Friday, 6 July 2018

Riddle of the Runes Unleashing

I was fortunate to be among the guests who attended the launch of Dr Janina Ramirez's first* children's book, Riddle of the Runes, at Hatchards on Piccadilly last night.

When I arrived, I climbed flight after flight of stairs, following the sound of much merriment and excitement, to the top floor, where I was welcomed by the team from Oxford University Press with a glass of something cold and sparkling, which was nice.**

As well as Dr J, her family, friends and colleagues, others in attendance included Professor Kate Williams, Helen Czerski, Bettany Hughes, and Neil Gaiman, who literally popped in a minute.***

Following speeches by Liz Cross, Head of Children's Publishing at Oxford University Press, and the author herself...

Janina then spent the rest of her time sat behind a desk, signing books...

And patiently posing for photos, like this one...

Achievement unlocked: Dr Janina Ramirez calls you a legend.****

I was interested to learn that writing fiction is what Janina has always wanted to do, and was the reason she studied English Literature at Oxford. Everything else that has happened since, including her medievalist history and art history studies - not to mention her broadcasting career! - were simply a deviation from her original plan. But now she's back on track and celebrating being a bestselling children's author.

Then it was off to the pub for more merriment and lots of chat.

Much as I am enjoying Riddle of the Runes, and as thrilled as my own shield maiden is to have received her own signed copy, those of you who are still patiently awaiting Beowulf Beastslayer will no doubt be as intrigued as I am about Janina's next book, due out next March.

* Of many, I am sure!

** Not to mention most welcome. It was very hot.

*** How rock and roll is that?

**** Which is right up there with the time Charlie Higson publicly called me one of the world's leading experts in the gamebook genre.

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