Friday, 18 February 2011

The Afrika Reich - Guy Saville's book launch

Last night the daughter and I went to the launch party of Guy Saville's alternative history thriller, The Africa Reich, in Waterstones Piccadilly.

I've never been to a launch before, so didn't know quite what to expect. The first surprise was that there is a large and busy bar on the fifth floor of Waterstones, an ideal rendezvous spot for book-lovers. Guy's do was around a smaller bar at one end of the vast space, with sofas, wine and piles of The Afrika Reich, which noticeably dwindled by the end of the evening.

The bar was crowded. I met some internet friends and acquaintances - lovely to put a face to the personalities I know from writers' websites. Katherine Robb, Justine Windsor (who has just got herself an agent), Carlie Lee, Katherine Webb, author of the bestselling Legacy, and Fraser Grace, playwright. Guy gave a brief and apposite speech, then sat in a corner to sign copies of his book. You had to take a copy to the fourth floor to pay (there was a queue) and return for a signature (another, longer queue, as Guy wrote appropriate messages for each person, not just his name).

It's a beautifully-produced hardback, with a map in the front and Germanic dropped caps, and Guy is a terrific writer. I'm really looking forward to reading it.


  1. I am a few chapters in (about 70 pages) and the only thing keeping me from tearing through it is my own packed schedule. I hope he does very well with it and his next one. I gave him a "but WWII ended in 1945 you silly man" review way back when on YouWriteOn and he very wisely went his own alternative way in spite of it. Lesson here is obviously not to take literary advice from certain corners too seriously.

    One day in the not too distant future you will be signing the books, Lexi. I couldn't make it to Guy's soiree, but I would sure like to be there for yours.

  2. Aha!!So that's what he looks like! LOL!

    Awww Lexi, you lucky thing! Guy, bar, books, Justine Windsor!! Wonderful!

    I'm very impatiently waiting for my copy via amazon!!!! Oh I lie, it did arrive, I wasn't home so the postie took it back and now I have a red card telling me to collect tomorrow. It must be A BIG BOOK!!! LOL!

    I agree with Alan Hutcheson - you next!! Yay! Take care

  3. Alan, I don't know whether I should start it before I've finished the WIP in case my anti-hero turns into Burton Cole, so I've only read a few pages as yet, and had a job stopping...

    It was fun, Kitty. It's not a good photo of Guy because of my lack of photographic skills, I fear. It IS a big book.

    I can't imagine doing a signing myself - actually I can, but can't imagine it happening :o)

  4. I really enjoyed it too, Lexi. It was great to meet you and Minty and everyone else.

    The dropped caps look gorgeous, don't they?

  5. They do indeed, Justine. I like extra typographical detailing. I decided dropped caps weren't really appropriate for Remix - but reluctantly.

  6. Hi
    was good to see you last night, and everyone else too. I'm already racing through the book. The rest of my life is on hold!

  7. I went back and checked when I reviewed the Afrika Reich--11 august 2006. "Well done. You go a long way to capture the mood of the collapse of the African continent during the Second World War. The story has a “Heart of Darkness,” Joseph Conrad feel to it."

    I went on to say thought he used "was" a little too often. And, I caught some POV shifts (put the knife down Lexi, please Lexi...put the knife down).

    I empathize with Alan, I wrote,"This is a period and subject I know little about. I found myself wondering about the time, place, and circumstance of the Nazi invasion."

    I'm looking forward to digging in to Guy's book and seeing how many POV shifts Guy left in, and if I even notice.

  8. Norm, you can have a quick look inside The Afrika Reich on Amazon:

    I didn't keep a copy of my YWO reviews, unfortunately. Long time ago...

  9. So nice to hear all the old YWO names and to see that success is at everyone's fingertips in different ways. I'm glad you went to Guy's launch, Lexi, and I love reading every little thing on FB and his blog, but I'd venture to say you have your own form of success.
    Have started Remix and am loving it.
    Now that I've followed you to e-booking my own, I participate on Kindleboards and gave your book a plug last night. Not that it needs it, but it was in the context of a slur on UK readers/writers and even though Im Australian, couldn't let it lie.

  10. I seldom go to YWO now, but it is the place I learned to write. You are right, it does have some distinguished alumni.

    Glad you are enjoying Remix - all plugs gratefully received. Good old word of mouth.

    Best of luck with The Stumpwork Robe. I hope sales exceed your wildest dreams :o)

  11. Hi Lexi

    Sorry to have taken forever to reply to this - have been so busy the past few days!

    Lots of comments here which I'll reply to in a second... but first a message for you.

    I just wanted to say thanks again to you and Minty for coming to the launch. Your support was greatly appreciated and it was good to meet you at last.

    I thought the evening went rather well (I certainly sold plenty of copies - indeed enough to keep me at the No.1 spot in hardback fiction at Waterstones Piccadilly for two weeks now). And I'm glad you enjoyed you first book launch - hope you'll come to the launch of Book 2 too.

    Glad also that you like the look of the book. Usually publishers try to scale back the production costs, but Hodder have done me really proud with this.

    Thanks again,

    Best wishes


  12. And in reply to everyone else:

    @Alan - your YWO review is still my favourite! Hope you're enjoying the book

    @Kitty - hope you picked up your copy of the book in the end!

    @Justine - glad you enjoyed it. It seems everyone is a fan of dropped caps!

    @K - about to write on your blog next. So glad you enjoyed the book and thanks for the lovely review on Amazon!

    @Norm - hopefully ALL the POV shifts have been dealt with now! ;-)

    @Mesmered - glad to know you're a FB follower

    And to you all - I've started my own blog which you can find at:

    Thanks for such encouraging comments, Guy

  13. Pencil me in for the launch of Book 2, Guy :o)

    I see both the hardback of Afrika Reich and the Kindle version are in the top 500 on Amazon - impressive.