Succulent would describe this past week. Juicy with a hundred to do’s on my To Do List before my first ever book launch. I had been planning for several weeks, trying out new recipes, making sure all the invitations were sent, organizing the music and running slideshow, preparing a gift box prize filled with bits and bobs from my book, picking up glasses, ironing table cloths and a legion of other tasks in between.
Come Thursday morning, all was ready for the gallery. As we were setting up, an older gentleman wandered into the gallery wondering what all the fuss was about. Friendly and curious, I told him about my book. He looked at the English title, not having a clue if he understood it at all, though he smiled and looked fondly at me. That was enough to make me feel proud.
Guests began to arrive at the launch when in walked a little old lady. I greeted her, “Välkommen,” I said. She wiggled past me as though trying to go unnoticed. An hour later, I saw her with a glass of wine, and an hour after that, I watched curiously as she weaved through the crowd headed toward the wine table. Apparently, she enjoyed immensely the hors d’oeuvres. Not a soul knew who she was and she clearly wasn’t the least bit interested in meeting the author. I’m not sure why, but I got such a kick out of it. She made me smile.
Meanwhile, the gallery had filled to the brim with family and friends – a turnout, I didn’t fully expect. Everyone was happy and relaxed, mingling with people they’d just met and others who laughed at jokes they’d probably heard a hundred times. The 1930’s-40’s slideshow was getting noticed and probably drummed up a few conversations. Certainly the trivia quiz created a buzz. Nibblies were getting devoured and wine settled nicely into many a hand. Flowers and gifts floated in to the point I could start my own flower shop. It was lovely.
Swedes love speeches, so we had a few. I suppose they were really introductions more than anything, but they made me smile – again. I thought I would be nervous to speak in front of this big crowd, but I wasn’t. It felt right and good and relaxed. Here I was, celebrating my first published novel with so many of the people I care about. They came to show their support and that meant the world to me.
There was plenty of bookselling and signing. It was surreal to me that there should be a queue to have MY signature. I felt honoured and humbled at the same time. There was even a French university student who popped in off the street. He watched the speeches, chatted with guests, bought a copy and stood in line happily to get my signature and seemed chuffed to bits to meet me. ME! I felt like a rock star. Again, I smiled.
It was a magical night, one I will remember always. If this launch were just a fleeting moment, one never to repeat itself, I would know that I have amazing people in my life who help me rise to the occasion. I am beyond excited for people near and far to read my book. Fleeting moment or not, I hope it’s the first of many to come. Thank you for making it a fantastic launch.
The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley – Welcomed into the world at Galleri Scandinavia, Göteborg, Sweden, May 7, 2015.
Trivia Quiz from the Launch
Yes, it was challenging but not impossible. Congratulations Lisa Jarnskog – highest score
NOTE: Answers are at bottom of this blog post.
1) In which sea is the Isle of Man situated?
__ North Sea
__ Caspian Sea
__ Black Sea
__ Irish Sea
2) Where is Tobermory located in Canada?
__ Nova Scotia
3) What nation never introduced rationing during WWII?
__ New Zealand
4) What is the name of the small island situated off the southwest tip of the Isle of Man?
__ St. Patrick’s Isle
__ The Calf of Man
5) What is the Tobermory community known as?
__ The fresh water scuba diving capital of the world
__ The Scottish Copycat
__ The Manitoulin connection
__ The big wash basin
6) What article of clothing does not fit the 1930’s?
__ above the knee skirt
__ ostrich feather cape
__ wide brimmed hat
__ silk full length gown
7) What is the emblem of the Isle of Man?
__ The Manx cat
__ The Three Legs of Man
__ The Manx Kipper
__ The Laxey wheel
8) Which distress signals did the wireless station in Tobermory, Canada pick up in the first half of the 20th century?
__ The Empress of Ireland (Collision – 1,012 deaths)
__ The Titanic (Iceberg – 1,503 deaths)
__ The Kiang Ya (WWII mine – 2,750 deaths)
__ The Kiche Maru (Foundered – 1,000 deaths)
9) When did Canada enter WWII?
__ Same day as Britain
__ 1 year after Britain
__ 6 months after Britain
__ 7 days after Britain
10) Which item was not rationed in Britain during WWII?
11) Which film was NOT made in the 1930’s?
__ The Wizard of Oz
__ Gone with the Wind
__ King Kong
Quiz reference: http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz29619521e8e70.html
Answers: 1) Irish Sea, 2) Ontario, 3) Italy, 4) The Calf of Man, 5) The fresh water scuba diving capital of the world, 6) Above the knee skirt, 7) The Three Legs of Man, 8) The Titanic, 9) 7 days after Britain, 10) Carrots, 11) Casablanca