Yesterday evening, September 11, 2010 was the official launch of Celine Kiernan's "THE REBEL PRINCE", the third and final book in The Moorhawke Trilogy. As on previous occassions the launch was very successfully hosted by Crannog Bookshop in Cavan Town.
Tara and me had been present for the launches of the two previous instalments, but for Dermot and Tara's friends, Allison and Steven, this was the first time. I'm very happy to say that the three newbies seemed to enjoy the evening as much as us "professionals" did, but that was hardly surprising given the great venue and the wonderful person that is Celine Kiernan.
The evening started of on a slightly sad note. This was the first of the launches that Celine's dad couldn't be present at due to his health problems. But hopefully the video recording of the evening and the enthusiastic wave from the audience will mean that he will be able to feel that he was part of the proceedings.
Next Celine made a very special presentation to two of her Irish fans who are possibly the youngest readers of her trilogy. As Celine pointed out, these are not children's books. They are meant for a (young) adult audience. Yet Hayden and Laura both started reading these books at the age of nine and not only did they enjoy them, they also contacted the author with questions and remarks, much to her delight. To show her appreciation of them she gifted them both with an limited edition work of art; a picture of Wynter, the main character in these books, as drawn by Celine herself.
Mrs. Kiernan trained and worked as a classical feature animator and for more or her wonderful artwork related to The Moorhawke Trilogy you can click here. I don't think there was a single person in the audience who wasn't at least a little bit jealous of these two, very fortunate kids, but it was hard to deny that they deserved the honour. (If you are interested in learning more about the creation process for this picture or a chance of winning one of the 8 remaining pictures you should have a look at this.)
The next person to address the audience in the once again packed bookshop, was Mr. Michael O'Brien, of O'Brien Press who told us about Celine Kiernan's amazingly fertile mind, and how extraordinary it is that her first published work consists of three books. Just how special Celine's achievement is, is also clear from the fact that the publishers who have published these titles in the rest of the world are the best in their respective countries.
All of us worried about the fact that this was the last book in the trilogy had our minds put at ease. The Moorhawke saga may be over but another book, a stand-alone ghost story, has been contracted, although there was unfortunately no mention of a publishing date. Mr. O'Brien's last words were to congratulate the owner and employees of Crannog on the great bookshop they're running. Praise that was very well deserved.
Next one of those Crannog employees introduced Celine to her audience. He told us that great stories and great myths are hard to categorize. Publishers and booksellers are always trying to squeeze a book into a certain category but some books defy such treatment. The Moorhawke Trilogy is an adventure story, a political drama, almost historical fiction, a coming of age story, a story about friendship and loyalty as well as a social commentary dealing with current issues, even if not every reader is going to realize that while reading the book. In short though, he stated, this is a really good story.
Then it was time for Celine to do a reading from "The Rebel Prince", and she picked an exciting section of the story, involving Christopher, one of the main characters, going through a very difficult time. I already read this book a few days ago, but I'm sure that anyone who had yet to start would be itching to do so after hearing that part of the story.
When it was time for the book signing, the author, as always, took her time with everybody coming up to her table, regardless of whether they brought one or multiple copies of her books. She had a smile, a joke and a friendly word for everyone.
With that the event in the bookshop was over. It was not the end of a festive evening though since everybody had been invited to a launch party in a local pub/restaurant. Here we were treated to champagne and a buffet of delicious food as well as a good time.
It was also here that Celine received a very special present from one her fans. This obviously very talented girl had taken the time to make miniature copies of both the English and the Australian editions of the trilogy. In this picture the six books are in the palm of Celine's hand, and I have to say I was stunned by the time and effort that must have gone into creating these little wonders.
On a personal note, this was a very special evening for me too when Celine told me that she'd been delighted with my blog post about The Rebel Prince, especially since I had gotten what she'd been trying to do and say in the story. Suffice to say that I left the party with a huge grin on my face.
And finally, here's a link to Celine Kiernan's Moorhawke website. Go and have a look, then run to your bookshop or library to pick up the books and lose yourself in a wonderful story.