Deputy Dan : The Wellington Book Launch

Sally’s Report

On Saturday 22nd March a large crowd of booksellers, authors, librarians, industry insiders, publishers, readers, family and friends gathered at Juniper Restaurant in Wellington to help Joel & I celebrate the launch of Deputy Dan & the Mysterious Midnight Marauder. It was a huge day for me – lots of running around and getting ready – then a lovely relaxed dinner with twenty people at the venue before the other guests started to arrive.

Arrive they did – in large numbers. We served a desert buffet, because it was Easter, and lots of cheese because of a year of jokes from Joel at the expense of New Zealand’s cheeses. The food was great and Juniper’s chef did really well. I didn’t notice so much though because 1) I was speaking about the book in front of all those people and 2) then Joel and I found ourselves signing an awful lot of copies of the book!

I had asked Joel if he wanted to speak and he went pale and promised me if he had to he would forget all his English in the stress of the moment! So he stood beside me to offer moral support while I described the years of writing the book, what publication felt like, and meant to me. We each signed a couple of the first books off the press and gave them to our Mums who both cried. It was more special than a simple report of the event can make it sound. I was so moved to be there that I am not sure what sense my words carried but a lot of people said the talk was lovely.

Afterwards Joel and I posed for photos with a wide variety of proud loved ones and/or help meets then we sat side by side and signed the book together for the first time. It was hard to believe, after so many times of trying to imagine what that would feel like, after so many days of working together and agreeing we couldn’t quite imagine it, that we were really, truly there! We kept grinning at each other the entire time! The queue for people wanting the book signed stretched right across the restaurant and was two deep. The first person we signed for was Tim, the publisher, who wanted copies for his grandchildren. I signed saying that their Grandad was one of the best deputies out there – I hope that gives them a smile. The signing lasted a looooooong time but everyone was very patient!

When the night finally wound down I got home and wrote this fragment to remind myself of what the night was like. I think it sums things up well:

What a night! Its been fabulous – I feel like Im humming with some sort of crazy electricity. The parts – an awesome dinner, fantastic chats, a speech that I think went well (But I was so full of emotion I could barely focus on the fact that I was giving out words), long lines of people to have their books – my book!!!!!!! – signed – were great.The sum of all those parts was so much more. Tonight felt like a life changing night and I was surrounded by people who I was thrilled to share it with.

Im sitting here but I’ve run out of words for how good this is. I’m incredibly grateful.

So: now, it’s official. Deputy Dan is launched and people are all saying they love it. This wonderful sensation of a good dream I can’t wake up from is lingering. As I said at the launch, making your dreams come true is a feeling I can recommend to anyone!