My first Author Talk
On Song was released at the end of last month - I told you all a bit about it. And since then I've tried to keep it (mostly) off Blog On The Tracks. Only because I'm aware I could bombard you with references to the book and desperate pleas to buy it - or read it. Or both. And hey, in the end, many of you took that initial hint anyway. I recognised several familiar faces at our wee book launch we held at Slow Boat Records. And then there were plenty of faces that weren't familiar at all - but the names were. And some of you told me you were blog-readers or Facebook-friends or both. And it was really quite close to overwhelming - it was a great way to send the book out into the world.
I have the worst handwriting in the world. So I was asking people I've known for years to remind me how to spell their names. Somewhat embarrassing when the name was Amy or Ben - but it was a lot of pressure, at the time, to get it right. It took everything I had to try to write neatly. I know I failed - but these books went out into the world with authentic scribbly author signatures on them. A giant mess in a lot of cases.
A lot of people have been quick to make the joke that it's my turn to be reviewed.
The reviews that I've read of the book have been kind, decent - however you want to look at it. They've been positive. And though the reviews of the book are not for me - they're for readers or prospective buyers - I've obviously been grateful regarding the ones I've seen or been told about.
There's been a lot of publicity and promotion from my end - and again I've kept most of it off this blog. Weekends have been filled by radio interviews, answering email interviews, being interviewed in person. There was a feature in last week's Listener. And an interview ran recently on the Lumiere Reader.
I was very grateful for one reader's blog/review of the book. Someone who came to the launch and paid for a copy of the book - and then showed, in his writing, that he'd read the book, engaged with it. That was cool. He certainly "got" it. As it were. And he looks to have a cool site that many of you might like to follow - so click on that link above and store it/bookmark it. And return to check out more content.
Also, I played favourites with Kim Hill. That was fun. And The Listener called me Mr Pitiless. A very fine compliment to pay a reviewer.
It's been fun doing the promo rounds. As a person who writes a blog every week day - and has recently started a website that keeps me going 24/7, new content being added whenever I can - it's fair to say that I'm usually happy to have a chat. And I try to have something to say.
So I'm looking forward to this Thursday.
Unity Books is my favourite bookstore in the country. (I always go to the Auckland one when I'm there - and the Wellington one is like a third, or fourth, home). I've been buying books from Unity since I first moved to Wellington.
So I'm very honoured to be speaking there.
I'm also thrilled that the Author Talk will feature Colin Morris introducing me and chatting with me, asking questions to get the ball rolling.
Colin works at Unity but he's someone that needs little introduction to anyone interested in music who lives - or has lived - in Wellington. Colin is a local legend. And I've known him for many years. I first met him when he had his own music store. I took several (great) jazz recommendations from him as I was building up my collection as an eager 18 year old, fresh to the city.
I ended up working with him in a music store - and I learned a huge amount from Colin. And we're colleagues, in a sense, given we both write reviews for the Dominion Post.
So this Thursday Colin will be asking me some questions about On Song, the writing of the book, what was included, what wasn't - who I spoke with, who I didn't and I'll be explaining my methods and approach.
After that it will be open to the floor - anyone visiting Unity Books this Thursday will be free to ask any questions about the book and, of course, to stick around for an authentic scribbly signature.
It's my first ever go at an Author Talk. I'm really excited at the opportunity. And I hope to do my best.
I'll be speaking at Unity Books, this Thursday, November 22, 12-1pm. FREE entry, of course. Come and support a fabulous shop. And come and say hi.