We were hosted by The Inn on the Park in St Albans, who did a great job. No hitches at all, and the staff on duty for the evening were helpful and efficient.
We had a cake, and what a stunner, created by Laura's friend Julie Green. Guests thought at first that it was a pile of hardbacks!
This is a cake, honestly!
We had a pop-up bookstall, and my clever and supportive husband ran that for me. We organised a card reader and a receipt machine and sold a total of 35 copies on the night. Amazing amount when you consider many of the guests had already bought a copy from my website bookshop. I thought if I sold 20 copies I'd be chuffed, so 35 was fab.
We had wine; and home made sausage rolls and vegetarian rolls, which smelled delicious while cooking. I didn't get one, but I did sneak home some slices of cake to share with my kids.
There were speeches - not a bad feat for a couple of introverts! The atmosphere was so friendly my nerves melted away as soon as I started talking. Then it was over to Laura who read beautifully from Fallible Justice. A friend of Laura's in Australia asked me to read out a message from him as a surprise for Laura. I practiced at home but it was too emotional and on the night I felt myself welling up, so my husband Ian stepped in and read it for me. (Blame the menopausal hormones!) It was a beautiful message and I don't think it was only Laura and me with damp eyes...
L to R: Jennie Rawlings (covers), Dominic Brownlow (author), Leigh Forbes (interiors), Laura Laakso (author), Louise Walters (publisher), Alison Jack (copy editor)
Laura's mum was there too, all the way from Finland, and I think she was perhaps the proudest person in the room.
All in all it was a fantastic night. My first LWB book launch, and not my last I'm sure.
Writing and publishing a book is the best excuse for a knees-up. Can't wait for the next one!