Today I had the pleasure of attending my first author event of the year. Local Author Kaz Delaney had her book launch of Almost Dead this morning. It was a stella event with a wonderfully supportive crowd who numbered over a hundred in attendance. There were nibbles, and drinks and cake, a mountain of fast selling books and author swag galore.
Kaz Delaney writes Young Adult fiction the really speaks to its audience. Today, Kaz launched Almost Dead, the sequel to her highly acclaimed and award winning novel, Dead Actually. In the first book, we were introduced to the supporting character of Macey Pentecost, a smart and witty teen who believes in social justice and is loyal to the core. In Almost Dead, we get to see a new side of the smart-arse teen as she deals with the likes of her Mother’s betrayal, an absent Father, oh and the constant reappearance of ghosts in her life. Full of the glitzy high society in Queensland, fake tans, fashion, boy dramas, and a good dose of who dun-nit’, Kaz Delaney’s novel’s are a great entertaining read set in our own backyard. Think gossip girl meets Mermaid Beach in Queensland!
Introducing Kaz to her readers today was Rosemarie Milson, a Journalist with the Newcastle Herald and the organiser of the Newcastle Writer’s Festival, who spoke about the tough market that is Young Adult fiction and the clever way that Kaz Delaney authentically dominants the market with books for teens and no-longer-teen.
During her speech, Kaz Delaney spoke tearfully about the immense pleasure, and the relief that comes with having this particular book out in the world. By all accounts, Almost Dead was not an easy book to write amongst a mist of a hard year, but the polished 395 page novel is testimony to her strength and determination to succeed. What’s more Kaz praised independent books sellers, like Maclean’s Bookseller who were in attendance (and high demand) at today’s launch, for all they continue to do in a struggling and every changing industry in Australia.
Kaz signing away at the Maclean’s table
Just a portion of the line up to have Kaz sign books.
But the day wasn’t all serious faces and business talk, in fact, Kaz Delaney told some heartfelt stories about her writing process and the way it sometimes dominates her waking and sleeping moments (and those of her family). One such story involved the story of how she woke her husband one night by sleep talking about needing “to save Maddie & Mitch”. Kaz’s husband sprung out of bed and went out searching for them, only to come back a short time later with the question of “who exactly Maddie & Mitch were?”. It is stories likes these and the brief insights you get from authors and their craft that really makes author events a lot of fun. The supportive atmosphere in the room today was unbelievably welcoming and I’m sure a sign of what 2014 might just have in-store for Kaz Delaney.
Photo courtesy of Lee Christine
Overall it was a really great event and a fantastic start to the new year; I wish Kaz all the best with her new book. I’m currently reading it and loving it!