What a wonderful night! After worrying about the weather (about eight inches in the morning, and it didn't stop snowing until late afternoon), we went ahead with the launch party for THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH on March 5.
The Hill Library, with its shelves reaching all the way to the second-story ceiling, is reminiscent of the Long Room at Trinity College Library, and was a perfect setting for launching THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, a story that draws upon the history of ancient Irish scholars and scribes and their marvelous handwritten manuscripts.
We had some gorgeous music from our friends Ann and Charlie Heymann—also known by the name of their band, Clairseach—with Ann on wire-strung harp, and Charlie on cittern, accordion, and various other instruments as well.
Paddy and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting about and reading from our books, and sharing images of the people, places, and artifacts that inspired our stories. Paddy read "Hairpins and Combs," a chapter from THE ROAD TO CASTLEBARNAGH about his first musical instrument, a mouth organ, purchased for one shilling from a peddler who visited his family home in the early 1950s. I read a section from the prologue of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, a dramatic tale of murder set in the 9th century.
Many thanks to Alayne Hopkins from the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and to Beth O'Connor and Dawn Knapek from the James J. Hill Reference Library for all their work in making such a wonderful and welcoming event.
Huge thanks also to everyone who helped with setup and making sure that everything ran smoothly: Bonnie Schueler, Betty and John Rogers, Julie Hart, Karen Mueller, Linda White, Shannon and Mike Nemer, Lisa McDaniel, Laurie Muir, and Sue Zumberge and David Unowsky from SubText: A Bookstore.