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Features | Quicksilver Book Launch | Oxford, England

Yesterday I posted a review of RJ Anderson's book, Quicksilver. I also mentioned that I went to the book launch for it, and that I was going to tell you all about! So here we go!

Have you ever been to a book launch? I hadn’t. I didn’t really know what to expect other than books…and the author being there. But it was really nice! It was on Tuesday 23rd, in Oxford, England (which is only about an hour or so from where I live), and that was perfect because my mum was making the trip there that evening anyway. I was a few minutes late, after missing one of the buses where Mum dropped me off, but not by too much. When I snuck in the book store (Waterstones), I grabbed a seat at the back of a group of about 10-15 people and hoped I hadn't missed out on too much. I hadn't. Anderson was just talking a little about Ultraviolet, reminding us, I guess, what had happened in that book.

She then introduced Quicksilver, giving a brief description of what it was about, and then read a short excerpt from one of the first couple of chapters. It was really cool to hear her read from her own story, no mistakes or slip ups (as would have happened if I were reading anything aloud), and it was nice to actually be read to. I know that sounds silly, and like I should be a 2 year old being read Where’s Spot? or something, but there’s just something nice about not having to think, and only listen. I guess you get that with audio books, though I've never listened to them. After she read for a little while, she answered some questions from the audience. It was really cool to hear how she went about writing her stories. 

One of the questions asked was something along the lines of ‘Do you have the entire plot thought out, or do you just go with the flow and see what happens?’. To this she answered (something along the lines of) that before she started writing Quicksilver, she had the title in her head already. She had no idea what Quicksilver meant, nor what it was or what it was going to be, but she knew that that was the title. She also said that she knew that she wanted to tell the story from Tori’s perspective (the main character of Quicksilver), rather than stay with Alison (the main character in Ultraviolet, the book previous), because she felt that Alison’s story had already been told. When I went to the book launch, I didn't actually realize that Quicksilver wasn't really about Alison, so when I heard this I was a little taken a back. I guess I hadn't thought that it wouldn't be from Alison’s perspective, but, as I mentioned in the review yesterday, after a page or two into Quicksilver, I realised that I didn't mind that it wasn't a continuation of Alison’s part of the story – it was time to hear from someone else.

I'm pretty sure she also said (though don’t quote me on this! R.J., if you’re reading this, please confirm!) that while writing Quicksilver she didn't have the whole plot outlined, that she had some idea of where things were headed, but more went with the flow of things. Being someone who likes to write, and have had tried to write novel-length stories (I'm getting there), it was really interesting to hear a little bit about how a real live published author went about writing a book, and their thoughts, ideas and processes that went with it. Very cool. There were a few more questions asked, but to be honest I can’t remember them. That was the one that stuck out to me the most.

After answering questions, she thanked us all for coming, and then signed books. I introduced myself, we had a quick ‘it’s a pleasure to meet you’ and then I had to rush off to make sure I didn’t miss the bus again and then miss my Mum and get stranded in Oxford. But if you have the chance to go to a book launch, I highly recommend it. It was a great opportunity, not only to get a sign copy of the book (yay!), but also to put a real live face behind the words I had been reading and the story that I loved. Go to a book launch. You won’t regret it. 

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