Thoughts on my book launch

To simply say that the recent (Nov 14) launch of my new book “Starting to Frame” was a huge success would be doing a disservice to all the planning and emotions that lay behind it.

Following advice that I received, I decided that this would be an “out of the ordinary” launch. In keeping with the subject matter of my memoir, it would adopt a 1950s/60s British theme. People would be encouraged to wear period clothing (some did), British snacks and drinks would be available, music from the era to fill out the ambiance, a Union Jack if we could find one (we did – it graced my father-in-law’s casket, as he was a WW2 vet). Social media, printed invitations placed around coffee shops and libraries, personal and email contacting with all the various groups in which I’m involved, a press release in local newspapers and a radio interview. Special guests were invited – a lot of “heavy lifting” to promote the event. Plus all the work that my wife put in baking close to 150 Cornish pasties.launch7

A week before the date, the long term weather forecast took an ominous turn. Snow and high winds, first winter storm. Are you kidding? For the next week, I was glued to the Environment Canada web site. Early on, it looked like it wasn’t going to be so bad. Then, 2 days before the occasion, it bounced back again – high winds and up to 10 cm of snow. I was a wreck. How does one cancel an event such as this? The events coordinator and I decided to make a final decision based on the 11 a.m. forecast on “Launchlaunch9 day.” The forecast-ed wind speed had gone down, as had the amount of snow. We decided to go ahead.

Around 100 people braved the nasty weather and road conditions; beyond my wildest expectations. The atmosphere was relaxed and supportive. After short speeches from the province’s Poet Laureate, an author and content editor of my book, then the ED of the PEI Canadian Mental Health Assocn., I read from my book, then took out my cornet, the same one that I used 50 years ago to play in a traditional jazz band while I was a university student. I joined my son, who is an accomplished keyboard player, for a couple of numbers. I didn’t care that many of the notes were hit and miss, nor do I think did the audience. I was so relieved that my book launch was going ahead and that it was well attended that my musical talents, or lack thereof, seemed irrelevant. I sold out of my first shipment of books during and shortly after the event. Thanks to everyone who came and special thanks to Kele Redmond, David Gordon, Alison Gordon, Jaime Mann and Christine Gordon Manley who played key roles in pulling this off. Also, thanks to Diane Morrow, Jane Ledwell, and Reid Burke for their speeches.launch 2

7 thoughts on “Thoughts on my book launch

  1. Really enjoyed the book launch, Roger, and all aspects of it. Loved the English theme, the speeches, your readings and music and the relaxed and friendly atmosphere produced by the large circle of friends and fans in the welcoming rooms of the Haviland Club. Congratulations to you and to all involved — your family, Kele Redmond (great job!), Jane Ledwell, Dianne Morrow, etc. It was an event to remember and I hope you enjoyed and cherished every minute of it!

  2. It was so wonderful to see all those brave souls that Friday evening, and they so looked to be totally enjoying themselves. Even our little grandson Elliotte played his pieces on the piano. There were so many pele in the days following who said they stayed home because of the weather. I told them that had they attended, we would have had no room for them as it was standing room only that night. Congratulation to you Roger. Well done!,

  3. Hi Roger

    I decided to look you up after reading Ian Soutar’s article in this week’s Sheffield Telegraph (largely cribbed from your website, it would appear!).

    I was just wondering when you were at High Storrs. We must have been there at about the same time (I started in 1954) and although I can’t remember you, your name sounds familiar.

    I was interested to read about your book launch. I’ve got a walking book coming out later this year (my first). Maybe I’ll do something similar!

    Best wishes

    Peter Stubbs (Bradway)

  4. Hi, Peter. Nice of you to comment. We must have been in the same year. I was at HSGSB from 1954-61Which stream were you in (A-D)? Not that I’m trying to be personal. Just trying to place you. I started in 1B, then moved through the A stream through 4A to 6th form. Spent an extra yr in 6th form because I flunked Physics first time around. So, I graduated in ’61.

  5. Blimey, yes! I started in 1C then went to 2A (Mucky Miffer) – same form as you! – but for the first six to eight weeks I was off seriously ill with jaundice. I never really caught up, and continued in 3B and 4B after that. Then of course I had to spend a year in the fifth form before doing my O levels, allowing you to get a year ahead of me.

    Interestingly, I too fluffed my A levels and spent a third year in the 6th form, finishing in 1962. It proved to be a lucky escape though. My A levels were D maths and physics, and I applied to read maths at university. The condition of retaking my A levels was that I had to study scholarship level maths, equivalent to that taught at Uni. Couldn’t understand a word! So I went into Civil Engineering instead!

    Talking of Physics, what struck me forcibly at the time was how Pharoah’s attitude changed once we got into the 6th form. Before that he was a formidable b*****d. Afterwards, presumably impressed by the fact that we’d chosen his subject, he became utterly charming! Funny old life!

    Best wishes


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