Many congratulations to Claire King whose debut novel The Night Rainbow was published by Bloomsbury last week. The launch took place at Daunt’s Bookshop in London. The Night Rainbow has already received great reviews – “At once moving and gripping, elegant and spare” says Maggie O’Farrell and Joanne Harris calls it “Quirky, elegant and sweet: I loved it!”.
Claire was shortlisted for the 2010 Bristol Short Story Prize for her story Wine at Breakfast. We are delighted to welcome Claire to the website and to hear her thoughts on having her first novel published and being the main attraction at a high-profile launch:
“To be honest, coming over from France with the family for the publication day of The Night Rainbow was a bit of an extravagance. I didn’t have media obligations or anything like that, but the idea of staying home as my first book went out into the world didn’t feel right. I wanted to ‘touch’ that moment for myself, and I’m so glad I did. It was absolutely worth it.
“It was worth it to be able to walk into book shops and see The Night Rainbow on the shelves. My daughters thought this was the best thing in the world, it delighted them. Also being spotted in Marie Claire – Mummy you’re in a magazine! And as much as these things excited me, watching the enjoyment my daughters got, and how engaged they are with the book at least doubled that pleasure.
“The other wonderful moment was the launch party itself. It was a moment to celebrate with all those people who have supported me over many years of writing – my family, school friends, friends from many aspects of my life over the last 20 years right up to my writer friends of recent times – Bloomsbury authors, people I met on a writing retreat at Tilton House in 2011, people I’ve got to know well on Twitter and even fellow 2010 BSSP alumnae Joanna Campbell and Clare Wallace!
“It was also fantastic to have the people from Bloomsbury who have been working on The Night Rainbow there, and my lovely editor Helen Garnons-Williams had prepared a lovely speech that had my mum in tears!
“The question everyone asked me on Wednesday was “How are you feeling?” Actually in the run up to the launch party I’d been feeling more and more anxious, worried about what might go wrong. Not so much about the book publication, but because so many people were travelling to London for the evening and I really wanted everyone to have a good time. I knew that with so many people I wouldn’t be able to be a good hostess myself! Fortunately my close friends and my husband rallied round and took on that job, leaving me to…well in the end it was mostly to sign books! So how did I feel on the night? Just great, really. I was surrounded by queues of people all night, and I only got to exchange the briefest of greetings. But to see everyone’s faces and feel their support was incredible. They made the launch what it was, absolutely unforgettable.
“Now on the ‘other side’ I feel very calm. Everything is done, and I’m free to finish my edits on my next book with no distractions (well apart from all the usual ones of course!).”
We wish The Night Rainbow (available everywhere!) and Claire every success.