June saw the release of PRIMPERFECT, Deirdre Sullivan’s third and final Prim book. The end of such a fabulous trilogy called for a very fabulous launch, so Little Island took over The Liquor Rooms on the 18th June for a big ol’ shindig. The sun was splitting outside and ice creams were the doctor’s order, but we managed to fill out twice our capacity in a basement bar; you people just can’t resist a 90s theme!
All of us at the Island are huge fans of Primperfect, but one scene in particular had us all in stitches. Prim starts attending house parties in the third book, and starts to drink blue and pink drinks at one particularly disastrous bash. The story of the night is written so hilariously – Prim refuses to accept what she’s done so she adopts an alter ego for the diary entry, ‘Steve the Goblin’, – we couldn’t help but go a bit mad planning the launch to look like Szymon’s gaff. With giant shopping lists to set off to retro sweet shops with and a list of goblin-themed crafts to get down to, we may have got a little carried away, but don’t try and tell us you wouldn’t love to go to a party with Cadet Orange on the menu one last time.
Aside from our ridiculous decoration, the venue itself was totally glam, all wicker chairs and walls covered in tropical flowers. Upon arrival, guests were cordially invited to try a Prim cocktail: it was made up of pear vodka, apricot brandy, and grapefruit juice but looked the colour a Primrose! Geddit?
When everybody had a suitable number of these, we all sat down with a pack of Wheelies to listen to Deirdre’s reading. She looked ahead to the morning after the party, and read from Prim’s minefield of an inbox:
CIARA: Do NOT tell him about Robb. I don’t want anyone to know.
KEVIN: How’s the head?
KEVIN: I wasn’t being mean. I am genuinely concerned for your head.
KEVIN: We didn’t kiss. I have a girlfriend, Prim. Jesus.
KEVIN: Siobhán’s here with me right now. She knows I’m texting you.
SIOBHÁN: Hi, Prim. I’m sorry you made a fool of yourself on Saturday. These things happen, though. Kevin gave me your number. I know he was texting you. We tell each other everything.
JOEL: WHAT. A. TOOLBAG.
A lot of the people there already had a lot of love for Prim, but this scene definitely won the whole crowd over. Among the longstanding friends of Miss Leary in attendance were members of the kids book literati: Sarah Webb, author of the Ask Amy Green series and children’s curator for Mountains to Sea; Claire Hennesey, YA author and director of Big Smoke Writing Factory; Elaina Ryan, current director of Children’s Books Ireland, former Little Islander way back when Deirdre was just starting out on Prim; Aoife Murray, Programme Officer at CBI; David Rudden; author, storyteller, and subject of recent publishing bidding-war; Conor Hackett, our own Sales Agent and general children’s book rep powerhouse; Paul Timoney, artist and storyteller and all around creative-type; Tom Rowley, filmmaker and Storymap creator; Eimear Ryan, writer and bookseller. More importantly, we were also graced with the presence Deirdre’s wonderful parents, who are now in the middle of planning Primperfect’s Galway launch and are all-around lovely folk.
When Deirdre isn’t “vomiting up books”, in her own words, she’s a teacher at Saplings. We were delighted to have some of her colleagues in for the evening, especially around the hectic end of term; it’s always great to see teachers warm to a book.
We also welcomed book bloggers, children’s lit enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a party. We’d prepared a playlist choc-o-bloc with Take That, Will Smith, and all the music that really should be left in the 90s, but we packed The Liquor Rooms out so much that the book chat made for a louder soundtrack. It was a little bit incredible. Everybody’s been raving about the venue and the night in general since, and the Island is pretty proud of the party. If you missed it, check out the amazing photography by Diarmuid O’Brien from the night on our Pinterest or over on Facebook. Thanks to everyone who came out!
(Psst – for those who read this blogpost, use the coupon code ‘PRIMPERFECT’ for a 20% discount on your copy of the new Prim!)
by Heather Keane, Little Island intern