By The Mole
Saturday saw the launch of Anne Goodwin's début novel, Sugar and Snails, at Nottingham Writers' Studio - which has been published by Inspired Quill. Inspired Quill is an independent publisher, happy to publish books that deal with social issues and in this case the issue is gender identity.
As with most book launches the evening started very informally with milling, wine, nibbles and cake (of course cake). We got to chat with the publisher about some of the books they publish and the model under which they print them - a model that relies on modern technology but still enables a high level of quality control that the self published market so desperately lacks.
We also got the chance to chat with the author as well as other independent publishers who had come along to support as friends and colleagues. One subject broached was that of reviewing poetry and we were in agreement that this is a difficult area as just because you don't "get" poems or they wash over you doesn't mean they're not good - or perhaps even brilliant - just that they don't work for you. It's because of this fear - yes that's the correct word - that we tend to keep clear of poetry except for the very young, and so - apparently - do many bloggers.
The formalities then started with the publisher introducing Anne and Anne then talking a little about her road to publication. She then read the first chapter. Before she read she asked if anyone had a "blood phobia" which people seemed to take light heartedly but when she read the chapter I was very uncomfortable-not for the blood but because here was a character who needed support and needed it now yet trusted no-one to give it. I have read other books where issues like this happened and even found myself putting the book down for a while to come to terms with it. Perhaps it's a being a dad thing - perhaps I'm wired wrong. But in order to affect me like this it meant the story was drawing me in - even on the first chapter. Time permitting I shall try to pick this book up some time in the future - it certainly seems like it would be worthwhile and Maryom recommends it.
After the reading there was a question and answer session which may well stand Anne in good stead as several questions were asked which she hadn't considered the answers to before. Forewarned is forearmed for future author events.
The evening ended with further whine, nibbles and cake.
An extremely interesting evening and a great start to what will hopefully be a successful start to career for Anne as a novelist.
Anne will be visiting our blog on Thursday to talk about "Three Generations of a Novel" as part of her blog tour.