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Attending a book launch (via Zoom in the Coronavirus era)

22nd May 2020

In the years BC (Before Coronavirus) TripFiction would receive invitations to attend book launches, physically, in the presence of the author and his/her team (publisher, agent etc). Perhaps at a bookshop, maybe at some nice venue. But now… all that (including a glass of Fizz and usually some nice nibbles) is but a distant memory.

That’s TF’s Tina top left!

TF’s Tina was invited to the Zoom book launch of Tom Benjamin’s “A Quiet Death in Italy” set in Bologna. 36 people joined the meeting and it was a delightful way to mark the launch of a book. Authors who are having books published at this time are really on the back foot, so everyone has to be creative and try and join in and support.

Attending a Zoom meeting: You are sent a link to join the meeting, you click on it at the appointed time, you wait in the ‘waiting room’ and then you are let in. If you have your Zoom set up correctly (I still struggle with this) then you get a picture of the host in the main frame, with little snapshots of participants across the top. And away you all go….

This was Tom’s time to tell us more about the book and the process of writing: Tom’s book is very strong on location – Constable (an imprint of Little Brown) really excel at publishing crime novels where setting is a character in its own right. He said that when he first arrived in Italy he knew nothing about Bologna. As a newbie in the country he had to find ways of decoding the life and culture and work out how to understand the full picture. It’s not all about sunsets and fine foods, there are both positives and negatives.

His books are a tribute to Bologna and vehicles to share his love of Italy, he says. The country really does have a fascinating and rich culture, together with a real humanity.

He does play around a little with actual locations but the essence of the city is integral to his stories. He likes to be specific on detail, both factual and historical – and there is certainly a lot of wonderful history in Bologna! As far as his career as an author goes, he owes pretty much everything to the city, it launched him and made him publishable. There are now another 2 Daniel Leicester mysteries in the pipeline!

What does he miss about the UK? He feels he has now been spoilt by the endless blue skies, so the grey vistas that often appear in the UK aren’t quite as alluring. And of course he misses family and friends and the odd pint of traditional English beer!

And at a Zoom Book Launch you have to provide your own fizz to raise a glass! Oh, well….

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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  1. User: Jessica Norrie

    Posted on: 22/05/2020 at 6:44 pm

    I was briefly there – couldn’t believe that between us Bill and I were quadruple booked on Zoom last night! And it was run very professionally and ok, the fizz was our own but on the other hand there was no nasty London tube to get on afterwards. Great book, great location.

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