Monday, 7 December 2009

Saturday Night's Alright For Launching

On Saturday night I went to Cally's book launch. It was invitation-only and I felt very flattered to be invited. My lovely mentor Debi came as my 'plus one' and it was the most marvellous night.

Leigh met me at the station, we went to the pub where we met up with Jen. (We'd also been hoping for Helen's company, but sadly she couldn't make it.) We drank Pinot Grigio and ordered food - when I saw that fish and chips were advertised as being served with 'pea puree', I knew I was in the poncy south! I predicted mushy peas, which turned out to be spot on.

We'd been there for an hour or so when Cally arrived, looking gorgeous as usual. We chatted with her for a while and then went upstairs to the very nice function room: wooden floorboards; big windows on two sides; a well-stocked bar; comfy leather sofas; plenty of chairs and tables; and a floor-to-ceiling Christmas tree.

It wasn't long before people started turning up. Cally's parents were there, looking as if they might burst with pride. People came who she'd befriended at school; on holiday; via the Internet; all sorts of places. Several people had travelled quite a distance. Even Cally's agent came, managing to combine glamour and approachability, intelligence and friendliness, in a way that would have made me want to spit with envy if she hadn't been such a nice woman. She also had a handsome boyfriend in tow, who turned out to be a professional jazz singer, and gave us a wonderful a capella version of Cheek To Cheek (you know - the one that starts 'Heaven, I'm in Heaven...' - geddit?). Cally's agent made a lovely speech, telling everyone all about Cally's sales (three reprints! 11,000 copies!! Eight translations and counting!!!), and that Cally was a terrific writer who was going to go from strength to strength. Well, we all knew that, but it was good to hear it from one of the people who is helping to make it happen. Cally thanked them both, and everyone else, and then had to stop talking because she was welling up, so we gave her a round of applause and got back to the serious business of drinking and eating (lovely buffet, mmmm) and gossiping and talking about writing.

Every time I looked at Cally, she was signing another copy of her book and grinning like a loon, so I reckon she had a good time. I had a great time, catching up with various mates and making new ones. So did Debi, who kindly took me home and put me up for the night, as well as providing me with copious breakfasts the next morning. Altogether, it was absolutely the most fun I've had in ages.

15 comments:

Bernadette said...

It sounds like a fabulous time and I'm delighted that all of you enjoyed it so much (and of course not the least bit jealous that I had to drop out at the last minute!)

I'll be looking forward to the next one!

JJ Beattie said...

I am really pleased you all had fun and I've been vicariously enjoying the pics on FB... but I wish I didn't live 6000 miles away.

HelenMHunt said...

Now I'm really really sad I couldn't come x

Karen said...

What a lovely post. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening too, and hope we get to see Helen at the next SAF meet :o)

Debs said...

I'm so glad everyone had such a wonderful time and was so sorry not to be able to make it.

Calistro said...

Grinning like a loon?

Ahem.

Grinning like a goddess don't you mean?

Nope, definitely a loon. A very, very happy loon. I had SUCH an amazing, amazing night. Thank you soooooo much for coming x

p.s. Lovely write up of the night. I must do mine although mine is a bit more blurry, and not due to the wine!

p.p.s. Didn't realise Peter was a professional jazz singer. That'll be why he didn't mind singing in front of an audience then!

womagwriter said...

Sounds like an amazing night - I'm another who's very sorry I couldn't make it. Cally being serenaded by her agent's boyfriend - how cool is that!

ChrisH said...

Oh brilliant! I got a bit of a lump in my throat at the thought of Cally's parents bursting with prideiosity!

Captain Black said...

A good night indeed. I believe I owe you a glass or three next time we meet.

Debi said...

It was indeed wonderful. I predict there will be many more launches to come in the future for the mega talented crew I met there.

SpiralSkies said...

It was a really terrific night an made me realise that some of my favourite people in the world are bloggers.

Didn't Cally's parents look proud? Aw...

Kate Harrison said...

Thanks for posting this, great to hear all about it! Wish I could have been there,
Kate xx

Queenie said...

I wish you had all been there.

Cally, I should have thought to put 'goddess' for the sake of your image, so sorry - but, yes, it was definitely 'loon'!!! Peter told me he sings at Pizza on the Park, and at Pigalle in Paris, and when I heard him sing I wasn't surprised.

Pat said...

Sounds a great evening.

Sara ♥ said...

Very cool recap! I've always wondered what went on at launch parties :-)