louder than polite. Looking around some people I was expecting to see were not there and there are quite few that I have no idea about. The room seems fairly full.
Time to sit and start signing books. I apologise for the wobbly signatures, but it was a new experience for me and hard to think of something individual to put down to make it more memorable for people. The attendees vary from a person I have known since she was in pre-school with my daughter to people I have only ever met on Facebook. My favourite surprise was a chap who was dining with his wife next door and, looking for a drink after, wandered in. They heard the speech and decided that they wanted a book. A couple of people have bought it as a Kindle and already read it. They love it so much they want signed copies. To me, as someone that has been a fan most of their life, that is way cool. My first drink finished I have the rest of a martini and then something called a Monkey Wrench (I think). Once we account for pre-orders, we are out of books and need to order more. That has to be counted as a good night for a new author. Add in that we have been in the top 10% of Kindle sales on Amazon most of the time since the book came out and I thing that we may have done something right.
I sit and talk about the book with people and how it came to be. Drop hints about the series without revealing key plot details. Talk about gaming and my background as people ask questions. I could get used to this. We continued talking (and drinking) well into the night. All the food (8 large platters) is gone. There were still quite a number of younger ones looking to make a night of it. The bar has never had a book launch before (and the staff bought books) and they are not normally open on Thursdays. They already want us back next year for volume two.
Below are a sample of photographs taken at the event (permission granted from Wendy Calabria and Cary J. Lenehan).
It started with receiving a few boxes of books…
Book signing – very casual