On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending a book launch for Timothy Taylor’s new book, The Blue Light Project. For someone who professes to love books as much as I do (and I do), I was a bit embarrassed that this was my first time attending a book launch, and it definitely wasn’t what I expected.
For starters, it was held at the Waldorf Hotel. A bit edgy, a bit outside the norm, and definitely not a location I would have expected. There was tiki décor on the walls and 70’s floral print on the floors. Incredibly talented and fascinating “100 mile” street art from the streets of Vancouver and awesome music. Drinks. All the ingredients necessary for a … book launch? Apparently book launches are more like funky, edgy parties than one would think! But maybe that’s just a testament to the coolness of Timothy Taylor and the themes that thread through his new book.
The makeup of the crowd was a bit surprising as well. Younger than I would have thought, but definitely a wide age range was in attendance. The crowd was a chatty group – instead of individuals coming and conversing only with those they came with, people mingled. So goes the stereotype of the introverted bookie out the window! The setup of the room definitely helped to encourage this – minimal seating and a tight space makes it a bit easier to strike up a conversation with those standing around you. Besides the odd fellow in the cowboy hat – an “author” writing a “novel”,who proceeded to tell me about the numerous ways in which his “forthcoming” book launch would be better than the present one - everyone was pretty darn nice, cool, and incredibly intelligent.
So half an hour into the evening and so far all expectations have been shot. I was beginning to wonder if Mr. Taylor would even be reading at this event, or if this was some sort of post-modern book launch whereby the themes of the book were to be inferred via the photography on the walls or the lyrics in the music …. When Timothy Taylor came to the stage, the crowd fell silent, and we were given the privilege of listening to Mr. Taylor read a passage from the novel.
I won’t give much away (you’ll have to pick up the book yourself), but I will say that I will definitely be picking up the novel. In a mere 10 minute reading, I got a real sense of the characters and how they might develop, felt the tension between the “desire for anonymity and the desire for renown” that afflicts the artists within the novel, and wanted to experience more of the “bombs of paint and words” that splash the street corners in the story. How this relates to a hostage situation (the proclaimed narrative crux of the story) I’m not sure, but I’m excited to find out.