Friday, 4 October 2013

'Word On the Street' Book Launch

I attended my first ever book event!  It was a lovely evening, I dragged my long suffering other half along and two friends from my book group accompanied us too.  The event was held to launch the second novel of Welsh writer Romy Wood - Word on the Street.

The event was held at Wales Millenium Centre as part of Literature Wales events programme.  Here is the blurb about the event:

  "This October will see the launch of Word on the Street, the anticipated second novel by Romy Wood.  In Romy’s darkly comic dystopian vision of Cardiff, a pestilence is sweeping the homeless off the streets, while the authorities herd the not-yet-dead into sinister ‘clinics’ in derelict industrial wastelands…until, that is, The Public is no longer immune…
Absurd, profoundly moving, and very, very funny, Word on the Street deals with themes of homelessness, emotional intelligence, mental health and the individual’s right to health care regard­less of social standing.  A scientific ‘What if’, this novel is also a compelling tribute to the neglected heroism of dermatologists.
Romy is a recovering secondary school teacher. She has an MA in The Teaching and Practice of Creative Writing from Cardiff University and lectures in Crea­tive Writing for the Open University and has sup­ported beginner writers in prisons and hostels. She drinks too much Coca-cola, likes to win at Scrabble and walks the tightrope that is Bipolar Disorder.
At the launch Romy will be reading from Word on the Street and discussing the inspirations behind the themes of her novel. Afterwards, she will be available to sign copies of the book, which will be on sale at the event."

Supporting the event was an installation by Bethy Halliwell who graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University this year.  I think the texts below speak for themselves without me adding anything.

During the book signing which preceded the launch, the 'audience' was invited to grab a complimentary glass of wine.

Romy Wood signing her book

 The 'launch' was opened by Romy's publisher Mark from Cillian Press, a publishing company who are based in Manchester and are fairly new kids on the block only having been around for a year.  They print digitally and are therefore able to supply books on a demand led basis.

Mark from Cillian Press
Mark gave us some information about Cillian press and both recent and upcoming publications including Welsh authors Chris Kiel's Flirting at the Funeral and Jeremy Hughes' Wingspan (the latter will be available in November 2013).   He introduced Bethy Halliwell's installation and then handed the mike over to Romy Wood.

Romy Wood

Romy read an excerpt from her book which gave a far better insight than the synopsis shown on the literature advertising the event.  Romy's previous novel is titled Bamboo Grove and is on the Cardiff Libraries Reading Groups List for 2013.

Word on the Street is available in paperback from most retailers at RRP £9.99.  Mark is an advocate of the independent bookseller and emphasised the need to keep these businesses going.  He also asked the audience to review the book once they have read it.  It will be available as an eBook through Amazon at a later date.  The paperback can also be ordered through the library service.

I tried my hand at networking and did chat briefly to Mark to get full information on where and how readers can obtain the novel.  I was rather cheeky and gave him my card requesting to be kept informed of their new publications and I told him I would be writing about the launch and posting on my blog.  I have his permission to use my photographs in this post.

I will be reading the book (on loan from my friend who bought a copy last night) and reviewing it later this month.

I was very pleased to have heard about this event through Cardiff Library service and Literary Wales newsletter.

Later in the month I am attending a crime event organised by Cardiff Library Service.  I am hoping these events will become a regular activity and feature on my blog.

ISBN 978-0-9573155-2-5

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