A pod of mermaids was spotted Thursday night in English Bay, Vancouver. Crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of this elusive species as they made their way across the beach and into the Boathouse. Men were warned to stay away from the group, as mermaids possess a supernatural allure that has lured sailors to their deaths for centuries.
“People don’t realize this species is dangerous,” says Tiana Warner, spokesperson for the mermaids. “They can turn from beautiful to deadly in the blink of an eye.”
The Boathouse restaurant put out an amazing spread of seafood and fruit platters, Jacquoline made dozens of beautiful (and delicious) mini cupcakes, and my mermaid girls were able to move about and mingle thanks to Jenn’s brilliant sewing skills. Guests included friends and family, local authors, business owners, and even Tyrone Crews, former BC Lions linebacker.
On entry, each guest received a drink ticket, raffle ticket, and button designed by Stephanie. Raffle prizes included live fish, signed football jerseys, Beats Pills by Dr. Dre, and more.
Browse the album for photos.
ice massacre launch by the numbers
91,900 words in Ice Massacre.
70 guests in attendance (ish).
27 months to write the book, from idea to publication.
6 mermaids present.
4 hours spent in hair and makeup for my mermaid outfit.
1 extremely grateful author.
ice massacre book launch speech
The recording of my launch speech is hard to hear (and ok I’m also horrified at the thought of uploading it to YouTube) so I’ve transcribed it below. Mostly this is for the benefit other writers who don’t know what to say in their launch speech—because, yes, I did google what to say in a launch speech, as I’m sure many authors do.
Hey everyone! Thank you all for coming!
I am in awe at how many people came. There are people here I’ve never even met before. And people I’ve only met once or twice, and ones I haven’t seen in forever—so thank you for coming. Maybe you’re just here because I promised food and alcohol … but the point is, you’re here, and I’m grateful for it.
Thank you to all my wonderful, amazing friends. You’ve been so supportive, and helpful, and you mean so much to me.
This includes my fellow writers. Writers are weird. And when a group of writers gets together, it’s like there’s so much weirdness in one place that it just kind of neutralizes. So I am very grateful to have found all of you to neutralize my weirdness.
For those that don’t know, I do have a real job. I work at a pretty cool software company. So cool, in fact, that several of my coworkers came tonight. Thank you.
I try and be a genuine person, like I tend to be myself no matter which social circle I’m in—but inevitably, writer Tiana is a bit different from technical communications software developer Tiana. I mean I’m not saying I wear a pantsuit to work every day, but … [gestures to outfit] This is not normal.
I guess a few of my coworkers browsed my website because I’ve had a couple of them mention, with looks of concern, one particular poem I wrote about a young woman who has her boyfriend over for dinner. I think I like what Dale said the best: “The men in your stories don’t seem to do too well.” I didn’t realize until you said it but no, they really don’t.
Really though, it means so much to me that you all came, so thank you.
Thank you to my family. I have the most supportive family ever. The fact that my cousins are here with their legs stuck together inside mermaid tails is enough to prove it. So thank you to my family. I love you.
Mom and dad—you’re two of the kindest, most genuine people in the world, and thank you for teaching me by example every day what it is to be a good human being.
Steph. My sister designed the buttons you all got when you came in. She also designed the posters for this event. And she edited my book, twice. And she gave me feedback on literally every single aspect of this book. So thank you, Steph, for always being there for me.
I actually came up with the idea for this book while I was with Steph in Disneyland two years ago. We were running around like idiots, like usual when we’re in Disneyland or Harry Potter World or … yes, the world … and I decided there that I wanted to write a book about mermaids. But the real legend of mermaids. The one where they eat people. So yes, the happiest place on earth inspired my story about flesh-eating sea demons.
I was trying to think of a cool story to tell about the writing process for Ice Massacre, or what inspired certain scenes. But the truth is, I don’t remember writing it. No I wasn’t drunk. I know Stephen King doesn’t remember writing Cujo for that reason. But I wasn’t drunk, just groggy. I wrote this book between 6 and 7 in the morning, for an hour before work every day.
And I’m not a morning person. But I knew this was the only way it would get done. So I put a little index card over my alarm clock that said “I am a bestselling author.” And when my alarm went off and I rolled over and saw that, it got me out of bed, because I knew I would never accomplish that dream if I fell back asleep. I may not yet be a bestselling author, but I think publishing a book is a pretty good start. So I’m here today to tell you that if you have a dream, write it down in the present tense, look at it every day, live it, believe it, and you will get there.
The other great thing about getting up at 6am to write is that there were no interruptions. My mom can attest to what happens if you interrupt me when I’m in the middle of writing a scene.
I’m going to take five minutes to do a reading from Ice Massacre. The book, of course, is based on the more sinister legend of mermaids. Eriana Kwai is an island that shares its surrounding water with a population of mermaids, and every year, they send warriors on a Massacre to try and kill them. This scene happens when Meela, the main character, is 11 years old, and the warriors are due back from this year’s Massacre.
[Reading from Chapter 4, ‘Shipped Home’]
Please enjoy the food and drinks. There’s a menu and a bar if you want more. In about twenty minutes I’m going to raffle off everything on that table.
Please document this evening like crazy. Take pictures, videos, use the hashtag #icemassacre, because at the end of the evening one random person to use the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram will win a $25 Amazon gift card. The more times you use it, the better your chance of winning.
Thank you. See you in about twenty minutes.