On October 27th we had the book launch for The Haunting of Vancouver Island. I wanted to share some of the photos taken for those of you who couldn’t make it and those of you who did but would still like to see them.
There was a chalkboard sign in the entry hallway. This was designed by my friend Sarah Packwood who also took my author image for the book. You can also see a ghost on the wall from a projector as well. These ghosts showed up great after it got dark, but not sure if anyone took a photograph of them later in the night.
Here’s the front of the room before the presentation. I wanted the decorations to represent the book. I carefully chose items that were not tacky or overly-Halloweenish. Sarah and Cheryl Folland (Arts Editor for The Navigator) gave me direction how to lay out the room. Olivia (Cheryl’s partner) and my sister Sunni did a lot of work as well.
Here’s a close up of one of the ghosts. I found these at Walmart. I bought all of them in Nanaimo, Duncan, and Victoria’s Uptown so that I had thirteen. It felt like an auspicious number, collected from three stores across Vancouver Island also felt appropriate. There was one on each side of the entry hall, and the other eleven were sentinels around the room. This image was taken by Craig Spence of Mid-Island Focus (he interviewed me for a Haunting of Vancouver Island video).
Here’s a closeup of the signing table. Sarah had the idea to add the different objects. A nice touch for sure.
A closer look at the objects on the signing table. Another image courtesy of Craig Spence.
Here’s the book table. This is Sharon and Lisa from VIU’s Bookstore. They had 44 books for sale, but these sold out, with many people saying they were disappointed there weren’t more.
This is the cake and coffee table. We didn’t get a photo of the pizza table. That one had different napkins that said “Boo” on them. There was also a candy bowl with an animated zombie hand filled with treats. The candies were on the tables as well.
A closer look at the cake. VIU Catering made this beauty based on an idea I had. I have to say, they exceeded my expectations. The details were amazing.
This is from much later in the night, but you can see the tombstone details on the side!
Some of the guests as the room is starting to fill up. It was amazing to see so many people from different places on the island including Ucluelet, Port Alberni, Courtenay, and Ladysmith to name a few.
From a different angle. It’s still light out at this point.
Our Creative Writing department Chair Kathy Page and me. Kathy started the evening, followed by our Dean Ross MacKay (video). I was then introduced by our publishing professor Joy Gugeler (video). Joy was my professor who helped get me the book deal from TouchWood Editions. No one has sent me images of Ross or Joy speaking. If you read this and you have one please send it to me.
Here is another image of me doing my readings and giving my speech (other than the top image of this post). I read short excerpts from: “Keeha Beach,” “Ghosts and Black Magic: Stories From Chief James Swan of Ahousaht,” “Coal Barons and Castles” (video), “Victoria’s Graveyards,” and of course “Vancouver Island University’s Theatre Ghost.” In the background you can see the bar, with a string of ghost lights.
This photograph captures a large portion of the crowd, though there are people off camera (as I am) and people standing at the entrance where the photographer was. Trying to determine the number of people who showed up has been difficult based on chairs and various images. There were around 85 for sure, but there may have been close to 100 at its peak including people standing by the door.
Following a short question period I signed books and met people. A lot of people told me about their experiences or showed me images that they had taken they believed were of possible apparitions. It was great meeting new people, and seeing friends from all over the island including many from the Creative Writing Department.
We kept the bar open for a couple more hours as people socialized and were able to eat cake and more pizza. All in all, it was a great night and one I will never forget. Thank you TouchWood Editions and Vancouver Island University for making this possible, and for all of you who came and showed your support! I’m extremely grateful. This week The Haunting of Vancouver Island made number 4 on the BC Bestseller List. All of you who came and showed your support have helped make this possible! Thank you.