A Surreal Night: All that Glisters Book Launch Party
So, one of my six brothers, who was unable to attend the Book Launch Party, called today to ask how it went. My answer: Perfect weather. Big crowd. Exceeded all expectations!
Here’s a recap. (And for those who couldn’t make it, a few photos.)
The night started with Tanya Mills, proprietor of The Book Bungalow, reciting a Land Acknowledgment, followed by a short introduction to the event.
Tanya’s an old friend from the days we served together on the Steering Committee for the 2019 St. George Literary Arts Festival. Her bookstore truly is the “literary soul” of the greater St. George community.
After she turned over the podium to me, I launched into a quick backstory about my heritage of being raised in a family of creatives. My dad was a stage kid, appeared in a few Hollywood films as a pre-teen, and in his teens and twenties was a professional singer. My Grandma Jones—in addition to being a stage mom for my dad—was a music composer, owned her own recording label, and was a novelist. Good genes if you want to grow up to write.
I talked a little about my author journey and the 45 years it took to pen All that Glisters, starting in 1977 with the idea for the preposterous premise on which the novel is based. At that point, just as the sun was going down, we moved into the Book Reading.
I read the entire first chapter (available as an ebook sample on Kindle). This was my first reading and boy, was I nervous. But those in attendance at The Launch were kind enough to give me an applause.
Following the reading, I segued into some Frequently Asked Questions:
- Who’s the favorite character that you’ve created?
- Other than entertainment value, what’s the big takeaway from your novel?
- Do you have anything else you’re working on?
And then opened up the floor for questions from the audience. There were some real zingers:
- Where did the penname Topper come from?
- Was there any one person you thought of as you tried to create the characters in your novel?
- If there is one mistake that you wished you hadn’t made, what would that be?
At this time, we broke for the Book Signing, to hold a drawing for a book giveaway (JoAnn won!), and enjoy some mysterious treats (Gold brick- and surfboard-themed cupcakes from a local baker).
With the Harry Potter-style Hogwarts candles providing the light for the night, the back patio of the Book Bungalow was a fabulous venue to mingle. Conversations ran the gamut: The impact of Generative AI on everything, including creative writing. What’s your favorite mystery? And for the writers attending the launch, the perennial question: What are you working on?
All in all, the event exceeded any expectations I had. As this was my first launch, doing the book reading and signing books was so surreal. Never imagined the event would be so much fun!
Thanks again to Tanya and Michael Mills for all their help in making the event such a success.
Can’t wait to do it all over again when Book Two in the Thad Hanlon & Bri de la Guerra Mystery Series is published, hopefully sometime next year.
New Save the Cat! Success Story
Recently received word that my guest column in the Save the Cat! Newsletter has finally been published. In one of my earlier blog posts, I shared the first draft. Here’s the editor’s intro and the link to the final version of my column.
Intro: Novelist Christopher Jones was at a painful impasse with his thriller/mystery—All That Glisters—until he realized that the key to expelling his own shard of glass and sidestepping rejection was to make sure his book's story structure was undeniably rock solid. Read how Save the Cat! saved his novel.
MY SHARD OF GLASS: HOW SAVE THE CAT!® SAVED MY NOVEL
Brenda Whiteside Muse Monday Blog—Guest Post
On Monday, October 16th, I was fortunate enough to be a guest on author Brenda Whiteside’s Muse Monday blog. Brenda is the award-winning author of the Wild Horse Peaks mystery series, the Mackenzie Chronicles romantic suspense series, and the Chocolate Martini Sisters murder mystery series. Here’s the link to my blog post:
THE PROVERBIAL “NOVEL IN THE DRAWER”
Debut Authors Night Invitation
If you were unable to make the official book launch party, no worries! Come to the “Debut Authors Night” on November 14th from 6:30-730 p.m. at the St. George Main Library (88 W. 100 S. St George, UT 84770, USA) hosted by the Write On!—St. George chapter of the League of Utah Writers. Novelist Amanda Empey and I will be doing short readings and answering questions. Hope to see you there.