Monday, 24 October 2011
Event Report: Ashes Book Launch at Purl Bar, London
The event was held in the equally creepy Purl Bar in London and it had a creepy Victorian vibe about it like it was new during that era and has just kept going even as things crumbled around them. Bare brick walls and hanging chandeliers are the main features along with candle light that set the scene for the launch of a dystopian zombie survival tale that will stop you dead.
I think I was one of the few bloggers there as many others were from the publishers Quercus and people that work in the publishing industry. I had a lovely chat with some Quercus people that asked about the blogging thing and we talked about their other coming publication Torn by Cat Clarke (which I bouncing around like Tigger about) and it was nice to talk face to face with the people that are on the other side of books I love and getting them out there in the world.
There were drinks to hand, beer and wine and then we had some fancy and rather strong cocktails that were we told were 'zombie cocktails' and I assume they were called so because after one you are bound to feel like the undead the next morning. They were yummy and I'm glad I only had one because I had work the next morning.
Ilsa was introduced to the room by the captivating Steve Jones, a well respected science fiction writer that was clearly so moved by the book and Ilsa's work that he came to the launch just as an introductory host as such. Pretty impressive as was his speech that sung the praises of both the work and Ilsa herself. Ilsa is such an interesting person with her family history based in Europe at the time of Jewish genocide by the Nazi's, her own career as a child psychologist and work with the military that it's no wonder she's able to write such interesting and enchanting books.
Ilsa said a few words of thanks and then invited everyone to come and chat one on one and to get books signed if they wanted them. After a few people went before me and Ilsa moved to sit in one of the booth areas I slipped in line and then met the guest of honour. I'd been exchanging tweets during the week with Ilsa so introduced myself and "me online" to say hi and such and I was embraced and welcomed like I'd been her friend for years. I don't know if this is just her kind nature but I felt like I had her whole attention because she wants to talk to you directly and listen. She signed my book and chatted about the book a bit and I mentioned I was reading some of her next book I'd nabbed on NetGalley and was addicted already and she was so humble and grateful to be for saying and for even reading it.
After 5-10minutes I let the next person get their chance with Ilsa and hung around with a few other fans just to hear Ilsa talk and chat. She was charming and made me feel like an honoured guest myself.
Thank you to Quercus for inviting me to the evening and to Ilsa for being a truly honest and nice person to talk to!
As a special treat I have ONE copy of ASHES by Ilsa J. Bick SIGNED to giveaway! This book is set to be a classic and already has a lot of buzz around it so this is your chance to get a signed copy and all you have to do is follow these instructions. As this is a contest run by myself and not for a special event (birthday, blog celebration etc) I'm going to ask for followers only. I know it can be a drag but all you have to do is click that follow button on the side of my blog and then fill in this form. It's UK ONLY this time but my 1 year Blog Birthday isn't too far away and that WILL be international with some fun goodies planned already.
So FOLLOW AND FILL THE FORM!
Contest ends next Monday (31st October) and winner will be announced here and via email. The winner will get 7 days to reply and confirm. After 7 days an new winner will be announced.