"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Friday, March 13, 2009

Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.

A few things converged this week to set my mind awhirl. One was a comment on my last post, about what to do with my book launch party. Diana Black said, "..if you were a guest, what would make you happy? What would make you feel special and appreciated for showing up?" Great trigger questions, Diana!

The second thing was receiving a copy of the pdf file of my book from Karen Syed (you know... Echelon Press... She Who Must Be Obeyed... LOL) to be proofed. I spent yesterday reading it aloud, making a (very few) red marks, and thinking.

The last thing was my friend, Robin. I had sent her an email asking for her input into the book launch party. She was, as usual, her macabre self, and had quite a few suggestions about decor, games and giveaways.

As I read through my book, I began to notice objects and places and names that could be used to establish the party's look and let people have a good time. Robin pointed out two very obvious symbols on the book cover:

The martini glass, and the bloody hand print. She suggested using these images as decoration, along with the refrigerator, as much as possible. She also suggested having a fake (I hope!) corpse at the scene, and playing a game where people try on the ring (sort of a twisted Cinderella-slipper, or OJ-glove thing).

First, let's dispense with the things I don't think I should do, even though I kind of want to:

1. Supply a corpse. Since the party will be held where the first body is discovered, it would be fun to recreate the scene. However, I have two problems. One is that the party will be inside, but the body is found outside. What if someone steals my body while we're inside? Or the neighbors see it and call the cops? Although, it would make a great news story: Dead Body Hoax to Promote New Book. The other problem is that I want things to be more interactive. Not only do I not know what to do with a dead body, I don't WANT to know what to do with one. Although, if I could get a member of the PPD to show up and describe what they'd actually do if someone found a corpse behind the Backs Building, that might be cool...

2. Use the bloody handprint as decoration. Ok, I admit, I like this, down to serving cookies that are in the shapes of hands (I draw the line at red icing - maybe). But there will be people bringing their kids, and I don't want them to be covering their eyes and ears constantly. I don't consider Freezer Burn to be brazenly gruesome or gratuitously adult in theme. But it's a book. Adults can read it and decide whether to allow their kids to read it. That's their job.

3. The ring game. This would be fun, if any kind of ring like this truly existed. I don't even know who I could contact to make me a paper mache version. Here's what the ring is based on:
Except that the stones are all much larger, and the center diamond is cut uniquely so the facets look like rose petals. Know where I can pick up one of those?

However, as Katherine Hepburn said in Desk Set, "Many things remind me of many things." Robin's ideas plus my book plus Diana's comment made me go, "What about..."

1. A game where people count how many martini glass images they see around the room? Winner gets a promo item.

2. A game to get people talking to other people (this is a favorite of mine) - I make up stickers with names and places that are common to the book. Everyone gets a sticker on their back and must ask Yes/No questions to find out who/what they are. Winner gets a promo item.

3. I have a portable DVD player, with two screens. I could have a loop of my book slide shows (or even put a trailer together) to be showing in the room.

4. Decor - use roses, emeralds, diamonds (not real ones!), and martinis. Garlands, posters, I don't know.

5. A contest based on reading a passage (what location did I fictionalize, where is Peri, etc).

6. Raffle off a copy of the book. Give the money to the Placentia Library.

All these are in addition to the plans I've already made. So, am I getting close? Or should I go back to the drawing board?

1 comment:

Iris Black said...

Sounds like a fun party!

Maybe a compromise with the handprint could be sugar cookies or cupcakes with small hands outlined in red icing on top. Kids won't think too much of this- it's a red hand. Also, it's pretty easy.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself!


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