I went to the Blood of the Delphi book launch at Waterstones in Winchester yesterday!
I’ve been to book launches before when I worked for P&G Wells bookshop, and they’re always super fun and exciting, but this one was extra special. Why? Because the author, M.E. Vaughan (Madeleine) is a great friend of mine – and because I actually edited both of her books.
Apologies for my potato-quality phone camera, but these are the brand-new paperback editions of both Harmatia Cycle books: Sons of Thestian (the first book, which has been re-published and looks so pretty) and Blood of the Delphi, the sequel. Blood of the Delphi isn’t officially on sale for another couple of days, so it was super cool to get our copies early at the launch!
After enjoying drinks and nibbles, we sat down to an exclusive reading from Blood of the Delphi by Madeleine herself. It was a heck of a dramatic scene, and I saw some anxious faces in the crowd. (Of course I was perfectly sympathetic, and didn’t cackle because I’ve read the book and know what happens. Noooo.)
Following the reading was an author Q&A, where Madeleine talked about everything from the self-publishing process to crying over killing her characters (I know the feeling, sob). Madeleine’s humour was brilliant and infectious, and the whole crowd laughed as she described the time she was acting out a fight scene she wanted to write, and caught sight of herself in the mirror – arms stretched goofily over her head to mimic a dragon – and thought how grateful she was no one could see her. Of course, her dad walked in two seconds later.
The chairs were cleared away quickly after the Q&A, to make space for everyone to grab their own copies of the books for Madeleine to sign. I already have the first edition of Sons of Thestian from years back, but of course I had to get the new version. I edited it, after all!
Again, apologies for my terrible camera – I’ve played with the contrast to make it clearer, but clearly my phone doesn’t like electric lighting!
The book launch was over an hour long, but it went by in a blink. Spending time with other writerly people is the best feeling, and getting to see Madeleine’s hard work in print was so rewarding. I left the launch with two beautiful books – both signed of course!
Unfortunately, I can only show you Madeleine’s signature in The Sons of Thestian, since she wrote spoilers for my own steampunk novel in Blood of the Delphi (she told me off for killing characters she liked … woops!) Never mind, Madeleine. I’m sure you have plans to get your own back in Harmatia Cycle book three.
Aww. See this? This is me dashing away a happy tear. You’re welcome, Madeleine. I can’t wait to see the final installment.