I hadn’t actually intended to have a “launch” for Path of Night, but after some thought it seems like a good idea. Not that I’m anywhere near a major city, or likely to turn up to a convention or anything. But it occurred to me that the small town where I live — Scottsdale — doesn’t actually get a lot of book launches, and it might be fun. And then it occurred to me that the cover artist, Adam Branch of Branchy Design did a pretty damned good job, and it might be nice to kind of launch him locally too.
Honestly, when the book turned up in its box, Tehani and I had a good old time exclaiming over it. Path of Night looks just like a proper book, and that’s always a cool thing to discover. Now, some of that comes from all the masters degree study I’ve been doing into genre fiction. It made me pay more attention to covers, and helped me understand that they’re really very important on a lot of levels. So designing the cover with Adam was a challenge; I wanted to get the ‘messages’ embedded in the cover image and structure as ‘right’ for the book as I possibly could.
Adam was great. We worked on line, back and forth, with only one ftf meeting of any consequence. And whenever I hassled him over finicky details (like the thickness of the lines in the sniper’s reticule over the figure on the front!) he simply dove in and got it done. No grief, no snark: just willing, skilled design work.
The reason I turned to Adam was simple: he’s a local lad, and a friend. He went off to UTas a few years back to study design and graphics, and when he finished he came back out here instead of going off to one of the bigger cities. He’s taking a risk. He knows how the ‘Net has changed the game for people in things like writing and design, and he’s trying to build a business out here in rural Tasmania, amongst his family and friends.
I can respect that. And it’s good for the region. We’ve lost a lot out here: the steady forestry industry has wobbled so badly that both sawmills stopped. And the old vegetable-canning industry that sustained the place for decades got shafted by the big corporations and the forces of globalisation. Scottsdale and the north-east of Tasmania need people like Adam, willing to experiment, willing to take a chance.
Thus, instead of a simple book launch, I’ve convinced Adam to more-or-less formally launch his design business at the same time. There’s a nice little restaurant in town that makes great pizza. We’ll have pizza, and wine, and there’s a sort of beer garden where I can do the inevitable book reading, and a special area they’ve set aside so that Adam can put up his posters and display his work. We’ll run up a bunch of little badges with his logo on them, and another bunch featuring the Mystery Figure from the cover of Path of Night, and local Mistress of Cosplay Amy Underhill has agreed to dress up as Detective Morris from the book. The Mayor has agreed to come along to launch both book and business, and with a little bit of luck and good will, we’ll all have a bit of fun, bring something a bit different to a quiet little rural town — and boost young Adam’s venture at the same time.
Like I said: I’m not sure they’re the usual sort of reasons to hold a book launch, but they’re my reasons, and I aim to enjoy myself. So — any of you who happen to be in North East Tas on a Thursday three weeks from now: do feel free to drop in!