You’ve arrived at the virtual launch for Toppling, my new verse novel, which is released today. Let the festivities begin.
First, while you wait for the speeches, please help yourself to some refreshment. My gorgeous waiters are circulating with trays of canapes, or chips and dips if you’d prefer, and plenty of cyber bubbly (you can choose between alchoholic or nonalchoholic, and for the kids cyber softdrink). And, of coruse, feel free to chat with the other guests.
Right, can I have your attention please? We’ll move in to the formal part of the party.
For those who don’t know me, I’m Sally Murphy, the author of the book we’re about to launch. I’m just delighted to see so many of you have made the trip across cyber space to be with me today as we launch Toppling.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at Toppling, here it is:
Toppling is the story of John (his mum calls him Johnboy) whose twin passions are domino toppling and hanging out with his friends, especially his best friend, Dominic. But when Dominic falls ill, John feels as if his world is toppling. How is a kid supposed to cope with knowing his friend could be dying? And how can he support that friend?
Tough subject matter, I know, but I’m hoping you’ll find Toppling an uplifting read. It is my fervent belief that kids need books about tough subjects as much as they need books that are funny, or silly, or anything else.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank some people – my family, the team at Walker Books for believing in me (and my books), my editor Virginia who is always right (almost always, anyway), my good writer buddies Sue and Claire who over the years have listened to my talk of giving up, kept me going and celebrated my successes, and my cyber buddy Sandy who momentarily will take centre stage to launch the book (and who I am looking forward to meeting in person in a couple of weeks at the All Saints Festival in Perth). It’s an honour to have Sandy here, and I’d like to mention that her own book, Jaguar Warrior, is also being released today.
Congratulations, Sandy And, of course, I’d like to thank you all for dropping me to join in today’s celebration. Writing can sometimes be a very solitary pursuit, but to be surrounded by such supportive people on a day like today is a real joy.
And now, over to Sandy Fussell, who has agreed to give up part of her day to laucnchToppling. welcome, Sandy.
When Sally asked me to launch Toppling I was thrilled to bits. Her previous verse novel, Pearl Verses the World, was one of my favourite books of 2009. I find verse novels have a unique way of making the reader feel emotionally involved. But despite that, I was totally unprepared for the impact Toppling had on me. This book hits hard. It goes straight to the heart.
Toppling is a beautiful illustrated story, dealing sensitively with childhood cancer and the way cancer in general reaches into the lives of all the children who come into contact with it. There is sadness in the pages but those same pages will help children understand and cope. No magic cure is promised and while the story offers hope, it doesn’t avoid the important fact that cancer is a killer.
Rhian Nest-James’ drawings bring the children to life and the emotion on their faces is vivid and real. The hospital, the playground, the classroom – the setting illustrations are both familiar and universal.
This book is for every child (and their adults) – for those struggling to live with a cancer sufferer, for those who have lost someone they love and those who need to understand how others feel. It’s a heavy message told with a perfectly light touch. Readers will find different meaning and experiences in the words. And that’s Toppling’s greatest strength.
I am very proud to launch Toppling into cyberspace.
Gosh, thanks Sandy. I’m so glad I brought the cyber-tissues because you’ve brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much.
And that concludes the formalities of today’s launch. Fee; free to hang around a bit longer – the cyber-bubbles will be flowing all day, and I’d love for you to leave a comment below so I know you’ve been here. Thanks so, so much for coming and joining in the fun.
You can buy Toppling online from Booktopia, Dymocks, The Children’s Bookshop (NZ), or Abbeys, or in a good brick and mortar store near you. If they don’t have it in stock, ask them to get it in.