I was going to start by staying that I had never been to a book launch, but realised I had, way back in 1992. I belonged to a writer’s group and one of the members had her first book published. I wrote about it in Writer’s Lot. So this is my first online event for a book launch.
This one was held on Facebook on June 30th 2015. I’m not sure how many people attended, but would imagine it was near 200.
Belonging to an author and a book groups on Facebook, Follow Me Home kept coming up. I saw the link to join the launch party and joined. I had no idea how it would work online. Although Follow Me Home sounded like a good read, I was already reading something else and couldn’t start it straight away, even though I wanted too. I felt a bit of a fraud at the party because I hadn’t read any of his other books or any co-written by of Louise at the time either.
As well as the online party, Mark was celebrating at his home in the Midlands with his wife and family. It was a pefect day as temperatures soared into the 30s.
We saw photos and mentions of Pimm’s, Prosecco and Champagne and we all had virtual drinks to cheer him on. People online began by posting their best wishes and many had already read the book saying how wonderful they thought it was.
“It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down. But after a perfect start, an encounter with a young couple on a night train forces Daniel and Laura to cut their dream trip short and flee home. Back home in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what happened that night. But as they try to fit into their old lives again, they realise they are in terrible danger—and that their nightmare is just beginning… “
These days many books come with trailers, and this is no exception – Follow Your Home.
The posts were dropping into the page at an incredible speed…
Sarah Hodgson wrote: Just bought it and can’t wait to start reading it.
Linda Boa said: Fabulously Creepy.
Sean Talbot posted: Congratulations Mark. What a wonderful book from such a gifted author. So excited.
There was even this post from Janice Kelvin Leibowitz in South African: Checking in from Joburg! Honestly you’d think I can get the time difference right – it’s only one bloody hour!! Mark, congrats on your big day!! Going to post my review on Amazon now. This is such a brilliant book and I know it’s going to do well. I’ve told everyone just how very excellent it is!
Mark began answering the questions that were posted earlier and here are a few of them:
Tara Lyons asked: “Before writing Follow You Home, did you have the entire story mapped out or did you put it together as you went along?”
Mark – No, I had the beginning – the first part, set in Romania. And I knew some of the creepy things that would happen back home in London. But that was it. The rest of it, I had to figure out as I went along, and there was a lot of pain and re-writing. It was by far the most challenging book I’ve written.
Sofia Brito asked, “Have you ever thought about bringing the book to big screen? As a movie or a tv series?”
Mark: I would love one of my books to be made into a film or TV series. Unfortunately, so far I have been unable to interest any film/TV companies (sad face). But keeping everything crossed it happens one day.
Karen Vanderputt asked: “What are you reading at the moment?”
Mark: I’m reading In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Savile. It’s a brilliant, gripping and horrifying account of his life and how the BBC messed up. I’m interested in this topic partly because the next DI Lennon book, The Blissfully Dead, is about the dark side of celebrity and contains several references to Yewtree, Ian Watkins, etc.
Lesley Baker asked: “Where do you get the ideas for your characters? You build a pretty good picture on how they look..Do you people watch in various coffee shops?”
Mark Yes, I do! But most of them are based on amalgams of people I’ve met. My wife says all my main male characters are like me, and all the lead female characters are redheads like her. But really, most of the characters just come from my imagination.
Being a writer, this one interested me, as it is a long book, over six hours according to my kindle.
Neats Wilson asked: “How long does it take you to write a novel and do you have alternative endings and then have to decide which one is best?”
Mark: It usually takes 6 months but Follow You Home took 9. And the ending changes frequently as I go along. I very rarely know how the book is going to end when I start. That’s what makes it interesting for me.
Mark asked for our pictures of his books and many people obliged.
Claire Croft posted one of her dog.
So I had to do the same.
Poor Leanne Jones, fractured her knee, but had her kindle to keep her company:
Janette Hall said: “Bert the gnome had settled down to read a good book in the sun. But little did he know that the zombie gnome apocalypse had just begun….”
There were lots of great photos and Janette won a signed copy of the book.
One of the main things people like to know is where writers get their ideas from and Mark obliged telling us with a fascinating blog post.
There were several really great competitions. One of them was to have your name appear in his next book as was the case in Follow You Home. Two people would be chosen and he was after a short sharp quote about the book. Sadly, I couldn’t enter.
Tracey Walsh and Rebekah Venters won this one. Tracey’s blurb for Because She Loves Me was “Mark Edwards – The master of making the mundane menacing.”
Rebekah wrote “Frighteningly plausible, The Magpies will stay with you long after you turn the final page.” (Having since read this book, its uncanny how right she was.)
On my kindle I have a book called The Lie by C L Taylor. It’s on my to read list and the author, Cally, gave a signed copy of her book for Mark to use in a competition. The Lie is about the dark side of friendship groups, so her question was – Which celebrity would you LEAST like to be friends with? I put Gordon Ramsey and over 100 people entered giving various reasons. Francine Stacey won saying: Patrick Dempsey. He’s so incredibly good looking, I’d never be able to speak to him, I’d be a blubbering mess! I’d have to agree with that!
Author Daniel Pembrey gave a signed copy of his international thriller, The Harbour Master, set in Holland, for another one of the competitions. To enter, we had to leave a comment about the best place we’d ever been on holiday. I put Anglesey, and over 70 other people put various other places all over the world. Many of them sounded idyllic. The winner of this was Susanne Smith who said: I love that the novel is set in my country. I like France, anywhere in France.
During this point Follow Me Home shot straight into Amazon’s top ten best seller list.
The next competition was for something completely different. His friend Pete Sortwell, was giving away a signed copy of his romantic comedy, Dating in the Dark. To enter, we had to say what our favourite food was and Suzanne Smith won saying: Something normal again (I have a problem with food, there’s not much I can eat), even a sandwich would be great.
Two winners were offered a signed copies of Follow You Home by leaving a comment telling him the name of our favourite drink – alcoholic or non-alcoholic. I missed that one, but over a 100 people didn’t. Alison Muhl and Kate Bromwich won those with Whisky and ginger – hick! and Kate – My favourite drink (excluding my morning cup of tea of course) 🍹🍹 xx – with a photo of a cocktail saying Sex on the Beach.
The big competition was to win a Kindle Paper White and for that we had to say which wash was the first book we read of his, including those he wrote with Louise Voss. Unfortunately i couldn’t enter that either!
Everything in this picture was up for grabs in the next competition: a signed paperback of Follow You Home, the CD audiobook, a signed postcard and a fancy business card – and – he was going to throw in a second signed book of the winner’s choice from his other books. We had to guess how many copies will sell on the launch day. Over a 150 people entered and my guess was nowhere near the 4,021 copies that sold that. For the week, sales world wide were an astonishing 25,000.
Mark gave us a sneak preview of his next book:
OK, some exclusive news about my next solo book. I’ve done neighbours, girlfriends and holidays… and now I’m writing about colleagues from hell!
When Sophie Greenwood returns to work in an office after several years looking after her young daughter, she is thrilled. It’s her perfect job. But as soon as she starts she begins to wonder if there is something strange about her new company. One member of staff has vanished. There are rumours about weird goings-on. And one team member seems determined to make her life a living hell… Sophie must find out what’s happening and save herself and her family – before her job kills her.
Imagine The Magpies crossed with the Devil Wears Prada; or Rosemary’s Baby set in an office. I’m halfway through writing it, said Mark, and it will be published next summer.
It sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
I hope he has another launch party like this one because I will have to write about that, too.
By the time the party had finished, I read the book and in record time and I loved it. It’s a great thriller, with interesting characters that you can identify with. I must say that having seeing a photo of Mark, his description of Daniel, the main character, seemed very much like him, I think his wife mentioned that!
I review all the books that I read and this is what I wrote for both Amazon and Goodreads.