After last night’s Toronto launch at the Dora Keogh pub on the Danforth, Where the Air Is Sweet is officially launched.
Launches are not what they used to be. Before the internet and social media, a book used to be launched by means of an event — much as a young lady was presented at court, I imagine? (Not the best comparison, I know; but I love Downtown Abbey)
Nowadays, a launch is simply a celebration for the author. It doesn’t really serve a purpose as far as the book is concerned.
But for me it was essential. For me, the launch was a ritual — as important as a wedding or funeral — in that it marked a significant transition. And in this sense it was like a presentation at court, which would mark a girl’s transition into womanhood and her entry into society at large.
For many years this book was a deeply personal experience. It became less personal when I acquired an agent and then a publisher. But even then it was malleable, fluid, in progress, in many ways abstract, becoming. Now it’s finished, solid. Many, many copies have been printed. And it’s out there, in the public.
And, so, it was important for me to mark that shift, from evolving and personal to completed and public. I’ve already documented the big, fun bash we held in Waterloo here.
The Toronto affair was smaller, quieter, but people who were a huge part of bringing the book to its final form and into the public were there — my agent, Dean Cooke, my editors Jane Warren and Iris Tupholme ( who is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of HarperCollins Canada), my publicist Lauren Morocco. Many former media and publishing colleagues (who have become dear friends) were in attendance as well. They were all a part of my growing up (career-wise) and therefore a part of bringing my book into reality.
It was a big day, a big week, and I’m grateful to everyone who was a part of it.