EMPIRE STATE post-launch report: London!

As I said before, the Forbidden Planet Megastore has long been something of a pilgrimage destination for me. On Thursday it hosted my book launch. The awesomeness of this has not yet dimminished; indeed, I hope it never will!

We’re still waiting on the final numbers, but it looks like the Empire State book launch was a record-breaker for a debut novelist at the store. I signed 22 pre-ordered copies, 150 in stock, plus another thirty or forty for people who came along (including two rare print ARCs and one US edition, which I’d never seen in person). By the end of the night my signature was looking a little rough, but I managed to scrawl it underneath a certain other author’s autograph on Forbidden Planet’s signing table.

I’ve done readings before, and I’ve been on convention panels. A book launch like this is almost a combination of the two, with a short chapter extract followed by a few questions. I hope I answered them cogently, but I must say it was all a bit of a blur.

Before heading to the store, I was interviewed for a New Zealand newspaper (publication date TBC), which was actually a pretty good warm-up and was a helpful way to get into the swing of things after my hugely delayed trained journey. Once at the store I was ushered into the back office (itself oddly thrilling), where I was fed tea and biscuits and given a stack of books to sign. Geek Syndicate arrived for an interview, then it was out to meet the not insubstantial crowd that had gathered.

Things started to get surreal when Paul Cornell passed on a congratulatory note from Terrance Dicks himself. Surreality continued when, after I was introduced by Danie Ware (who has written her own blog about the event here), I looked up to find a sea of mobile phones pointed in my direction.

I read, I signed, I chatted, I shook hands. I remembered the date, I remembered how to sign my name (mostly). We then repaired to the Phoenix Artist’s Club, where champagne was drunk and the day was toasted.

It was amazing. It’s a night I will never forget, and I’m very grateful to everyone who came along – you really made it the event it was. My thanks to Danie and Lee Harris for their support and assistance with getting the event off the ground.

Adrian Faulkner has also blogged about the event here. Thanks to Stephen J. Sweeney for the above photos.

Next stop: New York!

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  • Sounds fantastic. Mega congratulations. 

  • Love the photo on Danie’s blog of the event – Paul Cornell seems to be bowing before your majesty, while Lee is kneeling before a table of Empire States. Classic!