Last night was Julia Green's book launch for DRAWING WITH LIGHT.
It was my second book launch (Undiscovered Voices' launch was last month), but in my mind my first REAL book launch. Rather than a networking opportunity, it was a celebration of Julia and her book. Her family was there, her friends, many fellow tutors from Bath Spa University, her agent and publicist, and me and several of my fellow MA classmates. We promised each other that when we had our book launches, we'd invite each other too. Can't help a bit of fantasizing! It was a lovely snapshot of one of the good bits about life as a published author.
I should also mention the launch was held at the lovely Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, one of the coziest and best independent bookstores. Definitely one of the friendliest, too. Though getting everyone in was a tight fit.
Julia gave a brief thank you to everyone for coming and talked a bit about DRAWING WITH LIGHT. While this is her fifth teen book, this is her first to have a real love story as opposed to romantic interests, difficult relationships, etc. Julia said she had visited several schools this past week and tried reading different scenes to them. Their favorite was the first kiss scene, so Julia figured she'd read it to us, too. I love that she read the first 16-year-old kiss to a room full of adults.
As I believe I've mentioned countless times on this blog, I've been lucky enough to have Julia for my workshop tutor for both semesters at Bath Spa. I often can't resist putting the adjectives lovely or amazing in front of her name. Her writing is incredibly beautiful. Her books steal you away to wherever she is describing and you lose your whole sense of place to be part of her world. And her writing is intelligent too. There are no simple answers, no teenage cliches, but real characters in real situations. But beyond all that the reason I feel so lucky to have Julia as a tutor is because she's a good teacher. She pushes us in our writing, but also encourages us to be the best writers we can be.
I just learned this past week that Julia will also be my manuscript tutor. Once classes are done in May, she will continue to oversee my writing on my manuscript until it is due in September. I feel incredibly lucky.
So... DRAWING WITH LIGHT is out now. Buy a copy and several for your friends. Really. It'll be good, even for non-teen readers. And have I mentioned the lovely first kiss?