Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photos from the Launch: Paul Anthony Shortt's Locked Within

Locked Within, all set for its debut.
I have been to several book launches and contrary to popular opinion, no one smashes a bottle of champagne against a stack of books and announces 'God bless her and all who read her!'

Oh, no one else thought that? Just me? Excuse me while I take a moment to blush.

In spite of the lack of champagne-shattering, book launches are fun. Paul has said that they're probably the only moment of public recognition that a writer gets - which is a bit of a swizz, really, since musicians get to play gigs and impress everyone at parties, and artists get exhibition openings and can post photos of their amazing works on Facebook. But writers mostly work in private, so launches are extra-special.

"I am a proper writer with a pen and everything!"

I have been to several launches, and they've all been very special occasions, but this is the first time I had attended the launch of a book I had watched grow from an idea to a book. This is the first time that I've been involved every step of the way.

It was a great event. I knew Paul at college, so there was a mini-reunion vibe as people I hadn't seen in years reappeared. The book was officially launched by Dr. Ron Callan, deputy head of the School of English in UCD (both my and Paul's alma mater), who spoke eloquently and elegantly about the book and his relationship with Paul. Then Paul said a few words - I don't remember much of them, because he thanked me quite early in his speech and all I remember after that is pleasant but total embarrassment.

It was unique in another way. It's unusual to get the chance to honour our friends' professional lives, beyond a quick congratulations when they have an accomplishment. Bragging about your professional achievements (in Ireland anyway) is not culturally typical and we rarely celebrate our friends' professional successes. It was nice to have a chance to do just that.

Nathan and Paul on their big night. Paul clearly wants to kill me here.
Finally, I have to share my favourite photo from the launch. Paul was not happy with me, which may be obvious from his expression. Hint: he is the one on the right.


  1. Thanks for sharing these, Ellen!

    I had several pens, making me an especially proper writer! ;-)

  2. Looks like a great event! I agree that this is one of the only moments of public recognition an author gets, and they are so important. Congrats on the book!

  3. Replies
    1. I am less inclined to kill Ellen in that photo than she thinks. :-)


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