Jan Newton writes about her second book launch, which took place in Builth Wells on March 15th.
Two years ago, the publication by Honno of my first novel, Remember No More, was an absolutely amazing experience. From seeing the book with its beautiful cover for the very first time, to its unforgettable launch in Builth Wells, was a massive whirl of emotions. There was apprehension – would people come to the launch, and then would they like the book? There was amazement that so many people did come, and gratitude for a fanfare from the brass band I play in, for surprise cake and wonderful flowers, and that people laughed in all the right places at what I had to say at my first engagement as an author.
In the weeks and months that followed, I was completely bowled over by the fantastic response. People from all over the UK and beyond, took the trouble to write reviews or send e-mails and letters to tell me how much they enjoyed it, and that they hoped I would write the second book in the series soon. I was invited to talk to groups and at library events, and the local people where the book is based, have been incredibly and generously supportive.
This year, two years more or less to the day, Rather To Be Pitied, the second DS Kite Mystery was to be launched. Would it be different this time? Would I be more confident, more blasé about the whole process? Well, no. I was just as nervous. Would people come to a second launch? Would they like the second book as much as the first?
The Wyeside Arts Centre did us proud for a second time. Amazingly, the band turned out for another fanfare. There were more flowers, wonderful cake – and even gin – and a huge turnout. Three lovely ladies from Honno’s Committee came over from Aberystwyth to help us celebrate.
There was an unexpected and amazingly kind introduction from Jane Aaron, the Chair of the committee, and an equally memorable introduction from Chris Kinsey, poet, nature writer, friend and brilliant creative writing tutor. All that was left was for me to read. I was less nervous than the first time – the book barely shook at all, and the audience was just as welcoming as they had been two years ago. It was, if anything, even more special, knowing that many of the people in the audience were those who had been such supportive fans of ‘Remember No More’.
Rather To Be Pitied has been out there for three weeks now, and the reviews have started to come in. It’s no less nerve racking, waiting to know what readers think, but I’m finally beginning to breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve had so many excellent responses, and requests to write the third book in the series. When someone says they didn’t want your book to end – that surely has to be the best feeling in the world.