The official book launch party for The King’s Rose was held at Simmons College on the day of the book’s release – fancy, eh? I work at Simmons GSLIS (Graduate School of Library and Information Science) so I’m blessed to be working with lots of book-minded people who were very encouraging and enthusiastic about celebrating the book. Especially my wonderful supervisor, Jen Doyle, who came up with fantastic ideas for the event and helped promote it to the library world. And she did a fantastic job promoting – we had a full house.
The event started with my first public reading from The King’s Rose. I was NERVOUS. No joke. It was like I was thirteen years old all over again, wearing a shiny purple Bat Mitzvah dress and waiting to read my Torah portion. Not even that–I think I was MORE nervous than that. I had only ever read this piece for Prof. Anderson at Emerson College–a former professor who is brilliant at reading and gave me invaluable tips–and the dog, who would leave the room whenever I started. Though reading for an audience does make me nervous, this is sort of a fun bit to read. It’s a dialogue between Catherine and her step-grandmother, the dowager Duchess of Norfolk, about King Henry’s intentions to marry Catherine once his divorce from Anne of Cleves is final.
After the reading, there was a panel discussion on “Risque YA: Controversial Topics in Literature for Young Adults.” I was on the panel along with GSLIS Professors Amy Pattee and Melanie Kimball, both experts in the field of Young Adult literature. It was really interesting and we got some great questions from the audience. One that I found really interesting was from a librarian who found that young adult novels with sexy content were much more frequently challenged by parents than those with violent content, and she wondered (in fact, we all did) why this was. I think this was reflected in the panel discussion itself, as our answers tended to address sexy content more often than violent. It was really fascinating to hear different points of view from other experts.
I got a chance to thank some people, which was nice. I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t point out my mother in the front row, to whom the book is dedicated, and my agent (he was in the crowd but I didn’t see him until later). However, I’m thrilled that I got a chance to publicly thank the panelists, Jen Doyle, and a special thank you for Tom because my goodness, he deserves it.
Then I signed a whole bunch of books. I LOVED getting the chance to chat with people while signing the book–both with friends and with people I had never met before who were really interested in the book, and in young adult fiction in general. I got to meet some readers who enjoyed my first book–a shout-out here for Jenn and Madeliene!–and were excited about the second. Everyone had great questions about my books, research, writing, etc. What fun! It was also great to celebrate with the Simmons crowd, including some alums from the GSLIS program.
I’m happy to say that this was a success. I only hope that the audience enjoyed it as much as I did.