My Toronto HUNTED launch (for the Canadian version by Fitzhenry & Whiteside) was a success! So many people that I care about were there–great writing friends, friend-friends, new friends, old friends, and some people I didn’t know who came to hear about Hunted. Thank you everyone who came! It meant so much to me, having people there to help me celebrate. I don’t celebrate my successes enough–I think I just dive into the next bit of work there is to do–so it was lovely to take the day, surrounded by good people, to celebrate HUNTED being published and out in the world.
As soon as I arrived at Bakka Phoenix Bookstore, I saw HUNTED set out on the front table facing the street–they had such a lovely display!–and signs in the window telling people to come join us.
I set out my free short story postcards (which you can still pick up at Bakka Phoenix Bookstore) and bookmarks, and set out he prizes.
Chris and everyone at Bakka Phoenix was wonderful, setting out tablecloths, providing scrumptious cookies, water, pop, and making me and everyone else feel incredibly welcome.
My lovely F&W editor, Christie Harkin, made a delicious cake complete with red Ps for Para (or anti-Para), and there were veggie trays and dips, drinks, and more goodies laid out.
I think everyone had fun sitting down with psychic Michael, who gave uplifting and sensitive readings. Here’s my friend Nancy Prasad getting a reading from Michael.
A lot of people went home with prizes that they got to pick from the table, including a gorgeous gift basket of F&W books which my friend Hilary got, some Bakka Phoenix gift cards, and more.
The daughter of two people who came to my launch helped me pick out the raffle tickets for each draw. She not only had fun and suspense–every ticket that she drew out of the jar, she compared it to her own first to see if it had won!–but she also provided more good feeling and laughter to the event. I was so happy when her mother was one of the winners, so the girl got to pick a prize for herself.
I was excited and nervous to give my talk on HUNTED.
First we had to call people upstairs–away from the food and the psychic! I was so happy to see so many people I care about: Children’s & YA writer Carolyn Beck (from right to left), YA writer Karen Krossing (next), a teen reader, YA writer Erin Thomas, Professor Cheryl Cowdy from York Uni, my editor Christie Harkin, Jean, Leo Snowbell, Sarah Snowbell, me, and Chris from Bakka Phoenix.
And then I gave my talk.
You can hear some of my talk in the video below. I love how my editor Christie panned part of the crowd so you could see some of the faces of some of the people who were there.
I read the first two pages from HUNTED. (You can see YA author Lena Coakley listening in the background.)
Jean, who’s become like a mom to me, surprised me by coming up to tell everyone how good HUNTED is, how it made her heart race, made her cry, and gripped her as she read. She is such a sweetheart!
Then I signed books for some of the guests.
It was very cool to meet a teen who’d read HUNTED and loved it, and to have her talk about loving books, loving writing poetry, and to see her being so confident. I was never that confident as a teen! I enjoyed meeting her, and was so glad she and her mother came.
I loved having so many friends, new and old, at the launch to help me celebrate. What a good feeling!
Here’s me and Jean.
Me and YA writer Pat Bourke.
Me and artist and writer Sarah Snowbell, who, along with her husband Leo, were the first to arrive!
At the end of the day, when everyone had had their turn, I decided to have a reading with Michael, too. It was such a lovely experience!
The launch was so much fun. I’m so glad for everyone who came, including a few people who dropped by just to buy the book and say a quick hi, then dashed out again! It was a real celebration.