Thursday, 2 January 2014

Half-Bad Launch Party

Hey all!

It's the second day of the new, beautiful year.

I thought I'd recap on an event I attended last November
Early November, a few months after I had started my job at Waterstones (one of the UK's bookstores) in Newcastle, there was the opportunity for one bookseller and a friend to travel - all expenses paid - to London for a launch party of a book, written by upcoming author Sally Green. I hadn't heard of the book, however it looked fantastic and even though I thought I didn't have a chance of winning, I thought I'd enter just in case!
So I entered, and a few days later, I had a phone call.

So the afternoon of Tuesday 19th, I travelled down to London. The sun was setting and the view was beautiful.
I couldn't resist taking photos

Beautiful, right?

So when we got to London, we found our hotel room. Two huge double beds and a bathroom. Absolutely gorgeous.
At 6:30, a private hire car picked me up from outside the hotel, and took us to Shoreditch House, where we took the lift to the top floor, walked past the private gym, restaurant and outdoor heated swimming pool (swanky!, and went through to the "Secret Garden" where we were met by a crowd of happy launch party people, and a hottie male model in a cage.
The male model was very symbolic to the book, I was informed by the lovely Sally Green. In the book, Nathan (model), is placed by white witches inside the cage for two years until they decide his fate. Nathan is the son of a white which, and his Dad just happens to be the baddest black witch EVER. 

Like I mentioned earlier, I hadn't yet read the book, but it already sounded fantastic.
Here's the synopsis:

A stunning, magical debut. An international sensation.
You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.
You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.
You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.
You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.
All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?
In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

Throughout the evening, we were served canap├ęs and delicious cocktails, followed by glasses of chilled wine. Very refreshing, very sophisticated.
Everybody at the party listened to a humbling, heart-warming and inspiring speech from Sally Green, who talked about her journey from being an accountant to a mother to a writer. 

I tried to upload a video of the speech however I'm not sure whether it worked. If it didn't,  take my word that the speech was truly fantastic. 
After receiving many rejections from publishers and companies of her finished manuscript, it was finally purchased Puffin and Viking USA - both of whom are part of the Penguin Group, and created a "snowball effect" with publishers and agents recognising Sally's amazing talent and unique writing style.
The book has not yet been released, however film rights have already been published by 20th Century Fox, with the director of the Twilight franchise, Percy Jackson and the Book Thief. I for one, am very excited about the release of the book AND the movie. 
At the end of her speech, Sally likened the experience to winning the lottery; you play the game, but you never expect to win.

The evening was finished with receiving a proof copy of Half-Bad, which was given by a chained, caged Nathan. 

It was fantastic to meet Sally, and my review of Half-Bad will be up shortly!

All in all, a truly fantastic evening.

Male model chained in a cage!

My friend, myself and the lovely Sally Green

Beautiful cover of Half Bad - my proof copy!

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