Planning a Book Launch


Chrystal Heart will be my fifth published book, but the first time I’ve actually had a proper launch. For various reasons, it’s just never happened.

But this will be my first published novel and I’m determined to launch it proper.

So – where to hold a launch? It’s got to be somewhere suitably booky. A bookshop, perhaps? So why not the biggest chain of booksellers in the UK? It’s taken some arranging, but I have reached agreement with the largest branch of Waterstones in Wales – in The Hayes, Cardiff. It’ll be on Wednesday 13th March, starting at 18:30 – after the store has closed. Drinks and nibbles will be provided and I look forward to seeing you all there! Free tickets will be available through Waterstones sometime early in 2013.

Chrystal Heart is about a Victorian lady who’s still alive in the 21st Century due to some enhancements she was given after being attacked in 1851. And she’s got an interesting approach to modern technology, since the archaic aetheric devices she’s been using for more than a century work just as well. Her companion Sam (Samantha) is a modern girl, who always thought Steampunk was a bit of fun. She never used to take it seriously. But now…

And there will be quite a few of us in Steampunk attire on the night. If you’re coming along, feel free to join in.

What is This “Steampunk”?

Steampunk is a rapidly-growing genre which combines science fiction with nostalgia for a past that never was. Set in worlds where history diverged from our own during the Victorian era (the Steam Age), it usually includes some original gadgets and semi-feasible engineering or scientific principles.

Steampunk culture is beginning to invade the mainstream media. As well as books in the genre, clockwork robots spar with Dr Who. Steam engines, airships and Victorian characters appear in films from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen via The Golden Compass to the Aardman Pirates! extravaganza. Certain classic novels are now regarded as beginning the Steampunk oeuvre, such as Jules Verne’s fantastic tales and H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine – which features an imagined technology based in a 19th Century framework.

If you’re thinking about putting together your first Steampunk outfit, think Victorian meets sci-fi and apply your own interpretation. Engineers, Lords and Ladies may rub shoulders with Explorers, Pirates and Mad Scientists at a Steampunk meet. Ladies of loose morals could strike up a conversation with a Vampire Hunter and a Priest in period costume. Have a look online for inspiration and let your imagination run wild. (Not compulsory, by the way. You can turn up to the launch in jeans and a t-shirt and no-one will mind!)

What Happens at a Book Launch?

Well, it varies. I’m afraid I’ll be doing most of the talking. I’ll be reading an extract from the new book, answering questions and then signing copies of the book. There will be drinks and nibbles for all and hopefully we’ll have lots of fun. There will also be a few little details that I’m not talking about in advance. Though I may drop a few hints on here.  😉

So, if you’re free on March 13th and fancy coming along to Cardiff and sharing an hour with the author of a new Steampunk novel, watch this blog for more info.


Asylum, Time Machine and Crowdfunding

What a week!

From a weekend at the Asylum (the largest Steampunk gathering in Europe) and riding a time machine to launching my crowdfunding appeal.

The Asylum was incredible, lots of fun. Hundreds of people wandering about Lincoln in Steampunk attire and an attempt at breaking the world record for the biggest Steampunk gathering. (Fairly sure we broke the record, but Guinness have to confirm before it becomes official).

Rode my Tramper in his Time Machine attire and even took him into the Ballroom for display. I didn’t intend to – but it’s hard to argue with Robert Rankin when he’s determined.

Spent a happy hour on a panel discussing “The Perils of Publishing” with another writer-publisher and a couple of established publishers.

And then my Crowdfunding application was accepted, so I spent time sending out emails and generally letting the world know that the novel is available for crowdfunding. It’s an “All or Nothing” system, so I either make my target or get nothing. For further info, visit:  There’s a sneak preview of the book and details on getting your name into the book as a supporter. Had a few sponsors so far, but there’s a long way to go on the funding front. Only 60 days to meet my target…

So I’ll be trying to attract funding for the next two months, as well as continuing with the writing part of the project. Ah, who needs sleep?

I also have the first draft of the picture I’ve commissioned for the book cover. Looking good. Will post a picture on here when it’s been tweaked a little.