Book launches in a COVID climate

It’s a strange time, isn’t it, trying to do old things in new ways? I’ve had the experience of launching a couple of books during the pandemic and thought it worth musing here the various things that I’ve tried to give the books a good send off. Hopefully, I’ll read back one day and think ‘how quaint is was in that strange year of 2020’. I certainly hope I’m not reading back and thinking ‘that was the beginning of the new reality!’

How to launch a book? Today I’ve been doing book signing for my new historical adventure for children, The Tigers in the Tower. This book is the most Cat Royal like of all the novels I’ve written since the series. Set in 1830, it tells the story of a mixed race Indian/British girl coming to London with a shipment of two tigers. Her parents die on the voyage, leaving her an orphan and defenceless to protect herself and her tigers. Real events of history are interwoven with my narrative so I hope readers will learn a lot as well as enjoy the adventure. If you want to have a look at the reviews and see the book trailer, you can visit the page dedicated to tigers. It’s been getting some lovely reviews so in these difficult times I’ve enjoyed reader feedback. ‘A Little Princess – with tigers!’ is one of my favourite reactions.

Unable to do the usual launch events, I’ve been participating in an extensive blog tour. Most of the work was done for this in advance and I had to think up some interesting and different perspectives on the story so that each blogger got something fresh and interesting to share with their audience. You can follow the blog tour on my Twitter feed (found here). Another thing I’ve started today is masked signings in bookshops. These aren’t public events but it is nice to make contact with the booksellers and leave signed stock for people to buy.

Today I was hosted by Blackwells in their rather lovely Gaffer’s Room, and I was excited for my first visit to the new branch of Daunts in Summertown. A new bookshop! Hooray!

By happy chance, my mask matches my tiger jump suit! I’m hoping by the time I launch my next children’s book next year, I’ll actually be able to talk about it to a live audience. But for now, I hope some of you will meet me in the pages of my book. I’m always happy to answer questions. Just send me a message and I’ll get back to you.

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