Twitter and non-Twitter folk crammed into Dubray Books on Tuesday night to see Keith Barry launch Maria Duffy’s new book, Any Dream Will Do.
It was a wet and dreary night in Dublin on Tuesday night – not the kind of night that would encourage people to come to a book launch in Grafton Street. But come they did – in their droves – for the launch of Maria Duffy’s debut novel, Any Dream Will Do. The launch was in Dubray Books on Grafton Street and there was barely standing room.
When Maria was first on the social networking site, Twitter, she was approached by agent Sheila Crowley, of the Curtis Brown Agency in London. Sheila told her that she loved the voice in her tweets and would love to read a book written in that voice. Maria set about writing Any Dream Will Do. After she finished it, Sheila Crowley sent it to Hachette Publishing who accepted it.
On Tuesday night, Maria was introduced first by her editor, Ciara Doorley, from Hachette Publishing, who was full of praise for Maria’s writing and her book. Ciara said when she first received the manuscript, she was supposed to be reading other things, but she kept picking Maria’s up for a sneaky read. She said she knew she had something special and told Maria immediately that Hachette wanted to publish her.
The next person to introduce Maria was a very special guest – mentalist, Keith Barry. Keith said it was the first time he had been asked to introduce a book launch, but that the reason was because he was featured in the book. He said the hilarious things that one of the characters does at a Keith Barry show in the book, were the same things that he hypnotised Maria into doing at one of his shows. He then went on to wow the audience with some mind reading, getting Maria to read to herself a passage of the book and telling her exactly what it was about!
Maria Duffy and Keith Barry
Next up was the woman of the hour – Maria Duffy herself. Though admitting to being nervous beforehand, she had the audience laughing and applauding with her charming and witty manner. She thanked her agent, her publishers, Dubray Books who put on a wonderful launch, and her family and friends, both physical and virtual. She also revealed that – in a spooky bit of life imitating art – just as in the book people come from Waterford, Galway and London to a tweet-up (a meeting of people on Twitter), so too on Tuesday night people from Twitter had come from Waterford, Galway and London!
Maria with her very proud parents
The night before friends and supporters took to Twitter to drum up support for the launch. On the night, approximately 130 people turned up. And it’s a testament to the power of the social-networking phenomenon that, of those, 40-50 of them were people from Twitter.
All in all, a great night and a wonderful launch. I would wish Maria good luck with Any Dream Will Do but I don’t think she’ll need it. (But good luck anyway!)