‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ – Book Launch

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Last Thursday (April 11) was the launch of Caroline Smailes’ new novel ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ published by Friday Project at Belgravia Books in Ebury Street near Victoria Station.

I first came across Caroline  as a contributor to the 100RPM project last year and she’s always one of the nicest people on Twitter. However until Thursday, we’d never met in person. She’s really just the same in ‘real life’ (people on Twitter tend to be) and it was a pleasure to catch up with someone who is always  encouraging and full of fun.

This is the second time I’ve taken photos at a book launch, the first being ‘The Night Rainbow’ by Claire King. It’s not that easy. Much as I love books, they provide a distracting background and it’s difficult to get well composed photos in such a confined space especially if, at this shop, there’s no vantage point over the floor space. It really is a case of gaining experience, taking plenty of photos and learning from mistakes.

Having said all that, I’m quite pleased with the full set of images from the night.  The author tends not to see a lot of the event as they’re the centre of attention, which is nice in one way but they don’t get much of a chance to see who’s there and what else is going on so it’s good to get shots that capture the feel of the evening.

Needless to say it was a lovely relaxed evening, helped by wine and cake. It’s always great to meet new people especially those who were just names on Twitter before. The only frustration I have is seeing afterwards that someone you know from Twitter was there and you didn’t recognise them from their avatar!

I haven’t started the book yet. I’ve read Caroline’s other work which has that gritty but also humorous feel to it which reminds me of growing up in the North and it has received critical acclaim so I’m pretty confident that I’ll enjoy it.

Thanks to Caroline, her publishers and Belgravia Books for hosting a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

p.s. If you ever get the chance to visit, this is a wonderful independent bookstore. Not an inch of shelf space is wasted and it’s a great place to browse and buy.

When Dreams Come True

Charlie is happiest when biking with Max and Toby, or watching films with Allie. But when Charlie reaches year nine (age 13), everything begins to change. As her friends develop new interests, Charlie’s dreams become more frequent and vivid, and a family crisis tears her away from her friends. How will Charlie react when old family secrets are revealed? Will her life change completely when some of her dreams start to come true?

I have little insight into the minds of young girls (or older ones for that matter, when I think about it!) but fortunately my friend Rebecca Emin does and she writes stories for them.

When Dreams Come True’ is launched today (Monday 28th May). Rebecca is one of my oldest Twitter friends and I’m happy to say a ‘real life’ one now as we managed to meet up in Oxford a couple of weeks ago at the National Flash Fiction Day ‘Flash Slam’ event. This is her second book. Her first ‘New Beginnings’ proved a great hit with the kids of friends (also solving the difficult problem of finding suitable presents). Knowing Rebecca, there will be giveaways and fun things to mark the occasion on her Facebook page and on her blog.

I’m delighted to have solved my presents dilemma once again. I’ve read an advanced copy and whilst the subject matter isn’t quite my normal thing, I can say that this is a very well written and paced read for children. Perfect for those summer holidays, should summer decide to turn up on schedule this year.

The book’s available through all good virtual bookstores in paperback and ebookkindlynookthing versions.

Amazon.co.uk www.amazon.co.uk/When-Dreams-Come-True-Rebecca/dp/1471092046/

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/When-Dreams-Come-True-Rebecca/dp/1471092046

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/156236

The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/When-Dreams-Come-True-Rebecca-Emin/9781471092046

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-dreams-come-true-rebecca-emin/1110455483

The very best of luck to Rebecca for her launch.

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