We have had a grand At the Edge launch week here in Winnipeg. It all started on Monday afternoon when we two were interviewed about the book on the local CBC afternoon show. We hope to post that interview on our UE website and on the At the Edge Facebook page and are working toward that end.
On the Monday evening Arvel Gray hosted a lovely celebration soiree at her home. Those in attendance were members of the UE team and all our friends and relatives who assisted in proofreading the manuscript and were preparing to read selections from chapters at the Tuesday launch. As well, we were joined by special guest Elissa Frittaion, one of the contributors from BC. We toasted those present and all others who contributed creative energies and talents to the book.
The official coming out party for Unlimited Editions and our “first offspring” (At the Edge) happened on Tuesday evening (June 11) at Winnipeg’s McNally Robinson Booksellers. Arvel was MC for the presentation and she first gave a brief intro to the book and then, before each reading, introduced the central characters of the four representative chapters. Special guests—friends of M& D (Maureen Monson, Corilie Bryant, Amanda Lerougetel) and a local CBC personality (Terry McLeod) read excerpts from the chapters. We were especially delighted that the narrative voices and the story segments offered in that way came across fresh and enticing, even to those of us who had gone over the chapters
many times. That bodes well for the reader-engagement factor of the whole book.
After the readings, Elissa and D & M spoke about the project and about our experiences in being part of the collaboration. The audience of around 200—sitting, standing, hanging over balconies, and peering around book stands—were high-energy and enthusiastic. In our discussions with book buyers later during the book- signing segment, they mentioned a number of facets of the book and the collaborative process that especially caught their interests. Those included…
- How we managed to get 14 other writers to agree to keep their creative imaginings within the perimeters set out by a common setting and defining incident. (Novelists don’t traditionally “play well in the sandbox,” according to a novelist we’ve spoken to about collaboration);
- How we first contacted writers and what it was like for those chosen to be part of the collective;
- How writers who didn’t write the initial book could come up with an ending chapter;
- What it was like for us to relinquish control over choosing what character from what chapter suffered the mishap. (They were fascinated by the fact that we didn’t know who the one going over the edge would be until we read and chose the final chapter);
- How we shaped disparate stories into a novelistic arc;
- Why the authors’ names aren’t attached to their chapters, and why that is being kept a “mystery” until October.
The icing on the cake of the week-long celebration came with our book landing on the local bestseller list and also being featured in the Saturday Winnipeg Free Press as one of the recommended books for a “hot” summer read.
So our creation is finding its home here locally. Now our efforts will be spent on making it known beyond these borders. It has wings as well as legs, we’re sure, so we anticipate that it will fly!