I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for Jeannie Mobley’s middle grade historical novel KATERINA’S WISH on Saturday.
Last week, I interviewed Jeannie about her book and the process of getting it published.
It was a great party, with party favors and theme food — plum dumplings and cucumbers just like in the book, and cake pops in the shape of fish and chicks, also prominent in the story — and everything was color coordinated in red and orange and yellow, the colors of Jeannie’s beautiful cover art.
I’ll post it here again, just so you can see it:
And because a folk-tale about a magic fish is an important part of the story — see it swimming there on the cover? — there were lots of fish in the decorations and in the party favors.
We had a great time at the party. Jeannie read from her book, there was a “Name That Coal Mining Tune” game (yeah, I bet you didn’t know there were enough songs that you could even play that game), and we chatted and laughed and wished Jeannie well as she signed copies of her book. You can see Jeannie’s version of the event (with pictures!) here.
I have to tell you, I love a good theme for a party. I host an Academy Awards party every year that my neighbors talk about for months afterwards. My kids always had the most elaborate birthday parties at home with games, music, cakes and decorations all tied to whatever they were most passionate about at the time, from Batman to sharks to princesses to being detectives.
So I loved how tied together Jeannie’s party was. With the beautiful colors. And the fish.
And I thought, “Gosh, you’ve got to really like fish.”
And what resonated in my heart was, “You’ve got to really love your book.”
I tried to imagine myself having a launch party. Pick a book, any book, even one I haven’t finished yet. They’d all pretty much get the same medieval theme party. I can imagine the velvet table covers and medieval food (stereotypical Henry VIII turkey legs? Ha! Try a roasted peacock with the feathers put back on). The Queen Elizabeth I dress and white face paint I might wear (No, I won’t, but it’s fun to contemplate). What else? Plastic swords dangling from the ceiling, maybe. Pictures of castles and towers plastered on the walls.
Standing up there reading a piece of it out loud.
You’d really, really, really have to love your book. And want to share it more than anything.
Enough that you don’t care that you have to choose one particular image from it to represent it. Like a tower. Or a fish.
Enough that you could stand up in front of people reading it out loud without apologizing for taking up their time. Because wouldn’t they rather be somewhere else on a lovely Saturday afternoon than listening to you read from your silly book? Really?
Enough to sign your name inside those books and accept congratulations and praise from family and friends without embarrassment. With humility. Without running screaming from the room.
Watching Jeannie handle her launch with such grace and poise, I have a new appreciation for just how much courage this whole book thing takes.