April 27th 2015 was, in the words of SpongeBob, the best day ever. But it was also a very surreal day. It was the day McNally Robinson Bookstore in Saskatoon hosted my book launch for Button Hill. I first suspected I may be crossing into the borderlands between Dayside and Nightside when I saw an 8 foot tall picture of my head on the electronic billboard:
As someone who had never contemplated life as a public person before, this was a bit of a shock.
When we got into the room that had been so thoughtfully set up by Marcy and the McNally Robinson event staff, Superwife and Superdaughter scoped the room and set up the guestbook in a high traffic area.
Superdaughter (with megawatt smile): “Hi! Are you here for the Button Hill reading by my Dad?”
Random Stranger: “Uh, are you talking to me?”
Superdaughter: “Sign this guestbook then sit down over there cuz’ we’re starting in 5 minutes.”
The house was packed – standing room only by the time I started the reading. People from all parts of my life took time out of their incredibly busy lives to come celebrate the launching of this book with me. Friend friends, writer friends, my family, even my Mom and Dad and Aunt who drove 7 hours to be here. My sweet brother-in-law and his son booked it right after school and drove over an hour for the reading, then back home again to make it for bedtime. Teachers, students, and Saskatoon Public School leaders came too. For me, seeing all the worlds I belong to come together in one room, on this night, was the most humbling thing.
And I did what I do – I told stories. I read them Dekker and Riley meeting Cobb for the first time. I read them Narcissa at Torchlight Auction House, bidding for the heart. And I read them the final character to enter the story, and maybe my favorite – Herald, the talking bone-raven of Charnel House:
Afterwards it was like a little party. I got to meet some of my readers:
Superson and Superdaughter held court:
McNally Robinson Marcy was working so hard filling punch glasses and Superwife was thanking friends for coming, and I didn’t get a picture of either of them in action. Couldn’t have made it through a magic night like this without them though. But that’s okay because I’m turning them both into really great undead monsters in the sequel. Right, ladies? Hello?
One week later, a gift from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:
Button Hill’s on top, thanks to you Saskatoon! At least for one week – I’ll take it. Thanks to everyone at McNally Robinson and Orca Books for making this night possible. And thank you, all my writer friends and school friends and family for celebrating it with me.
And thanks to me for putting my butt in the chair and writing it, over and over until we got here together today.