Taipei Writer’s Group launches new anthology; Critics call it, “The most important book of our time.”

by Laurel Bucholz

        Voodoo doughnuts was hopping on the evening of Saturday, October 1st, as the Taipei Writer’s Group launched their newest creation, Twisted Fairy Tales, an anthology for adults. Lines wrapped around the block as fans of TWG waited with bated breath to get their hands on the book one critic proclaimed as, “the most important work of fiction since Kafka’s Metamorphosis.”

         Tensions were high as fans understood that there were only a limited number of books available, and some were even desperate enough to attempt violence to obtain a copy.

         CK Hugo Chung was the diva host of the evening, rivaling the likes of Angelina Jolie for top diva status as he modeled his fairy tale costume designed by Vera Wang.

         As the audience took their seats, Jenny, ‘J.J.’ Green was called to read an excerpt from her Carrie Hatchett novels, which prompted every audience member to get on their phones and order the series. Some even fainted as if she were a member of the Beatles. Thankfully no one was hurt.

          Unfortunately, anthology participant Laurel Bucholz tripped on her princess dress while approaching the stage and fellow writer L.L. Phelps was forced to cover her ass and read two story excerpts. The crowd was at their feet cheering at Ms. Phelps’ public speaking capabilities. She was certainly the hero of the evening.

          Hugo McGlinchey, Patrick Whalen, Brian Quentin Webb, and Emily Brooks’ readings were so successful, some fans had to be removed for trying to touch the writers, in hopes that some of their essence would rub off on them.

         Up next was writer Whitney Zahar who brought a special guest to accompany her story – a version of Sleepy Hollow. The audience gasped as Edgar Allan Poe walked in to do the sound effects on her reading. Literary members were more confused as to why Poe was there instead of Washington Irving, than they were seeing a ghost act as a foley artist.

          As the confusion settled, Brad Williams – who was the most beautiful woman in the room that night – walked up to the stage and gave a rousing sermon about the falsity of free will, to which the audience was confused and angered as they came for a book launch…


There was a moment when the audience became sad as CK Hugo announced that TWG anthology contributing writers Pat Woods, Erisa Apantaku, and Nick Vaky weren’t going to be able to make it. Short lived sadness was changed into elation as the trio of authors managed to be the first humans ever to use a teleportation device they had jointly invented together just to be at the event. The light from the floor beamed almost as bright as their personalities as each of them read their excepts from the anthology that another critic proclaimed, “Stephen King’s writing seems like a tenth grader’s compared to TWG’s  Twisted Fairy Tales – though he is only one man, and they had nine brilliant brains. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison? Nah, screw that – it’s fair.”

           Finally, as the excitement was winding down, it was time to give out TWG’s raffle prizes. Third prize was a box of calorie-free doughnuts that still tasted like the real thing – won by the talking squirrel named ‘Mr. Squeakers’, who also purchased four copies of the book.  Second prize was a beer – which was mistakenly drunk by an audience member when the establishment ran out of alcohol. First prize was a million NT dollars and a copy of the anthology. It was given to the Buddha, who showed up to the event disguised as a homeless man. He promptly donated the money to saving trees, and urged the crowd to support the anthology on Kindle. He was quoted as saying, “This book will certainly make all of humanity more compassionate and kind – it is a must read.”

If you weren’t able to make it to the event of the year, you can go to these sites to purchase our new anthology:

Create Space: https://www.createspace.com/6609957

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Twisted-Fairy-Tales-Adults-Anthology-ebook/dp/B01LZ67LVK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475456687&sr=8-1&keywords=twisted+fairy+tales+for+adults

If you’re interested in joining TWG for their next meeting, check out the details at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/414415571918140/

PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO REVIEW OUR BOOK!! 😉


***Disclaimer: Nothing written in this article is true except for the part about there being an awesome book you can get from Amazon or create space called Twisted Fairy Tales, an anthology written for adults, and that there was a launch of the book at Voodoo Doughnuts on October 1st. TWG takes no responsibility for the accuracy or content contained in this article. Brad being the most beautiful woman in the room that night is subject to interpretation.

Advertisements

Peak Heat Launch

By Whitney Zahar

On January 16, 2016, I realized a lifelong dream. I held a book in my hands and stroked the velvety cover, filled with joy that between those pages, there was a story in there that I had written. Best of all, I had my 5-year-old son Preston by my side.

12593801_10153440631070028_2736270635758482290_o

Okay, he might be too young to fully appreciate the awesomeness of being published in a format other than on the web, but he was there to hear “Mommy’s story,” as well as those fantastic other tales by the Taipei Writers Group.

12628451_10153440631530028_3919011998726559192_o

The book launch was held in the new Red Room venue at Taipei Air Force Base. What a great place, where creativity and community are encouraged in equal measure! There was plenty of space to roam around. My son loved performing his version of kung fu dancing on the carpet before nestling into a pile of pillows. He was given the job of guarding Mommy’s Peak Heat poster.

Meanwhile, I loved exploring the display of books written by my fellow writers, as well as sampling some of the yummy treats prepared by Karen Farley of KP Kitchens and our own Bradley Verdell.

With our bellies and hearts full of good food, drink, and conversation, we were swept into the blazing world of Peak Heat a world heartbreakingly similar to our own. We were in good hands with our Master of Ceremonies C.K. Hugo Chung to guide us through a group of stories from all over the world. Each story had its own view of what life would be like after a massive global warming event. We met collectors, surfers, queens, hunters, lovers, zealots, children, and survivors, from all walks of life. For me, I absolutely had no idea until the last moment which part of my story I was going to read, let alone how I was going to introduce it. But what struck me was that I had read several of these stories many times, taking a red ink pen to them without trying to slice away the writers’ voices. It wasn’t until I actually heard them out loud, read by Katannya Jantzen, Brian Quentin WebbJ.J. Green, Bradley Verdell, L.L. Phelps, Pat Woods and C.K. Hugo Chung (sadly, Erisa Apantaku couldn’t make it), that I finally heard the voices of the characters. I finally heard the flow of these stories. I realized the importance of these book launches and these book talks, where writers and audience can step beyond the printed page together, and into a world of voices and conversation.

To top it all off, I had no idea Ted Pigott was there sketching us as we read. How glorious!

Even though I couldn’t stay past the first act, I was so happy I was able to come to the launch. I was able to reconnect and touch my friends, make some new friends, and I was happy my son was there to experience this event.

Now, onward to the next group of tales! Where will they take us next?

NEW RELEASE COMING SOON! Peak Heat: TWG Anthology III

December days that feel like Spring. Droughts that last all year. Ocean temperatures creating massive hurricanes and frequent El Niños. The Earth is changing. Scientists estimate Earth will reach a “Peak Heat” within the next several decades, forcing massive changes to the way humans live. What those changes will look like, we can only speculate…

12377851_1118965878114388_7122686010855259590_o

At Taipei Writers Group, we’re on the verge of publishing our latest anthology: Peak Heat. In it, we’ve each crafted tales of humans dealing with the repercussions of a changing Earth pre-, during, or post-Peak Heat. The stories range from optimistic, pessimistic, and pragmatic in each author’s perception of what life will be like.

See below for a short description of stories. The anthology will be available on Amazon in January. Or, if you’re in Taiwan, come to our book launch on January 17th at the Red Room.

***

“Let The Haters Begin” – Faced with the threat of predatory drones, the star-crossed lovers Madelyn and Luke must fight their way to reunite in a drowning New York City.

“The Last Peach Queen” – Lilah has always believed she would one day become her community’s Peach Queen, but now that she’s fled south to avoid a dark fate in the government-controlled north, will her dream ever be realized?

“Algae” – Anna – “Algae” to her parents – hates that she shares her nickname with the sometimes toxic, green stuff that’s overpopulating Lake Michigan, one of many changes disrupting her previous way of life.

“The Way Back” – On the island of Sumatra, a tribe of surfers attempts to resettle on the dangerous coast.

“Mama Snake” – Ruth’s journey to her mother’s deathbed forces her to confront her past and her future, where nothing is as simple as it seems…except through the eyes of a serpent.

“Macroseism” – That which controls the water controls the people, and a seismic change is coming.

“Was Once Paradise” – The threat of starvation looms large in an arctic devoid of ice, forcing Tanika and her grandfather to return to their traditional Gwich’in ways to survive, creating tension between them and the neighboring refugee group.

“On the Grid” – With energy resources running dry, Private Martin Briggs is conscripted to defend a nuclear power plant against an insurgent threat.

“To the North” – A landslide has killed Ching-yi’s mother, and she must grow up fast to survive her journey north to legendary Taibei.

How to Organise a Book Launch Party

Taipei Writers’ Group recently launched the paperback of Taiwan Tales, along with a preview of the forthcoming Night Market, and I thought I would share some book launch ideas, tips and advice based on our experience.

Taipei Writers Group launching Taiwan Tales and Night Market

Taiwan Tales and Night Market book launch party

Venue

A good venue for a book launch is:

  • Central in your city/region and easily accessible by car and public transport
  • Large enough to accommodate the expected attendance, but not too large – if your turnout is smaller than expected, the place will seem uncomfortably empty
  • Two-roomed if possible. People need a place to step out of the hubbub, and a separate room for drinks and snacks helps keep noisy conversations separate from the main action
  • Bare-walled, so you can add your own posters and displays
  • Comfortable and well-appointed. Toilets for your guests are a must, but are there also seats, rugs, floor cushions for people who want to rest their feet? Are there tables for food, a sink, a refrigerator?
  • Accessible to the disabled

C.K. Hugo Chung had the use of a great venue for the Taiwan Tales and Night Market launch. Based in central Taipei, ColorWolfStudio is an international artists’ cooperative, and Hugo made our book launch part of the group’s monthly zapper. With a covered outdoor area and two rooms the TWG was easily able to be good hosts to the attendees. A small drawback was that the studio was at the top of a building and so a little difficult for one group member to get to due to his disability.

Displays

Displays are the first things your guests will see as they arrive. Copies of your book, banners, posters, bookmarks and other book-related promotional materials and paraphernalia can all be displayed, and if your book’s cover contains distinctive colours, you can echo them with cloths or flower displays around the room. Another option is to project an image of the book cover on a wall or screen for guests to see as they arrive.

Night Market poster

Night Market poster

We were very lucky to have two gorgeous posters of Night Market, designed by Hannah Charlton, and Hugo made sure Taiwan Tales copies were beautifully set off by a red cloth.

18394_708177869900_7858706815392321458_n

Taiwan Tales display

Taiwan Tales display

Schedule of Events

While it’s tempting to be relaxed and laid back and imagine everything will gel on the night, a safer approach is to plan a schedule of events. Your audience needs to know what they can expect, and it’s easy to forget where people should be and what they should be doing in the nervous excitement during the launch.

Some ideas for events include:

  • A presentation on the process behind creating the book, such as images, places, events or experiences that inspired, and the steps taken to reach publication.
  • Short readings from the book or works that were significant in its creation
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Networking time. You need to give your guests time to mingle and discuss how awesome your book is!

Writers are often introverted types, but the TWG Taiwan Tales and Night Market book launch was cosy and friendly, and the writers enjoyed sharing their work with the audience.

20150705_174142

20150705_172817

Wrapping Up

As your book launch draws to a close, don’t forget to play the good host until the last guest is out the door. Each person you invited is a link to many others who may hear about how great your book launch was and how they must buy your book.

We had many interesting conversations with guests as they were leaving, especially with the more inebriated ones. Everyone seemed to have had a great time, and we sold plenty of books.

What’s been your experience of book launches? Have you any tips to pass on?