Hi all, it’s Fern again, MidnightSun’s favourite intern. Also their only intern, but I digress. In my brief time at the company I’ve mostly worked with Heaven Sent, the YA novel by S.J. Morgan. My tasks have been to find reviewers and speaking with writers’ festivals to invite Sue along. But that cannot begin to compare to the work Sue has spent writing the novel, and the time Anna and Lauren have spent refining and preparing it for its debut. The moment of truth finally arrived and MidnightSun was proud to launch Heaven Sent this past Sunday.
The hall the launch was held in was deftly transformed from what looked like an office into a cosy reading room, made even better by the inclusion of wine and nibbles.
A friend of Sue and her partner performed on his guitar, the perfect accompaniment to the quiet buzz of excitement in the air.
Most incredible, Sue had ordered an enormous cake decorated with the cover of her novel, which she said with a laugh was the combination of her two favourite things.
Whenever I wasn’t working to sell copies of the novel, I chatted with the guests around me. I was impressed by the range of people who attended the launch: from friends who wanted to congratulate Sue, to fans of the young adult genre, to authors who had never met Sue before but wanted to do their part to support fellow writers.
There is a certain special air to book launches, I’m finding, when a large group of people are brought together by a single focus. It becomes an incredibly comfortable place because the guarantee that every person you speak to will have at least one thing in common: their love of books.
Anna spoke to us all about her first meeting with Sue at the Salisbury Writer’s Festival in 2016. Anna told us how Sue nervously introduced her premise that day, and what a contrast there was with Sue now, confidently presenting her novel to the world.
Anna also announced MidnightSun’s involvement in Sue’s next novel Boomerang, which is set to be published next year. I can’t deny I’m excited to read it after my thorough enjoyment of Heaven Sent.
After the speeches Sue read aloud the first dynamic chapter of the novel. At its completion there was a rush of people buying copies of the book, eager to have their questions answered. Many others had bought the book before the speeches so I watched them, children and adults alike, settling into the arranged reading nooks, already absorbed by the novel.
As the launch was reaching its conclusion I had a chance to have Sue sign my copy, and I had the opportunity to chat with her, thanking her letting me be part of the team. Before the launch I’d only corresponded with her via email, and in speaking to her in person I realised how true to her real voice she was in writing this novel. Sue is just as kind, generous, and earnest as the voice she portrayed in Heaven Sent.
And now I am sorry to inform you that while you will all have the opportunity to read more of Sue’s voice in the future, this will be the last you will hear of mine. As the university comes to an end, so does my internship at MidnightSun Publishing. It’s been an incredible experience to see behind the scenes of how the industry works, and I could not have asked for better people to learn from. I’ll miss it, but who knows, maybe one day I’ll write something that could be published here. Wouldn’t that be exciting?