It has taken us a while to get the words together to write this post and the reason for that is that we have been soaking up all the Darkness! We’ve Just loved reading the blog posts, seeing the pictures and enjoying all the wonderful comments.
Thought we would start at the beginning and go back a year….
As I’m (Rachel) part of the Orchard book club I have been lucky enough over the years to have been blogging and interacting with so many great authors from all genres and in all stages of their writing careers; so with our notebooks at the ready Jo and I thought it would be just amazing to be able to put a signing together showcasing authors writing the darker side of fiction. At first the struggle to bring horror and crime authors out from behind the computer screen was hard, bit by bit we found ourselves with a totally wicked darker family of authors.
The run up was a real roller coaster and totally consumed our lives for over 12 months, the Darker Event was something different from other signings we have hosted and we loved every single minute of it!
We wanted the signing and the evening ball to have a really close and friendly feel, keeping it intimate and personal all the way through. The readers group was such a fun place to post in and all the members totally embraced all things dark, well except for clowns that is! By posting and promoting everyday, you guys joining us, plus adding the little touches, we think we achieved the effect we were striving for.
The night before the event myself and Jo went to the hotel to setup, the nerves were quite high and I don’t think we had eaten or slept for days, it was like planning a wedding for 40 brides and grooms lol. Once a few of the authors had started to arrive they were popping into the hall to say hello, hugs were exchanged and we started to relax into it all. When we had finished the hall, we popped into the bar for a well needed drink! It was lovely to see everyone chatting, comparing travel stories; the laughter was contagious. It was reluctantly that we slipped off home leaving all the fun and wine behind, we needed to do some final checks and get some beauty sleep! (at least until the 5am alarm went off!)
Jo and I are big on lists, ( mostly Jo) we had ticked all the boxes and just knew we had it all covered, even down to the finest detail; it was just the butterflies that were going wild! We had arranged a meet and greet coffee for all the authors to chat and fill up on caffeine plus it gave us a few minutes to compose ourselves before the rest of our guests arrived.
We knew it would run smoothly and we had the makings of a great event. With the help of our terrific friends, amazing authors, assistants and of course the fabulous guests that came, the day went seamlessly. What we hadn’t imagined was the way everyone would embrace the day, the tables and banners looked fantastic and gave the room a fabulous feel to it. Our Horror model ladies certainly stayed in character the whole time! 9.55am arrived and we both left the room with our ticket guest list, wrist bands and scanner at the ready (those butterflies were still doing loops). The buzz of excitement from the fans was awesome, everyone chatting whilst they waited the last few minutes for the main doors to open.
From start to finish the mood was immense, full of laughter. Every single author was just so lovely and friendly, everyone that attended seemed to be full of smiles; so we felt pretty pleased with ourselves 🙂
A quick bite to eat and before we knew it the afternoon got into full swing, streams of fans walked round the hall. Looking for their favourite authors and discovering new ones to chat to. There were so many little moments that touched us, the hugs from people we had chatted to online to, then being grabbed for pictures.
The view was a hall full of amazing people, banners, laughing and camera flashes….. we were overwhelmed and cried happy tears.
Then a super quick turn around in the hall to transform it into the evening ball, again the finer details took time to set up and we literally threw on our ball dresses lol! The effect was just what we wanted even though we were not allowed the smoke machine or the clowns lol. The magian was terrific, the food was delicious the DJ was a bit old school but the company was epic! We danced and drank the rest of the night away ~ well until the bar closed! We gave our last hugs and said goodnight to everyone before collecting up the few mementos and table decorations that were left behind.
Too high on emotion for the night to end we slipped off to the residents bar, chatting and recounting some of the details that had made us laugh or caught our eye throughout the night.
There are so many people to thank for all the support, help and encouragement from start to finish we have been truly lucky to have had you all with us. We have to mention Krista Webster and Len, Paula and Clare our Hourglass team at darker did a brilliant job of making it all run smoothly. Have to thank Jodie from Swag Squad for doing the Darker merchandise . Not to forget our families for putting up with the constant late night meetings and darker talk! We would also like to thank the authors that believed in us and the authors that took a chance on us; we really appreciate that you chose to sign with us. Victoria,Claire and Charlie you ladies are awesome, thank you for the pep talks, your energy and smiles are infectious!
Thank you to everyone who came to Darker, without you all it would have been just an empty hall, you guys made this event! So thank you all 🙂
Lots of love
Rachel and Jo