Monday, 3 June 2013

Triskele Books Launch Party

One of the things I love best about social media is that you make wonderful connections with people you'd never have met in the normal course of affairs. Connections lead to friendship, advice, support and information - all of which may lead to further connections, friendship, advice ... you get the picture.

Some time ago, having decided to republish my novel myself, I set about looking for a cover designer. I wanted my book to look good. Professional. Eye-catching. Effective at thumbnail size. Distinctive. In no way amateur-looking. So, I started clicking onto book covers I liked, then finding out who was thanked by the writer for having designed the cover. I discovered Jane Dixon-Smith - and discovering her led me to Triskele Books, a writers' co-operative: Jane designed their logo and their book covers.

Liking what I saw, I started communicating with Jane and commissioned not only my book cover but logos for my consultancy and imprint. She turned out to be an absolute joy to work with: friendly, responsive, professional. I'm delighted with all she has done and fully intend to go to her again when I need future book covers designed.

With Catriona Troth
At the London Book Fair, I met another Triskele member, Catriona Troth - and saw the range of books published by Triskele on display. They struck me as being both beautiful and professional. As the rise of self-publishing continues, we all need to pay attention to the standard of book as artifact that we produce:  the Triskele writers are setting an excellent example here.

On Saturday, I went up to London to meet the other Triskele writers at their joint book-launch at Foyle's. It was a lovely event: the books were lined up, the buffet table awaited, the champagne was flowing, the atmosphere was lively and immensely friendly. It was great to meet Jane in person at last - and the other writers. Jill Marsh writes detective fiction, her latest, Tread Softly, is set in Vitoria in northern Spain. Gillian Hamer writes crime with a supernatural edge: she was launching Complicit, set in Wales. Catriona Troth draws on her Canadian background for her novella Gift of the Raven. Liza Perrat's novels are set in France, where she lives: Spirit of Lost Angels takes place against the backdrop of the French Revolution. Finally Jane Dixon-Smith has somehow found time, amidst all this cover and logo creation, to write her own novel about legendary lovers Tristan and Iseult.

What they all have in common, apart from a very beautiful and distinctive look to each, is a strong sense of place, linked frequently with the resonances of the past. Time and Place is the tagline for Triskele - and I'm very much in favour of both (which anyone who's read The Chase will know!)

During the evening, after the launch of the anthology of winners of the Words with Jam competition - oh yes, didn't I mention Jane produces that literary magazine too? - Liza interviewed each of the other writers briefly about their work. Toasts were drunk, short speeches made, books were bought ....

On the train home, I browsed happily through my purchases. All power to the Triskele writers! Here are some more photos of the night -
Jane, Gillian and Catriona at the book-signing table

Jane introduces the Words with Jam anthology

Liza Perrat interviews Jill Marsh